Are Front Load Washers Really Worth It?

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Front load washers are becoming increasingly favored over traditional top load washers, mainly for environmental reasons. This type of washing machine is considered to be a “green” appliance because it saves water and energy, thereby making it more environmentally friendly than its top loading counterpart. In the long run, front loaders are wallet friendly, too Washer Repair Los Angeles.

Whereas top load washers use about 35-40 gallons of water per cycle, front load washers use about 15 gallons per cycle. The energy efficiency of these machines results from the fact that they use a lot less water. Therefore, you can save on both your water bill and your electricity or gas bill, depending on how the water in your home is heated. (You could save even more by washing your clothes in cold water, but many people believe that the clothes don’t get as clean if you use cold water. However, different colors and fabrics require different temperatures. Personally, I wash all of my colored clothing in cold water, and all of my whites in hot water.)

It has been widely noted that front loading washing machines do a better job of cleaning your clothes, linens, and other textiles, on the grounds that less detergent is required, and the wash action is lift-and-drop rather than back-and-forth. What this argument fails to address is that the hardness of your water plays a major role in how clean your clothes get and how much detergent you need to use. If you have very hard water (think Arizona), then it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a front loader or a top loader, or whether you use high efficiency (HE) detergent or not — your clothes would not get as clean as they would if you were to wash them in soft water.

Despite the long term advantages of front loading washing machines, there are a few drawbacks. The initial cost of your front loader may give you “sticker shock” because they are more expensive than top loading machines. In order to justify this investment, you will have to consider the long term cost savings of owning a front loading washing machine.

Another thing to keep in mind is that front load washers must use high efficiency (HE) detergent, which is more expensive than normal detergent. For example, a gallon of HE Tide 2X Ultra costs about $16.00 at my local grocery store, whereas the same quantity of non-HE detergent costs about half that amount. In addition to the high cost of HE detergent, there’s also the challenge of finding it in stores. Many small grocers, especially mom-and-pop shops in rural areas, do not carry HE detergent. Even large grocery chains have only a small selection of HE detergents, and they are not always in stock, so you may need to buy more than one container at a time in case it’s not available when you really need it. If you live in a big city, it may not be that hard to find the right detergent, but it can be a hassle in rural and semi-rural areas.

Another drawback to front load washers is that they require more maintenance than top loaders. Proper care of this machine requires you to wipe down the inside of the door, as well as the rubber seal, after each use in order to avoid mold and mildew. You may also need to lift up or fold back the rubber seal to mop up the water that collects underneath it. (The rubber seal will also attract any human and/or animal hair that was attached to your clothes, so you’ll need to clean up that mess, too.) This will add to your paper towel expenses, unless you use a cloth towel, of course.

The bottom line is that while front load washers offer many perceived advantages over traditional top load washers, the cost savings will not be immediately apparent. If your washer happens to last several years, then you may realize the long term financial benefits of a front loading machine. However, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence on various web sites (blogs, forums, and other places where consumers discuss their experiences with various products) that many front loaders are not built to last. If you have a problem early on, it may be covered by warranty, but if not, be prepared to pay the proverbial “arm and a leg” to get your machine repaired.

Last but not least, you may not even have a choice between front and top loading when it comes to installing a new washing machine. The use of front load washers in new construction (or as a replacement of a top loader) may be mandatory according to the building codes in your area (yet another example of diminishing freedoms in the United States).

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