Benefits and Drawbacks of Washers and Dryers
By Steven De Nazareth
Updated: June 10th, 2019
When it comes to choosing your washing machine, there are front load and top load washers. Also, you can opt for a washer-dryer combo if you decide not to buy a stand-alone dryer. There are several pros and cons that you should examine before you decide the victor.
Though top load washers have been in the US for a while, it only entered the market in the early 2000s and became an important part of the American home. As the years passed on, the technology has improved considerably and companies have streamlined production and the prices have fallen. Today, there are more people that prefer a front load washer to a top load machine. Not only is the price gap between the two washers marginally lower, it is shrinking every year. You can determine which washer is right for you based on its reliability, price, noise levels, capacity, product life, and energy efficiency.
Benefits of Top Loading Washing Machines
The biggest plus point on top loading washing machines is the low price. With prices starting at $400, this is much cheaper in comparison to entry-level front loaders that start at a minimum of $700 per unit.
Since top loaders are relatively cheaper, they are usually the most preferred option for rental apartments and for commercial uses or for short-term living options. Usually, these top load units pay for themselves when compared to coin-operated units for a particular period.
If you come to think of it, you would only have to stack clothes in the machine vertically without having to bend your back to load a front loader. This is because top loaders allow you to load laundry at the waist height and save from repeated joint stress when loading a machine. You would have to install front loaders on 15-inch pedestals to raise the height and make it more comfortable to load.
Benefits of Front Loading Washing Machines
If you can buy a washing machine for your home where a front load washing machine fits into your budget then you should opt for one. This is because it can save you money in the long run in terms of energy efficiency and save you from a hefty water bill. It also comes with several different cycles and added benefits that will make up for the initial investment.
Better Cleaning and Lesser Damage to Clothes
When it comes to cleaning clothes, you can enjoy a more efficient way of cleaning clothes and this uses lesser water in the process. Also, there is lesser wear and tear on clothing when a washing machine cycle is run as compared to top loading machines. This is because there is no central agitator that is available in a front loading machine. This central agitator is a large central post with wide rubber fins that spin in a quick and halt pattern during the wash cycle. These agitators catch stray threads and rip clothes apart. On the other hand, the gravity-aided tumble front load washer is much more gentle on your clothes.
Larger Load Capacity
Since you can load much more in a front load machine, this will allow you to fit more clothing into the compartment. The biggest benefit is that you can reduce the number of cycles or enjoy not having to overload your machine and do repeated cycles in a day.
Water and Energy Efficiency
These front loading machines are built for efficiency. It uses only one-third the amount of detergent, energy, and water as compared with top loading machines. Even though the initial investment may be higher, the efficiency of this washer will pay back itself in terms of money saved from water, energy and shopping bills. Top loading machines use 30 to 40 gallons of water per wash. Front loading machines use half of that amount. Plus, in terms of energy, there is a significant difference between the two. Those savings will pay for themselves many times over and more conscious Americans would realize that it has a high energy rating with the Energy Star Program.
With a front loading machine, you would incur fewer expenses in terms of repairs as there would be fewer repairs. This is because it uses gravity to toss clothing instead of using the central agitator feature in top loading machines. This is due to the fact that agitators are tougher on the machine’s hardware. Also, since there are so many new parts, this means that there are more parts that can break in the process.
There is a significant amount of noise that a top loading machine has when it is running a wash. In fact, with a front loading machine, you can go to bed without worrying and wake up the following day. There are a number of front load washers that have a vibration control and a way to stabilize the internal drum so that the entire unit does not rattle your floors when it is running. They are specially designed and can work even in a closet and in suboptimal locations which could make your machine rattle.
More Cycles and Features
There are some amazing features that only come with front loading washing machines. These include steam setting, self-cleaning cycles, reversible washer doors that you can use effectively for your customizable laundry room.
Cons of Front Loading Washing Machines
As a homeowner, if you are concerned about long-term savings on energy bills, lesser noise, fewer repairs, more features and cleaner clothes then you should use a front load washer. But, there are some limitations and drawbacks:
In terms of pricing, front loading machines will come with a set of features that are non-existent in top loading machines. But, this would add to the initial cost and you would save over the lifetime of the machine based on its usage.
When it comes to the cycle, the front loading laundry cycles take up more time. When the barrel spins, the clothing hits the water momentarily. It is because of this process that the clothes get cleaner and have less wear and tear. You should consider if you can deal with this and make the trade-off.
Laundry at the Last Minute
If you use the front load washer, it needs to stay closed to retain water. This means that you cannot add more clothes once it starts. This is possible with top loaders. This cannot be necessarily called a feature but it does not take any effort to load the machine and hit the Start button again. This can be very convenient if you forget to add clothes and hence you would not have to run another cycle to clean clothes.
Quick Summary: Front Load vs Top Load Washers
There are few exceptions that work in both ways but when it comes to basic generalizations, these are general perceptions:
- Top-Load Washers are less expensive, harsher on clothes, have fewer features and has a higher long-term cost of ownership
- While on the other hand, front-load washers are more expensive, contain more features, more water and energy efficient and gentler on clothes, and less noisy
How about Washer-Dryer Combos?
