Top-load high-efficiency machines use 12 to 17 gallons of water, whereas a standard top-load washer averages 40 gallons per load.
There are two types of top-load washers: agitator and impeller/high efficiency (HE). In agitator models, the agitator rubs against the clothes to get them clean. Impeller (or HE) models utilize drum motions to rub the clothes against each other.
An Energy Star certified top-loader tumbles or rotates clothes through a stream of water rather than filling the drum. The temperature and water level are monitored through sensors. A high-pressure spray rinses the garments rather than soaking them in a tub full of water.
Front load washers use around 13 gallons of water per load. Because the front-loader spin cycle is so fast, it wrings most of the water out of the clothes, which means they need less time in the dryer. Some manufacturers claim their washers allow users to cut drying time by up to half.
Tip from Sweet Jennifer – though front loaders are wonderful in the way they clean and save water, it is a challenge to keep the front gasket clean of mold. There are things you can do to minimize the problem; regular cleaning of the gasket and leaving the door ajar, but keeping them clean is an ongoing issue with these units. Also, consider purchasing the boosters to raise the machines to make the opening easier for the elderly in your home to access.
If you are in the market to buy a new washer, look for “high efficiency (HE)” and “Energy Star Certified” rated models. It does not matter which style you choose. Both designations refer to the amount of energy used relative to conventional washers with a center-mounted agitator. Be sure to buy detergent with the HE logo.
Front-loaders are not as costly by comparison to top-load models as they used to be. US News noted in their “Best Washing Machines of 2021” article that top loaders range from $749 to $949 and up. Front-loaders start at $799 and escalate to $1,800 and up.
In Arizona, water conservation is important. Because there is less water to heat and they use up to 50 percent less electricity than top loaders, a front loader pays for itself in savings.