Until recently the only time you saw a front loading washing machine was in an industrial application or at the laundromat. However, they are now the mark of true style, sophistication and conservation in high-end homes.
Top-loading washers do a great job, especially compared to the ones made in the 1980s and earlier. The washer’s tub sits vertically in the machine and has an agitator in the middle that churns the water and clothes together, forcing water through the items. It drains, refills with clean water, agitates again, drains, rinses and spins. The front-loading machine follows the same basic method, but has many advantages over the standard top-loaders.
However, the front-loading machine offers greater energy efficiency. Nearly each one has the coveted ‘Energy Star’ label, which means it meets or exceeds the efficiency standards set out by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. While a top-loading machine requires enough water to cover all the clothes in its drum, a front-loading washer needs only a third of 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.
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