There are several homes that would rather have two separate machines and express that it cannot match the performance of its separate counterparts. Though the washing machine performance is comparable with front loaders, there is a combination of the machine’s drying functions that are noteworthy. Here are some of the Pros and Cons of Washer-Dryer Combos:
- Combo machines usually match the washing performance of stand-alone washing machines
- You can save the space of two appliances
- With a combo machine, you can use the wash or dryer separately. This means that they do not have to be combined
- If you look at the purchase and running costs it is the equivalent to owning a separate front load washer and condenser dryer
- There is a limited drying capacity that is similar to that of washers
- The dryer component will dry only half the capacity of a washer
- Combos use a lot of water compared to regular washers of up to 210 liters. This is because the dryer’s condenser mechanism will use water from the tap for cooling
- A heat pump washer dryer combo does not use water to dry but is extremely expensive
- Energy efficiency ratings rate the water used for the washing machine component and not the dryer
- The combination of the wash and dry cycles takes a long time. This can range from three to six hours
- There are few combos that are too large to fit in certain places in your home
- You should know that washer-dryer combos are the least reliable laundry appliance. It accounts for 22% of owners that have experienced breakdowns and other problems. Owners have had a much lower level of satisfaction than a front or top loader owner.
Suitability of Washer-Dryer Combos
Before you venture out and buy your washer-dryer combo, you should check whether your machine can be used effectively in your home. You need to determine if this works out if your home is small or a holiday home where you will not be in a rush for laundry. You may also have to do this for homes that hardly use the dryer function and people with mobility problems. In terms of space, if a clothes dryer is the last resort then a washer-dryer combo would be the best option. This would be a better option than having to buy two separate appliances. Not only will the washer and dryer be quicker, it will have different washing and drying cycles in order for it to be more efficient. You need to decide. Other advantages of the washer-dryer combos would be its versatility, compactness, and efficiency. Since these combo units are no longer necessary, it will not take up a lot of space and it will not be too time consuming or costly.
Benefits of a Washer-Dryer Combo
The best part about a washer-dryer is that there are several options that you can choose from in the market. You can save a lot of space in the home and these units are strong, versatile and high in efficiency. Units have a horizontal axis drum which is easier on clothes and cleans better. Here are the many benefits that a washer-dryer combo includes:
1. Several Options
You can choose between different products out there in the market that relate to laundry. This is important because there are several options to choose from. This will make it extremely easy for you to find a unit which suits your specific needs. A combo unit will have several load capacities and it helps you meet several customer needs. This makes it a clear winner as it has both dryer and washer capabilities. Though there are several functions that differ from unit to unit, you will have to determine specific needs when you finally know what washer-dryer combo you would like to buy.
2. Saves Space
Whether you have a small or large home, space saved is a huge advantage for most homeowners. In fact, it is one of the major benefits that you gain when you buy a washer-dryer combo. Traditional washers and dryers are normally large and they are over-sized but a combo washer-dryer machine is usually the size of a dishwasher and this means that you can simply store it under a kitchen counter and out of plain sight.
3. Water and Electricity Efficiency
In terms of efficiency, combo units have two distinct advantages and that is electricity and water usage. Most Combo units use less water and use the latest technologies which are available in front load washers. This makes them more efficient than regular units and it requires only 115-volt plug instead of a standard 230-volt plug.
4. Incredibly Versatile
With a Combo washer-dryer unit, you can use several options that are used in individual washers and dryers. They can be easily portable and are more convenient and versatile. You can bring them out when needed for use and store them away from plain sight. This makes it really convenient and saves valuable space in your home.
5. Uses Horizontal Axis Drum
A combo washer-dryer uses a horizontal axis drum and they are much gentler on clothes that are washed. This is because clothes are washed with it being pulled out of the water and pushed back in it again repeatedly. This gentler method is similar to the washboard action and is an added benefit and advantage of using the combo units that are available.
6. Easy to Use
The most important point is that it uses a two-in-one unit that makes it a simpler process instead of two separate units. Hence, these units have a delay timer that you need to set. These timers allow homeowners to set the washer dryer combo to complete its cycle for whatever time they wish.
How Does a Home Warranty Help You?
By choosing a washing machine, a dryer or a combo washer-dryer, you will be able to simply leave your home for work and return to a freshly completed load. You should choose one that is within your budget and saves space. Also, efficiency and versatility are important and so is ease of use.
But, if your washing machine or dryer goes out of the warranty period then you need a home warranty that would cover any repair and ensure that it is working well. Simply request for a free quote on HomeWarrantyReviews.com by submitting your email address and zip code.
You can determine the best home warranty based on where you reside. If you are a home warranty owner then you should submit your review on the company page. Also, if you have any questions then you can leave your comments below and we are happy to revert to them.
If washing machines have advantages like convenience and time saving, then it also has its disadvantages. Some disadvantages of washing machine are the electricity consumption, detergent powder, and much water it needs. Just think of how much convenience it can give you than the normal hand washing of clothes.
Although a set is more expensive, the energy costs are considerably lower than those of a washer dryer combo. In the long term, you’ll save money. You’ll also have clean clothes faster if you have separate devices.
Front load machines are more efficient at cleaning clothes, and impart much less wear and tear on clothing than their top-loading counterparts. The reason: the lack of the central agitator present in top load washers.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Samsung Washer and Steam Dryer at Home Depot
- Best Smart Top-Loading: GE Washer and Smart Dryer at Home Depot
- Best High-End: Bosch 800 Series Front Load Compact Pair at Home Depot
- Best Energy Efficient: Whirlpool 3.5-cubic feet Washer and Dryer at Lowes
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