Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Front Load Washers: Worth the hype?

Laundry is a dirty word in my house.  It seems to be never ending, everyday I do it yet everyday there seems to be more to do.  I thought about taking my brood to join a nudist colony but after I thought of hot seats on a summer day on a nudist colony I decided that maybe we'd stick with wearing clothes.

If I have to wear clothes and wash them I may as well do it as cheap and efficiently as possible.  After much research, we bought a  Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer when we moved into our house last year and haven't been disappointed.  My BFF, Anne and her hubby just sold their house and are buying a new one, yah for them!  Along with the their lawnmower, and fountain  in the front yard (seriously?!?) the new owners wanted the laundry units to stay.  That leaves my pals in the laundry market.  Anne has been a long time fan of my front loader, her iron loathing husband a fan of the steam option on the dryer.  But they are stumped, is it the extra cost really worth it?  Being the analytical freak that I am, I scoured the Internet to find some data supporting the front load decision, after all, I didn't want to look like a fool for buying them to begin with.

I came across this website, Mr. Electricity, he gives many energy saving tips and ways to lower your electric bill.  He also had this nifty laundry cost calculator that I did, you simply answer a few questions about electric and water cost, number of loads you do...ect and he tells you how much you spend yearly doing laundry.
Here is a snapshot of mine:


As you can see, all the inputs are the same except the number of loads.  Front loaders don't have an agitator so you can get more in them so it is typically less loads. Dry time is also different, our front loader spins the clothes at such a high rate of speed that they are almost dry when we pop them in the dryer  so a cycle is usually 20 minutes or less.  Electric is a major cost savings but water is up there too.  Average top loader s suck up 40 gallons of water per use as compared to it's front loader cousin at 12!  That's over 1000 gallons of water difference per month for a typical family.

Next, I hopped on over to lowes.com so compare prices. A top load washer with capacity size to fit my family is between $599 and $699.  The front load Whirlpool steam washer we have is on sale for $799.  Dryers is where it gets tricky, no dryer is energy efficient but most people still want the pair to match, myself including. Dryers that would work for my family are again between $599 - $699 regular and $799 for my front load washer twin. 

The sticker price is a difference of  about $200 - $400.  According to my handy dandy calculator, I'll save that or almost that in the first year alone.  So, it seems like a no brainier.  But some things too keep in mind, I wouldn't run out to get a new set unless your old ones really need replaced.  Also, none of the models were bottom on the line, regular sets may be cheaper in the economy range and bottom barrel front loaders may have more repair issues.  

At the end of the day, I love my front loaders.  I use 1/3 of the recommended amount of detergent and still get great results.  The design of the machine is more gentle on your clothes so they last longer.  When the swine flu hit our house last year I worked the sanitary feature on overtime to make sure it didn't spread.  And, best of all, we got a sweet deal on ours and we plan to keep them for a while.  

Here they are in our laundry room (we have the pedestals too):

1 comment:

  1. Well Kellie Pickler has one.....a red one. Just watch this video it is the funniest interview ever, she will tell you all about her washer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqqRMXMmlZQ.

    Have a good day Stacy!