Notice how people aren't putting laundry machines in the basement or the garage anymore? While they haven't exactly replaced the range and refrigerator in consumers' hearts or homes, washers and dryers are no longer relegated to the sidelines.
Some laundry appliances are located in the kitchen, so busy parents can switch between cooking and laundry and still keep an eye on the children. Some are in mudrooms, so athletes can leave shoes and clothing at the door rather than dragging dirt into the house. In other houses, laundry rooms have migrated to the second floor to be near the bedrooms and bathrooms where people change.
Professional Looks and Performance
This new generation of washers and dryers is more attractive, too, with sleek styling and designer finishes that rival those of any cooktop, computer or car. With bold colors, they command attention rather than fading into the background. In laundry, as in cooking, pro-style, pro-performance appliances are all the rage.
That means washers and dryers with bigger tub capacity for larger loads. More wash cycles and hotter water temperatures, capable of handling everything from hand washables to comforters. Moisture sensors to make sure both towels and T-shirts are dried to optimal levels. And an array of accessories, from platforms to storage, designed to make the sorting, treating and folding of laundry easier.
Energy and Water Efficiency
With gas prices above $3 per gallon becoming the norm and a persistent drought in the central and western areas of the country, saving natural resources is no longer just for environmentalists. Most manufacturers now offer energy- and water-efficient washers that have earned the government's Energy Star label. They tend to cost more up front, but the savings on the utility bills make up the difference in a few years.
Additional factors to consider when buying a new washer and dryer include:
Preset and programmable cycles