questionswhere should i buy a washer and dryer?

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Dryer technology has not changed, so if you are cost conscience don't be fooled into buying some expensive dryer just because it matches the washer. The cheaper dryer will do just as good as the expensive one. Do some online research before heading out. Check out Consumer Reports, narrow your choices then find the best deal for your choices.

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1) do research online first (like here!) have an idea of what you want - what brands to avoid, whether you want to go top or front load, etc. if possible, find the exact one or two options you're interested in.
2) Find the best price you can anywhere and then go somewhere that will price match for you and has other good deals. In my case, we found a GREAT price at Home Depot, but went to Lowe's and had them price match so we could get Lowe's current deal of 18 months at 0% financing.
3) if you're not in a rush, wait to see if any of your stores have promotions like the financing above, or free delivery/installation, 10% off all appliances, etc.

good luck!

edit: also don't forget the little details as well - for example, we almost bought a dryer that didn't buzz at the end of its cycle. we rely on that little gadget a lot and would never have remembered to check on the dry clothes lol

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As someone who just bought a new washer (20 year old dryer still works!) I can tell you that if you buy the new "digital menu" washers and dryers you're just wasting your money on technology that will break and cost more to replace in 5 years than your appliances cost in the first place.

Do your research but my advice would be to stick with simple and cheaper knob and dial ones, they make them very nice these days. We bought ours from Sears on sale and couldn't be happier. Very quiet, and very efficient!

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@dw1771, @smtatertot13, @eraten: Thanks for the help! I remember hearing the bits of info about dryers being basically the same over the years and that I shouldn't get anything with an LCD screen.

Do any of you have a subscription to Consumer Reports? Should I get a monthly subscription to check out reviews?

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Do not forget to check out the remaining mom-and-pop stores or local chains in your area. The sticker prices may be higher, but they'll often be willing to negotiate and they often offer better prices on extended warranties. (Those can be negotiated too!) There's a lot of value in dealing with someone who sells appliances full-time, as opposed to talking to whoever you're lucky enough to flag down at Home Depot.

In this economy smaller places are hungrier for your business. They want to make you happy so you'll tell your friends to shop there and they want you to remmeber them when you decide you need a new refrigerator. You're just one in a giant crowd at Home Depot.

As for specifics, it's true that dryer technology hasn't changed much, but there are small features to look for, such as the one that will continue to tumble your clothes every few minutes once the cycle is done to prevent wrinkles. For washers, go for front loading models that use less water and less detergent.

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Dryers are dead simple and the technology hasn't changed in pretty much forever. They're also so energy inefficient that if they even have any that are "Energy Star Rated" it's pretty much meaningless. So going cheaper isn't a big deal.

Washers are more complicated. Front vs top loading, how they agitate, different cycle options.

If you want basic models, especially for a dryer, Sams Club would be a place to check. They have some reasonable brands and good prices, if you have a membership or can find someone with a membership.

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We have had a terrible time with Sears the last two times we tried to buy major appliances there. They used to be my go-to place for large appliances, but I will not go back there again.

We needed both a washer and dryer a couple of years ago and went with LG. We got a front loading washer and the matching dryer. We have limited space in out utility room, so being able to stack them was really nice! We have been extremely happy with them. The washer cleans very well. We do avoid closing the washer when it is empty, especially in the summer when it is humid because the rubber seal is prone to mildew under the rim. However, the clean cycle works quite well for getting rid of it if it does become noticeable.

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Give your local scratch and dent a shot. I used to work for $3ars, and the main thing to consider is cost over the life of the product. make sure if you get non matching units, that the dryer can handle the washer load size in one load. Also, Front load will pay for the difference in cost by lowering utility bills after the first 3 years. But, they do not clean as well, but, they do not wear your clothes down as fast either. so, do a little technology research, and hunt around for the best deal. Look for floor models and such as well.

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Sears, during one of their great sales.

Read consumer reports first. Visit your friends and family and test theirs out. Don't believe what a sales person tells you.

Make sure to get an extended warranty. If you buy from a reputable warranty company, rarely what the store offers, it will be worth every penny. GE's warranty appliance service (they service all major manufacturers) will apply between 75 & 90% of your charge to additional years if you haven't used the extended warranty at all. You just have to call and ask, it's not automatic nor is it advertised.

EDIT: Front load is much gentler on your clothes and uses much less water. I've had mine for 5 years now and will never go back to top load. I went with Frigidaire because they were the only company with full size large stackable units that would fit in my laundry closet which was meant for apartment size stackable. Plus consumer reports had them rated pretty high.

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Well I bought a subscription to Consumer Reports to check out their recommendations for a washer and dryer. It seems like everything that scored high has bad reviews, so I'm not sure what to think of it. I know that most people only bother to write reviews if they have a bad experience, but its still disconcerting. I guess I'll figure something out regardless.

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If you are looking for specific washer and dryer ideas, I am pretty sure these are the ones we have been happy with. I don't have our specific model numbers, but the displays on these ones look like what we have.
http://www.lg.com/us/washers/lg-WM2240CW-front-load-washer
http://www.lg.com/us/dryers/lg-DLE2140W-electric-dryer

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@alpayton, @sadsephiroth, @elforman: Would you recommend a front loading washer? I know absolutely no one that has one ha. Do the drum mounts wear out a lot more quickly because the drum is mounted sideways?

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I absolutely prefer my front loading washer over the washers we had in the past, which were traditional top loaders with an agitator in the middle. We have had our for a couple of years now. We have 6 people in our household, so we do a lot of laundry and so far we have not had any maintenance issues with this washer. Although the front loader requires a little bit of work keeping it clean since the lower inside of the door and the rubber seal can get a bit grimy, IMO it is worth the minor inconvenience. This one does a good job getting clothes clean, uses less water, and isn't as hard on our clothes.

They make top loaders that are agitator free, but I don't have any experience with them. Since we wanted to stack our washer and dryer, we limited our search to front loaders.

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@alpayton: Thanks for the info! I've been leaning toward buying a front loading washer after reading more about them. What brand/model would you recommend?

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@misuhsipee: Commercial washers have been front load for years. They are great if you do not work or play in a dirty environment. Less water, faster dry times because the clothes come out of the washer dryer to begin with, less detergent, lower energy bills, just to name a few benefits. Get one and don't look back. Just make sure you understand how to properly use it first. And go with a good brand such as LG, with their manufacturer warranty of 5 yrs or more on the drive train.

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@misuhsipee: I recommend LG. We have the electronic panels, but we haven't had a single problem with them. I posted the model numbers of the ones we are using a bit earlier in this discussion.

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@alpayton: Oops, you definitely did post those already. Sorry, I have a really short memory.