Front-Load or Top-Load-The Great Washer Debate
Your old washer has finally given up the ghost. I get asked what is better, front-load or top-load washers. There has been many discussions on the topic and since I repair both, I have found many pros and cons to both products. You need to consider space, efficiency, care, maintenance, wash time, technology (yes, even washing machines have computers!), and the biggest concern for many people-price. What is better? So what should you look for when purchasing a new machine?
Energy efficiency (HE)-these washers will be more cost effective in water, soap, and electricity usage.
Cost-top loaders are typically less costly to purchase than front loaders-note that there are good, moderately priced items in both top and front-load styles.
Capacity-what do you need? Do you wash comforters, many loads of clothing or have light washing each week? Make sure that the capacity of the drum suits your needs.
Access-top-load washers provide easy access to the basket. Front-load washers not on pedestals require you to bend or kneel to load and unload. Consider what is comfortable for you.
Agitator-front-load washers and many top-load washers do not have agitators although there are still several top-load models are available with agitators. No agitator means that you can have fewer, larger loads. No agitator also extends clothing life. Agitators are tougher on clothes shortening their life.
Space-if you have limited space you may want to consider a front-load machine. This type of washer can be stacked with a dryer and saves a tremendous amount of floor space.
Type of detergent to use-This can be very important. Your detergent selection may be limited with any HE front-load or top-load machine. You need to use an HE low-sudsing detergent for any machine designated as HE.
Care and maintenance-this can differ between machines. Always check to see what type of care you have to do (cleaning for example) to your machine before you purchase it. You don’t want to be surprised with maintenance because you didn’t follow the recommendations.
Warranty-verify what the warranty is before you make a purchase. Does it cover labor/parts/how long? What is an extended warranty going to cost.
The bottom line is, you need to choose a washer that is right for your home. There are pros and cons to both styles. Think about what is important to you and what fits your lifestyle. A washing machine, with good care and maintenance, can last quite a while, but if you need to replace yours, following these guidelines should make the choice easier.