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Do Front-Load Washers Consume More Energy?

In any home, it's important to have a functional machine that doesn't cause a spike in the electricity bill

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Photography: @vintagerevivals on Instagram and Remodelista via Pinterest (Main Photos)

Ever since laundromats have started popping up in Metro Manila, people have been curious about whether or not front-load washers are better choices over top-load washers. Now that the machines are more readily available in the Philippine market, it’s a valid question to ask. Is a front-load washer more efficient or does it use up more energy?


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Let’s break down how the front-load washer is different. From its name alone, it’s easy to tell that front-load washers load laundry through the door in front instead of the top. Given this, the placement of their tubs are also situated differently. Top-load washers have vertical tubs while front-load washers have horizontal tubs—a detail that poses a lot of benefits on the side of the front-load washer.

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The horizontal tub of front-load washers allows the machine to use gravity to help clean laundry by tossing the clothes around in an up and down motion. This means that it doesn’t require a lot of cycle energy to get dirt off of clothes and get the job done. Front-load washers also use considerably less water and detergent since it doesn’t need to fill up the tub to suspend the clothes (which is the case for top-load washers). It is said to use 15 to 22 gallons less water compared to its top-load contenders. So not only does it use less energy, it also uses less water.

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Front-load washers are also equipped with the muscle power to spin at over 1000 rpms compared to the 600-700 rpm speed of top-load washers. This results in faster spin cycle times (which means less energy used) and the clothes come out less wet than it would with a top-load washer. The good news? Your clothes dry faster when you leave them to hang.

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In addition to this, front-load washers don’t have the center agitator most top-load washers have.  Instead, front-load washers swirl clothes around in an up and down motion similar to hand washing which is gentler on fabrics. The center agitator of the top-load washer usually has paddles that break down fibers more vigorously, the reason why top-load washers produce more lint.


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Of course, there are also some pros to choosing top-load washers. High-efficient top-load washers in the market today no longer have center agitators. They are gentler on fabrics, plus these machines have more room for bigger laundry loads. Another pro is that you can pause your top-load washer midway through its cycle and open the door to put in a few pieces of dirty clothes you may have forgotten.

The choice is really a matter of priority. Top-load washers are still great machines and so are front-load washers. Whether or not you choose one or the other depends on your needs.

Main Photos: @vintagerevivals on Instagram and Remodelista via Pinterest

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