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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Front Loading Washers vs. Top Loading Washers: Battle Royale

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We all want to be green these days. Helping to preserve the environment has become a top priority in the lives of many people. Becoming environmentally conscious can give you both peace of mind and extra money in the bank. It’s become quite well known that conserving energy and saving money go hand in hand; most environmentally aware changes that we make also result in reduced energy bills.

Laundry day is one example of this double benefit. Each time we do a load of laundry we have two choices; we can use a front loading washer or a top loading washer. Top loading washers are the ones that many of us remember from our childhoods—think the Brady Bunch episode with the over-sudsing, oatmeal colored, monster of a machine. On the other hand, front loading washers made for home usage are still fairly new to the American market. Both types of washers get the job done, but only one will save you money while at the same time using fewer environmental resources. Let’s take a look at how the two types of washers stack up and see who comes out on top.

Round One: Tower of Power

When it comes to energy usage, front loading washers come out on top—in a good way. Front loaders use about half as much water as their vintage counterparts, which translates into a much lower water bill and savings on the energy it takes to heat the water for warm washes. In addition to this savings is the reduced amount of energy it takes to run each wash cycle, resulting in an energy bill savings of approximately $100 per year. As an added bonus, clothes that are spun dry at 1000 rpm (versus the top loader’s 700 rpm spin cycle) come out much more dry and require less time in the dryer. This, in turn, causes the dryer to use less energy—which means even more money saved.
Round One goes to the Front loader!

Round Two: Sound Machine

Top loading washers have an eerie way of telling you what’s inside them. Just listen to your top loader the next time you do a load. Does it bang and clank its way through the cycle? Probably a load heavy with jeans or throw rugs. Does it bump and groove its way the entire time? Probably full of towels or sweaters. Does it purr and whisper? Well…you probably forgot to put anything in! Top loaders are notoriously loud and raucous, and if you happen to load them too unevenly, you can usually hear the spin cycle going two floors away. On the other hand, the gentle whir of the front loader would make even a librarian smile.
Round Two goes to the Front Loader!

Round Three: Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

Front loaders lack that big, clunky agitator that is ubiquitous in the traditional top loader. Besides reducing the number of scratches to hands hurriedly removing wet clothes, no agitator means more room for your load. This larger capacity for clothes also means a kinder, gentler approach to washing them with less stress and friction. However, this gentle touch belies the front loader’s superior ability to remove stains.
Round Three goes to the Front Loader!

Round Four: Space Man

Because of the position of its door, a front loading washer can be stacked on top of a corresponding dryer. Some washers, with controls in the front, even have the ability to be mounted under counters. These qualities result in space saving possibilities unmatched by your typical top loader. With the green building trend of smaller houses, a washer that can be used in a smaller space is a definite star.
Round Four goes to the Front Loader!

When looking at the benefits of using a frontloading washer versus a top loading washer, you can see that front loaders offer more environmental, energy, and monetary savings than traditional top loading washers. Although they cost more money up front, most front loading washers will pay for that extra cost within 3 or 4 years. In the battle between the front loader and top loader, the front loader wins by a landslide.

Posted by casey on 04/29 at 08:41 PM
BuildingAppliancesEveryday Life

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