Top Loading or Front Loading
Top-load versus front-load is mostly a customer’s preference of ergonomics. Both platforms have models that offer capacity, cleaning performance, fabric care and energy and water efficiency. Front loaders offer more flexibility in configuration as they can be stacked to save space.
Conventional or High Efficiency
Conventional washers are top loading washers with agitators in the basket. These deep fill machines fill almost completely with water. This is the least efficient laundry platform, however, some may be ENERGY STAR® qualified. High Efficiency, or HE, washers are all ENERG Y STAR® qualified and use reduced amounts of water and energy, only using enough water to get the clothes saturated. They come in both top load and front load platforms. Top load HE washers use a wash plate to move the clothes around for cleaning while front loaders use tumble action to clean the clothes. Although conventional washers are less expensive to purchase, HE washers provide savings on the cost of water and energy throughout the life of the product; often enough to cover the incremental cost of the product.
Full Size or Compact
The size of the laundry area and the capacity needed are the key factors used to determine whether a full-size or compact washer is needed.
• Full‑size washers are generally 27‑inches wide and will handle from 12 to 20 pounds of laundry.• Compact, space-saving models are generally 24‑inches wide and will handle 8‑ to 12‑pound loads.
Side-by-Side or Stacked
Dimensions of the laundry area frequently dictate whether the side by side or stacked configuration will be used.
• Both top load and frontload can be set up with the washers and dryers side-by-side. The standard configuration is the washer on the left and the dryer on the right. Side swing dryer doors are right hinged to make access from the washer easier. Dryer doors are generally reversible to left hinge if the dryer is needed to be placed on the left. Frontload washer doors can only be reversed on a few select models.
• Front loaders in side-by-side configuration can also be placed on pedestals that raise the pair 10-15 inches, allowing for better access.
• Front loaders can also be stacked with the dryer on top of the washer. This requires that the washer and dryer be matched. It is usually best to reverse the dryer door when stacking so that the washer and dryer open from the same side. An optional stacking kit is also required.
• Laundry Centers combine a washer and dryer in one unit with a top loading washer on the bottom and a dryer on top.