Today’s washers run the gamut. From conventional top-loading machines that have a center-post agitator, to high-efficiency top-loaders without the center post agitator, as well as front-loader washers. Consider the pros and cons of each type of washer when making a purchase decision.
Top-loading washing machines
Once the only option in washing machines, top loaders come in two varieties. The standard washer with a center-post agitator produces the necessary friction to wash and rinse your clothing. Standard top-loaders tend to be your least expensive choice in washing machines, and they use more water and energy than front-loaders. Buy an energy-efficient ENERGY STAR top-loader model, however, and you can save water and electricity.
High efficiency top-loading washing machines don’t have the post agitator, but instead possess an impeller or rotating mechanism on the floor of the drum that circulates water for washing. This type of system is gentler on clothing and uses half the water of standard variety machines. High efficiency top-loaders also come in energy-efficient models.
Special features offered in top-loading machines are the various capacities, including king-size, and water sensor models that automatically fill the drum according to the amount of laundry you’ve added. Some models boast as many as 16 cycles and four temperature settings.
Front-loading washing machines
Reportedly cleaning the best and most efficiently of all washing machines, front-loading washers generally have an ENERGY STAR label from the U.S. Department of Energy, which indicates that the washer is highly energy efficient. A front-loading washer uses one-third the amount of water than a top loader. Such models are also gentler on clothing, and the spin cycle in such machines is very fast, extracting more moisture and making drying clothing less time-consuming.
Although front-loading machines are generally the most expensive option in washing machines, prices have dropped some in recent years, making these machines more in line with other types.
Special features found in front-loading machines include many types of settings that perform a wide variety of functions, from cleaning heavily soiled items to delicates. These machines are also so “intelligent” that you can simply set a machine according to fabric type and the washer will automatically set the run time, cycle type, spin speed, water-level setting and temperature. Some machines even possess their own water heaters and start delay timers.
Dryers come in gas and electric models. If gas is available and your usage is high, it’s often best to choose such a dryer, because they tend to cost less to operate over the life of the dryer.
Since all dryers work the same by tumbling clothing in heated air, they tend to use similar amount of energy and are therefore not officially rated for energy efficiency, according to the California Energy Commission. Dryers come in several sizes, from compact to oversized, and vary in price according to capacity and features.
Special features in dryers include moisture sensors that cause the machine to shut off once the clothing is dry, saving your clothing and energy. Some dryers also possess a permanent-press cool-down period before shutting off and a wide variety of temperature controls from which to choose. Dryer racks also come with some models, allowing you to dry items like shoes and sweaters.
Now that you know the various options when it comes to washers and dryers, you can choose the best machines for keeping your laundry squeaky clean.
The original article can be found here.