What a difference a door makes -- that's what homeowners are discovering when shopping for new laundry appliances. Before deciding among different makes and models, the first decision for many shoppers is the choice between a top-load and a front-load washer.
Long the standard in American homes, top-load washers are still much like the original electric powered machines introduced in the 1920s in that they feature an agitator. Top-loaders submerge clothes in a full tub of water and rely on the agitator to twist and pull clothes through the soapy water. These two features are also the biggest drawbacks. Since the top-loader's basin must completely fill with water, it can use up to 45 gallons of water per load. The agitator's rough, jerking motion subjects clothes to added wear, tear and potential damage.
The end result: top-loaders are cheaper to purchase, but cost more money to operate.
Instead of an agitator, front-load washing machines use sophisticated systems to gently flip and spin clothes through a shallow pool of water. This gentle tumbling motion helps lengthen the life of often-washed items and allows many models to safely clean silk, wool and other hand-washables.
While front-load washers tend to cost more initially, their energy and water savings over the life of the machine will save more money over time. Even with the reduced water levels, front-loading machines are able to wash the same amount of laundry per load, if not more, due to the absence of a bulky agitator.
Vision, the ENERGY STAR-qualified full-size front-load washer from Bosch, uses only 13 gallons of water for an average-sized load. Advanced energy-saving technology like EcoSmart uses a network of sensors and intelligent controls that continually analyze how full the load is and the suds level in the water. By automatically adjusting the water temperature, water level and rinse cycles, Vision minimizes the amount of water and energy to get clothes absolutely clean. In fact, Bosch is the most energy- and water-efficient brand of full-size front-load washers in the U.S. Front-load washers are known to reduce energy consumption by more than 40 percent but with features such as EcoAction, Vision's energy usage is cut by an additional 20 percent.
The end result: front-loaders are perfect for families looking to save on energy and water bills while machine washing a broad variety of laundry.