Front Load Washer versus Top Load Washer
While top load washers have been the traditional form of washing machine over the past several decades, Americans are now favoring front load laundry for many reasons.
The front-loading machine's greatest advantage may well be its energy efficiency, no small advantage considering an increasingly environmentally aware marketplace. Nearly every model earns the US Department of Energy's "Energy Star" label. Over many years of ownership saving energy adds up to saving you big dollars. However, front loaders save you a lot more than just energy.
Here are some of the other differences between top- and front-loading washers:
Water Savings is significant as front loaders use 66% less water, and hot water!
While a top-loading machine requires enough water to cover all the clothes in its drum, a front-loading washer needs only a thirdof that amount because its drum is set horizontally in the machine. As the drum turns, it uses gravity to drop the clothes back into the water. And while a top-loading machine will empty the soapy water and refill for a rinse agitation cycle, a front-loading machine just sprays clean water on the load as the drum continues to turn, saving gallons. Since there's no agitator in a front-loading machine, there's a lot more room for dirty clothes - and larger loads means fewer loads.
Finally, the front-loading machine's spin mechanism can reach up to 1,000 rpm, as opposed to the standard top-loader's average 650 rpm. That means less water left in the laundry, which in turn gives you a shorter drying time, saving energy there, too.
Space: (Front loaders are ideal for urban apartments or homes where space is an issue)
Most front-loading washers can be stacked with a companion dryer, an impossible feat for standard top-loaders, except for a mere few models. If floor space is important to you, a front-loading washer is the better choice.
There's no question that agitators are tough on your clothes. Because only gravity is at work in a front-loading machine, you'll save a lot of wear and tear on your laundry, extending the life of your clothes and linens. Examine the tensile strength of fabric washed in a front loader without an agitator, versus an agitator machine, and you will find there is a vast difference. Front loaders do not promote “piling of fabric”, and hence clothing lasts a lot longer with a front loader.
Are clothes expensive? What is that worth to you in terms of dollars saved on buying new clothing?
Front loader costs used to be almost double those of top loaders, but today that vast difference in cost has shrunk considerably. Today front loaders have come down in cost, but are still more costly than top loaders, in general. Cost is relative to drum capacity, and if you stay with a 4 cubic drum capacity, the costs today are very affordable.
If bending or kneeling is difficult for you, stay with a top-loading machine. You'll need to kneel or bend to load the clothes as well as remove the wet load from a front-loading washer. When the machines are stacked, the washer goes on the bottom, so there's no relief there, either. Front load manufacturers now offer a stand for the front loader, that doubles as a clothes/utility drawer, for about $200 to $249 extra expense, which reduces bending/kneeling.
Front loaders use 66% less detergent, and less bleach, than an average agitator top load washer, and what is that worth over many years, in terms of money saved.
In the conservation department, the front-loading machine is a clear winner, saving water, hot water and cost to heat hot water, energy and, detergent expense. Over the life of the machine, a front loader’s additional expense can pay you back with money saved. So if you want longer lasting clothing, while consuming far less water, hot water, detergent/bleach expense, consider a front loader. Also true, is that a front loader, washes clothes better than the average top load machine does. Front loaders have better cleaning outcomes (clothes sloshing thru water is a superior washing action, versus clothes getting beaten with an agitator).The major detractor for most consumers is the larger initial cash outlay, but even that is being narrowed by today’s manufacturing efficiencies.