Past history has offered only one type of washing machine – the good old, familiar top-loading style. Heavy-duty, front-loading machines were seen found in laundromats or commercial laundry settings such as hospitals. The machines were very large, very noisy, and very expensive – although they didn’t need washer repair service very often. Those very same machines of the past are now available – front-loading models designed for home use that have revolutionized the world of home washing machines.

Which Washer is Better?

Based on tests of washer power, efficiency, and overall performance, front-load designs are considered to be the best washing machine. The way they operate, how water and clothing are affected inside the drum, and decreased energy needed to keep them churning make front-load washers able to use as much as 40 percent less water and a whopping 165 percent less energy than standard top-loading models. Wash times have been cut in half, less detergent is required, and clothes come out cleaner – with less residual soap left in the fabric. The spin cycle drys with a greater centrifugal force faster which indirectly adds to dryer efficiency.

Cost and Repair Options

The main reason why more front-loading washers are not purchased is the cost, which is considerably higher than a standard washer. Even though prices are coming down, making them more affordable, a top loader can be purchased for as little as $300, which is about half the cost of the least expensive front loader.

There is one big difference between these two washers. A basic top-loading washer is lower quality, and more likely to wear out sooner than a basic model front-loading washer. Because of how these washers function, there is less strain on the motor of a front loader so it frequently lasts longer and requires less washer repair. Front-loading washers can usually be repaired and the more expensive models are definitely worth repairing.

Hidden Pros and Cons

Following are some of the pros and cons of front-loading washing machines:

  • Pros – Besides using less water, detergent, and energy, today’s front loading washing machines are also more gentle on fabric. This means that clothing typically lasts longer when washed in this type of machine. Front-loading washers are easier to load and unload, particularly for those who cannot reach into the bottom of top-loading models.

  • Cons – For anyone with difficulty bending, front-loading versions will be harder to use. Some front-loading models vibrate a bit and make more noise than a top-loading machine. The biggest inconvenience noted among consumers with this model is the cycle cannot be stopped to add more clothing which can be done with the top-loading version. These washers have rubber gaskets on the door to keep water from leaking, which can grow mold or collect lint, so cleaning the gasket often is required.

There are many things to consider when purchasing a washing machine. If convenience and low purchasing cost is a priority, conventional top-loaders may be the better choice. If wanting more efficiency and lower operation costs, better performance, and environmental friendliness, a front loader is probably the best choice. As for washer repair concerns, both types can be repaired. Make the best decision based on your needs!

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