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(Front load vs Top load)-Why front load washing machine is costly?

    January 16, 2024; AZMAIN AHNAF

    There are legit reasons behind the more expensive price tag of the front load washers, and here’s why.

    Front-load washing machines are expensive because of sophisticated engineering and expensive building materials. Additionally, they have highly advanced features to ensure better wash, energy, and water efficiency.

    Below I have explained the key components that make the price of front load washers slightly higher. 

    Why are front load washing machines expensive?

    The drum of a front load washer remains horizontally. Instead of having a vertical agitator like top-load washers, the front-load machines use gravity to shuffle clothes. 

    Additionally, they require a very minimum amount of water at the bottom portion of the drum.

    Due to this mechanism, the drum remains attached with sturdy shock absorbers and springs to stay balanced. 

    These combinations are far more complicated than a front loader machine, where the drum remains on a ball bearing with few components.

    As a result, the front loader machines can clean better and provides a longer lifespan. Also, the brands integrate advanced functionalities to only the front-loader variants.

    So the price of front loader washers is high.

    Note: Few brands have simple front-loader machines with basic functionalities. They are not that expensive, even cheaper than a few advanced top loaders from prestigious brands.

    Below I have explained several complicated mechanisms and features of front load washers to understand the expansiveness more clearly.

    Horizontal Drum with Shock Absorber

    Here’s a straightforward explanation of the complicated engineering of the horizontal drum of a front load washer.

    The central weight gets imbalanced when you put clothes inside the horizontal drum. Though, that does not cause a problem with a slower RPM spin during the washing cycle. 

    But, during the rinse cycle, the drum must be spun too fast to create a centrifugal force. Then the imbalanced weight might cause trouble like shaking the machine tremendously or damaging internal components.

    So, the motor remains connected with a pre-programmed speed controller (or with the Inverter in more expensive models), and the drum holder remains attached to multiple shock absorbers.

    How does the front loader avoid shakings and sounds?

    Before the high RPM rinse spin cycle, the speed controller increases the spin too gradually so that the weight gets distributed as equally as possible inside the drum.

    The rest balancing process gets done by the advanced shock absorber. 

    Thus the horizontal drum spins too smoothly and is almost soundless considering a top load washer. Undoubtedly these complex engineering increases the price of a front loader washer.

    Direct drive motor

    It’s a very new technology; only a few prestigious brands, like LG, Samsung, etc., have very minimum front loader models with direct drive motors.

    Instead of a belt drive motor, those advanced models contain a brushless motor that remains attached to the back of the drum. 

    A direct drive motor eliminates the noise level during operation, the jarking during the rinsing period, and most importantly, the headache of replacing the belt and clutch after certain years.  

    Belt drive motor

    Though it’s common among most of the front-load washers, they are not as simple as the top loaders.

    In this case, the motor itself remains attached to multiple springs so that it can adjust its position during the rinse cycle. Otherwise, the jarking due to the high RPM spin might damage or detach the setup badly. 

    Integration of Inverter

    Almost all popular brands are promoting a term called “Intelligent Inverter” along with their front load washer. This mechanism is known as VFD or variable frequency drive in the electrical engineering community.

    The Inverter allows the motor of the front load washer to change its speed and torque by changing the input frequency instead of modifying the voltage. 

    The brands call it “Intelligent Inverter” cause an adjacent sensor can measure the amount or weight of the clothes when the drum makes a test spin before any washing/rinsing cycle. 

    Then the Inverter utilizes the power very efficiently according to the exact amount of your clothing.  

    In short, if you need to wash a single T-shirt, the intelligent Inverter allows the washer to consume minimum electricity instead of its total capacity. 

    If you increase the number of clothes, the Inverter increases the power accordingly. Thus it minimizes 70% power consumption than a simple top load washer. 

    Door with Water Sealing Gasket

    The door of the front load washer remains just forward to the drum. During the washing or rinsing cycle, the front load washer’s drum remains almost half full of water.

    So expensive door locking technology and a rubber gasket is essential to seal the front load washer’s door.

    Also, all the front load washers have an electronic door locking mechanism.

    All of these raise manufacturing expenses.

    Weight Balancing Mechanism

    Despite having multiple shock absorbers attachments, front loader machines require a fine-tuned weight balance to keep standing on the floor smoothly during high RPM spins.

    So the manufacturers position every single piece of equipment of a front load washer with engineering measurements. 

    Also, the feet of front load washers have rubber pads that work like suction cups. All these segments protect the washer from any unusual movements during operation.

    Heavier Chassis

    The main frame of the front load washers is made of a solid stainless steel beam. There are multiple reasons behind that.

    In commercial uses, the heavy chassis allows the laundry shops to keep the front load washer attached to the wall, or sometimes one above another. 

    Even in residential uses, most front load washers are attachable to a dryer. In this case, the dryer could be attached to the top of the front load washer.

    The heavier chassis helps the front load washer to survive this circumstance easily.

    Drain line water pump

    All the front load washers have a built-in pump at their drain line.

    Due to the alignment of the drum, the front load washer can’t pass the water using gravity like top loaders. 

    So the drainage pump sucks the waste water and throws it out automatically after the washing or rinsing period. 

    Integrated Water Heater

    Though almost 95% of washers currently offer hot water wash features, prestigious front load washers have better durable and performer PTC heating elements. 

    These heating elements allow the front load washer to raise the water temperature quickly. As a result, you get a shorter washing cycle and energy savings.

    Integrated Hot Air Producer

    Very few front load washers have drying features, and those models contain a hot air producer heating chamber.

    Few 2.4 cubic feet front load washers from LG, Samsung, Haier, and Media offer drying features. It allows you to get wearable dry clothes instantly after the wash cycle.

    Bubble Generator

    Firstly Samsung introduced this feature as Ecobubble technology; then, several other brands integrated this under different names.

    In this procedure, an ultrasonic device generates foam by mixing water, air, and detergent. As a result, the surface tension of water gets reduced, and the clothes can soak the mixture easily. Undoubtedly it impacts positively on cleaning performance. 

    Though the feature is available in both advanced front and top load washers of Samsung, other prestigious brands only integrate this module into the front loaders. 

    Smart Automatic Functionalities

    Advanced Touch Panel: Instead of physical buttons like the top loader, the front loader models are now coming with an excellent touch panel with a digital display to control all the functionalities. Despite having a few cons, it’s more beneficial to users. 

    Wifi Integration: Like all other smart home appliances, front load washers have wifi integration. It allows you to connect the washer with google home, amazon Alexa, or Apple Siri. You can control your entire washer with a few voice commands on busy days.

    Are the extra expense of front loader washers worth it? 

    The straight answer is YES. 

    With a slightly higher cost, you will get multiple times better wash, better durability, many advanced features, and a lot of power and water efficiency.

    However, a washer lasts for decades. You won’t have to change it for longer than 12+ years. 

    So, a slight expensiveness for such a long-term asset is worthy because it delivers many conveniences.

    Final Verdict

    All the features I’ve explained above are primarily available in front load washers. So they are more expensive than top loaders.

    Few advanced top load washers have few of these advanced features. But if you want all of these in one, the front load washer is your only option to choose.

    Azmain Ahnaf is a Software Engineer and a passionate blogger who likes sharing tips and tricks and home appliances-related topics in handytalker blog. He believes that sharing knowledge with each other can create the world much easier!

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