Last weekend, my old Hotpoint washing machine broke down. As I have had it for a good few years, and as it seemed to be eating more money, I decided to spring for a new machine. After a bit of research I settled on an AEG Washer/Dryer – with a condenser-dryer, so no need for venting.
As noted elsewhere, I had a few issues with the installation. I won’t go into details here, but it caused me to be fairly negative about the whole experience. However, that got in the way of the really important question, which is – what is the machine like?
So far, it is wonderful. It is simple to set the program and options, with leds and a digital display to show exactly what you have chosen – unlike the rotary dial of my old Hotpoint, where it was far too easy to go one too many clicks and be on a hotter wash than intended. There are a wide range of wash programs, including a super-fast 60 minute wash & dry cycle – limited to a max of 3kg, but I can see that coming in useful when there is a particular item I need *now*. There are two levels of time-saver, reducing a synthetics wash from 1hr 47min to 1 hr 33min to 57min. Again this is useful, as most programs are geared to a “dirty” load, and quite often I am washing a load of “worn-once” t-shirts that really don’t need a full-length cycle.
The dryer side is also easy to understand – having first selected the fabric type (cotton, wool, synthetic), you can either set it by time, like at the launderette, or by level of dryness – iron-dry, storage-dry or extra-dry. Doing the latter initially shows an implausibly long drying time, but there must be sensors measuring the moisture content, as this soon starts coming down. I tried the storage-dry setting, and was initially perturbed that the clothes didn’t feel completely dry to touch when they came out – certainly dry enough to wear, but I am not sure dry enough to go straight into the draw. However, they also came out very hot, and I found that within an hour of being folded into a laundry basket, they were dry, and fairly crease free. So I am not too unhappy with the result.
You can program the washer and dryer at the same time, for a continuous program, or run the cycles individually, should you wish to remove items before the dry cycle.
So all in all, it is a big success. The machine is much quieter than my old machine, to the point that I have gone out to the kitchen to check it was running a couple of times. The drying function is new to me, and while I don’t intend to use it when I have sunshine available to dry clothes outside, it will beat my indoor airing of clothes hands-down.
I was a bit surprised that most the modern machines appear to be cold-fill only (my Hotpoint was plumbed into both hot and cold). On the face of things, I thought that a hot/cold, where the hot was gas heated, would be better than the machine heating everything by electricity. But it seems that in these days of “low temperature” washing, and modern condenser boilers (which run cold before reaching temperature), cold-fill is simpler and has become the norm.
The only minor gripe with my new machine is that the door is so wonderfully big (easy to get at things in the machine), my laundry basket no longer fits underneath it – I have to move it to one side to open and close the door. However, I think I will cope!