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Choosing Washers and Dryers

The cleanest clothes from the gentlest machines while using the least water and energy.

In this article, contributing editor Sean Groom provides a wealth of information to guide consumers in choosing washers and dryers. He begins by noting how today's washers are much more efficient in energy and water usage than machines were only a few years ago, and he explains what the various efficiency ratings mean. He then describes how the three types of washers—traditional top loading, high-efficiency top loading, and front loading—actually clean clothes. He ends his discussion on washers by reviewing several features, such as steam cycles and stain removal, found on high-end machines. Groom then shifts his focus to dryers. He calls a moisture sensor the most important feature to look for in a dryer. This device ends the drying cycle when the clothes are dry, not when a certain period of time is up. After outlining several wrinkle-reducing options, Groom describes condensing dryers, which may be appropriate in certain hard-to-vent places. The article includes a sidebar in which Groom discusses the questions consumers should ask before deciding what size machines to buy.

Choosing Washers and Dryers

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