When deciding what washing machine to buy for your home or business, you have two major types to choose from: top load washing machines and front load washing machines. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of machine, so take a look at these four differences between top- and front-loading washers before making your decision.
1. Amount of Water Used Per Load
One major difference between front load and top load washing machine is that front load machines use a lot less water per load than top load washers. The reason these types of washers use less water is that the load rotates vertically rather than horizontally, as happens in a top load. So a small amount of water sits in the bottom of the drum.
As the load spins, the clothes tumble down into the water before being spun upward and tumbling all over again. This action is actually easier on the clothes as well, since gravity moves the clothes around rather than the agitator action seen in top load washers.
The average family can expect to save about 25,000 liters of water per year by switching from a top load to a front load washer. That is a substantial amount of water being saved. And facilities using commercial laundry equipment for dozens of loads per week can save many times more than that.
2. Amount of Electricity Needed Per Load
Most front load washers made by major manufacturers like LG and Maytag are certified Energy Star appliances and have been designed to use reduced levels of electricity in order to perform their functions. As a result, these efficient washing machines use less natural resources and have a less negative impact on the environment.
Front load washers also spin more rapidly than their top load counterparts, whisking water away more easily. This results in the clothes holding less water when transferred to the clothes dryer. So less electricity is required when drying these clothes as well.
3. Initial Cost Up Front
So far, it might seem like front load washers are clearly better than top loaders, but top load machines have their advantages as well. Front load washers might save a lot of money over time on electricity and water use, but they are typically more expensive to purchase. So if the sale price is a primary factor affecting your decision, then you will likely start leaning toward top loaders when deciding which type of washing machine to buy.
4. Durability and Years of Use
Another difference between front load and top load washing machine is the overall durability. Top load washers have been known to last for decades with few repairs needed if any. Front load washers, on the other hand, typically break down more frequently.
In some cases, this is due to the complicated electronics used in modern machines, but that isn’t always the cause. Many top loaders today also have complex digital controls that are more prone to wearing out, compared to older technology. But the major reason for the difference in reliability seems to be that top load washers have a more balanced load since they rotate horizontally. Front loaded washers — with their vertical rotation — are more unbalanced and place more strain on the motors, causing them to require servicing more frequently.
In the end, there are pros and cons to both types of washing machines. If you want a machine that requires less maintenance and less cost up front, then you might prefer a top load washing machine. But if you are able to invest in the machine itself in order to save water and electricity, then you might want to go with a front load washing machine.
Author: Sarah Smith