Washing machines are now available in various designs and with special features that make them more and more consumer friendly. The earliest versions of washing machines were semi automatic which required personal monitoring. Later completely automatic washing machines were produced as a result of periodical up gradation of technology. The modern consumers look for appliances which can save time, energy and physical exertion in the process. Easier operation methods and zero maintenance costs are some of the advantages of latest washing machines. Even though completely automated machines are more convenient for the busy homemakers, many of them prefer semi automatic type as they are cheaper. Affordability becomes the sole criterion in choosing a home appliance for many consumers with shoestring budgets. Machines tend to become expensive when more innovative features are incorporated in them.
The semi automatic washing machines have two tubs. The first one is intended for soaking, washing and rinsing whereas the second one is used for drying. Once the washing process is completed, the clothes are to be transferred to the second tub manually. The process of washing and drying take about 45 minutes to one hour depending on the load. Even though it is a time consuming process many people are forced to choose semi automatic machines due to the substantial cost advantage. Fully automatic washing machines with innovative features will cost 50 per cent to 200 per cent more than the semi automatic versions.
Washing machines are available in two styles, namely top loading and front loading. Top loading machines are generally cheaper. The advantage with front loading one is that it is more energy efficient than the top loading machine. Many modern machines are programmable. They can be set to the required schedules of washing. For example, expensive clothes like silk or wool can be washed under pre-set conditions. Water temperature, duration of cycles and detergent dispensation are automatic. Combo machine which accommodate both washer and dryer are preferred by consumers for the efficiency and cost advantage. Heavily soiled clothes will be subjected to intensive washing process by regulating water temperature and the quantity of detergents. There are machines with facilities to pump in hot air to expedite drying process of clothes in cold and humid weather conditions.
Consumers have to take into consideration factors like space available and the expected workload while choosing a suitable washing machine. Size of the machines makes a lot of difference both in terms of cost and energy consumption. Normally a small family can manage with a machine which has the capacity to load 3 to 4kg of clothes. Machines of 8 to 10Kg capacity are available for consumers to choose from. Innumerable options are open for the modern consumers.
In a highly competitive market environment, manufacturers are striving to introduce innovative products. Modern machines are capable of monitoring the loads and automatically adjusting themselves much to the convenience of busy homemakers. Different temperature options, automatic detergent dispenser, multiple wash cycles and effective cleaning are ensured in the latest models of washing machines. Internet is a rich source to obtain valuable information about the products. It is advisable to choose a reputed brand with foolproof warranty and after sale service.