The suspected conspiracy of washers and dryers

Our beloved Maytag stacked unit, an ancient beast of 20+ years and unbelievable electric bills, has gone to the appliance graveyard in the sky.  One could argue that we could have a repair man come out here, but the reality is that when it was new, it was state of the art, with a seamless electrical panel and touch button controls.  I’m not going to pay another guy 80 dollars to come out and say that the parts for the control panel aren’t made anymore, as that’s what happened with the wall oven and the dishwasher.  The wall oven and cooktop have been, as you already know, replaced.  The dishwasher was at the bottom of the list, but the Washer and Dryer must be replaced asap.
Here’s the problem.  The closet that serves as a laundry room is a tight space, designed around the units purchased to go in at the time the addition was built.  As such, having a standard side-by-side unit would only work if we A:  Knocked out all of the built-in cabinetry and hanging space along one edge and B:  Remodeled the entry of the closet to accommodate the new, larger space.
You see, the closet is set with bi-fold doors, and only offers 50 inches of clearance.  Even if we knocked out the built-in storage, we would still have to contend with almost 8 inches of reduced clearance.  What that really means is that a side by side washer and dryer would have two major flaws.  First, the clearance space of the door frame would prevent the dryer door from opening all of the way.  Secondly, due to the reduction in space, making sure the dryer vent had proper clearance would be nearly impossible.
So we just get another stacked unit, right?  Wrong.  Stacked “laundry centers” often found in small apartments or condos have many issues.  They are vastly expensive, generally have a washer tub size of less than 2 cubic feet and are not even the tiniest bit energy efficient.  Don’t get me wrong though- I have really enjoyed the mammoth of a Maytag laundry center currently in this house.  But let’s be honest here- I love it because it’s a working relic of a long past time.  A kitschy novelty that also happens to wash my clothing.  An affectation, if you will.
Now, I could go on and on about my general loathing of all things Front Loading in the laundry world.  They’re fussy, expensive and often take for freaking ever to complete a load.  Specialty soaps are often required, and they usually have a far shorter lifespan than traditional top loading units.  But instead of dismissing them outright as I had fully intended on doing at the start, I  found myself doing a 5 year price comparison.  The reality of my situation is that since traditional top loading work horses are out of the game, a stacked front loading set will save me over half of the cost of the actual set itself, PLUS the cost difference in prices between a laundry center and the front loading stacked set in ENERGY SAVINGS ALONE.  Those are numbers that make the swooshy shiny syndrome of how pretty the front loading units can be fall to the wayside.  I can’t argue with figures.

Maytag Maxima Front Loading High Efficiency Washing Machine
4.3 cubic feet capacity.  Energy Star.  Pedestal not included.
Performance reviews are positive on a particular set I’ve been looking at.  While I am likely to always view front loading laundry sets as the more expensive, yuppie answer to bored housewives everywhere, I simply can’t deny that this is the direction we’re being herded in.  We are going to look at a matched set tomorrow.  We shall see if its shiny newness cuts through all logic and reason…

I will not pull a Fry.  I will not pull a Fry.  I am a rational, thrifty and clever woman who is not sucked in by shiny newness and I will not pull a Fry.  (We shall see.)


About Pea Kay

Pea Kay, otherwise known as Tonks, The Unhinged Knitter, moonlights at night as an infamous Cupcake Warrior. To learn more about what she does, visit the core pages of!

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