A few months ago, our 10 year old front load washer died and we had to replace it rather quickly. We wanted another front loader for a variety of reasons, mainly because we believe a front loader cleans better and is more energy efficient. We ultimately chose a Frigidaire Affinity.
The Frigidaire Affinity Model FAFW3511 had many aspects that we wanted in a washing machine. First of all, it is is a front loader, which was the number one criteria that we had when shopping for a new washer. It is also Energy Star rated, which enabled us to submit and claim a refund from our state from stimulus funds.
Other features I liked that the Frigidaire Affinity FAFW3511 had:
No brainer temperature selections: I want laundry to be as simple as possible. The Frigidaire Affinity has a variety of cycle settings that are reached via turning the knob to the appropriate setting based on the level of soil of a particular load. The two settings that I use the most are “whitest whites” and “casual”. For the a load of my husband’s white t-shirts, I just need to turn the knob to “whitest whites”, and the machine automatically defaults to appropriate temperature settings. No thought involved on my part!
Easy self-clean setting: Front loaders are notorious for having a musty smell. The Frigidaire Affinity has a self-clean setting, which you reach by holding down both the Options and Spin Speed buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds until the display shows “CLn”. Add one cup of liquid chlorine bleach. Next, you hit the start button and let your machine clean itself. This is recommended once monthly to keep your machine fresh.
Better design of rubber door seal: My old front loader’s rubber door seal was a known sock monster. I would always find socks tucked away in its folds. The rubber door seal on the Affinity has a better design in that it doesn’t have such a tight channel where socks can hide, though water and socks still collect. In the two months that I’ve used this machine, it hasn’t eaten an adult sock at all. Kids socks do still find their way, though less often for me.
Delay start setting: Want to do your laundry a bit later in the day? Sometimes, that option is desirable. You can set the delay for up to 14 hours and if you don’t mind having the washing machine washing clothes in the middle of the night when there’s less of a drain on power resources. This setting is also helpful if you want to wash a load of laundry during the day while you are gone, but don’t want it sitting in the washer all day before you get home. Just set it to wash and finish just before you get home.
Things I wish were better:
The rubber seal at the door collects water: If a sock is stuck in there too, it is completely saturated with water. You need to keep the seal clean and not let water sit to cut the risk of a mildew smell emanating from your washing machine. What I do to combat this problem is to take an old cleaning towel and wipe out the seal each night after I have finished the last load of laundry and then prop the door open to let the machine air dry. This problem is not unique to the Frigidaire Affinity line; it is something that most owners of front loaders complain is a nuisance.
Quick setting doesn’t always take: If you push the start button, it defaults to the casual setting. This can be a time saver for busy moms. However, you can’t just hit the button and run out the door. You will need to stay and wait to ensure that the machine got the message to start. I have come back later only to find that the clothes didn’t wash as I expected.
Cost: The Frigidaire Affinity Model FAFW3511 retails for approximately $750 at various retailers for basic white, a bit pricier than top loaders. Black and red models cost $100 more. We purchased the washer and dryer as a pair because we read that they work well in concert with each other. I have found this to be true since the dryer typically runs its dry cycle in the same amount of time it takes to wash another load.
Frigidaire site, product information