NOISE AND VIBRATION
Like many appliances, washer dryers make some noise when they’re in use. If you live somewhere small or open plan, have young children who need to be put to bed early, or want to hear the TV more easily, you may be better off with a quieter model.
HOW TO FIND A QUIET WASHER DRYER
Usually, it’s difficult to see a washer dryer in action before you buy. This may be difficult if you want to review an appliance’s noise levels.
So, how do you find out? Often, manufacturers provide the decibel (dB) level of the appliance in the specification or on the energy label. These numbers can be difficult to understand, but allow you to compare one model with another.
Another way to find a quiet washer dryer is to look at independent reviews. Comments from people who have already purchased the model can be very valuable.
Similarly, companies like Which? test many aspects of appliances, including noise.
Another way to find a quiet washer dryer is to look at independent reviews.
Most washer dryers emit somewhere between 45 dB and 80 dB of noise – the spin cycle being the highest level, then drying, then washing. Anything emitting below 50 dB for the wash cycle can be regarded as a quiet model. However, no model is silent, except when it’s turned off.
While it’s true that appliances with lower decibel ratings are quieter, there’s a little more to consider.
Manufacturers test these appliances in ‘ideal conditions’. Chances are, your kitchen, utility room or wherever else you place your washer dryer are less than ideal. It will probably sound noisier than it would in a lab.
How loud something seems will also depend on your hearing and the pitch of the sound, rather than just the volume in decibels. Your mood and what you’re doing at the time might also make a difference.
The machine will also be noisier at some points of the washing and drying cycles compared to others – the spin is the usual culprit.
Sound levels are subjective, which is why real-life reviews are probably a better measure of the noise an appliance produces.
Most washer dryers emit somewhere between 45 dB and 80 dB of noise.
NOISE REDUCTION TECHNOLOGY
Another way to find a quiet washer dryer is by looking at its features. Some models are even designed to make less noise.
Machines with inverter motors tend to be quieter. This is because many of them don’t have brushes, which means less friction is generated when the motor is running. And, less friction means less sound.
Manufacturers are also beginning to look at anti-vibration in laundry appliances, such as Samsung’s Vibration Reduction Technology, so it’s worth keeping an eye open for this.
You can also consider the range of anti-vibration feet pads and mats on the market. These cushion your appliance and absorb vibrations, reducing noise.
Machines with inverter motors tend to be quieter.