Which is the best economical and heavy duty washing machine suitable for my home is a question that can easily stir up one’s mind, especially that of the ladies’ because so many brands make these machines these days. Also, what makes the buying decision even more difficult is the availability of different types of washing machines among:- Fully automatic- Top loading, Front loading and Semi automatic in almost every price range.
You would be glad to know that my father works at a company that manufactures home appliances like geysers, washing machines, microwaves. So at home, we frequently have a conversation about commercial appliances, what goes into making them, how brands try to do cost cutting etc.
Today, I’ll try my best to pass on the knowledge that I have acquired from my father over the years, to you so as to help you make a good decision.
So without further a do, let’s begin,
There are Pros and Cons of each type and I would try my best to help you in making an informed decision.
The Fully automatic washing machines contain a single motor which is capable of doing both spinning as well as washing activities. These machines do all the work by themselves with no manual intervention required. Fully automatic washing machines come in two configurations, namely, front loading and top loading.
Let us take a look at them one by one.
- Top Loading (Fully automatic)
These are of two types: Agitators and Impellers
Agitators are devices which puts objects into motion, here clothes. They have a pole with fins that protrudes from the bottom of the drum and moves the clothes around. (see the image above)
Impellers have propellers at the bottom, which churns the water to move the clothes. An impeller is a low-profile rotating hub. The vanes of the impeller create turbulent currents in the wash water as the impeller rotates, these currents move the clothes through the water and clean them without the impeller making physical contact with the clothes.
PROS: You can add clothes midway through the wash cycle. They have a shorter wash cycle. Top loaders are better for your back as the door is on the top of the machine, there’s less bending needed to get your clothes in and out.
CONS: They use a lot of water. Those with agitators are rougher on clothes, while impellers are good for delicate materials, but tend to tangle clothes.
- Front loading (Fully Automatic)
In these machines, the drum rotates, tumbling the clothes to clean them.
PROS: These are the most energy- and water efficient and also wash the cleanest. Most of them have a built-in heater to heat water. They have a large capacity — some front-loaders can fit as many as 15 bed sheets in one load.
CONS: These washing machines are more expensive than the others and require a permanent water connection and the pressure of the water has to be high. You cannot add clothes midway through a cycle. Front loaders are heavy and cannot be moved easily.
- Semi Automatic
These are the entry-level washing machines and have two tubs, one for washing and the other for drying. So you need to keep shifting the clothes. You have to add the water to the tub before washing your clothes, and then will have to drain it when the cycle is finished.
PROS: These don’t need a permanent water connection and also use less water than the fully automatic ones. You can also closely regulate the wash cycle in this type of washing machine, which ensures that you don’t end up using more power than required. They are also the cheapest and usually cost Rs 5,500-12,000.
CONS: These machines require manual intervention. They are also bigger in size and need more space, though they have wheels for mobility. Only Top loading feature exists, no front loading.
Personally, I would rather suggest you to not go for the semi-automatic one, as the manual intervention and labor required in these machines outweigh their lesser cost. At my home I have a Top Loading washing machine and it has been doing its job perfectly fine since the past 4 years, I just once had to get its top door replaced as my younger sister had put a steel bucket full of dirty clothes soaked in water on the top door which lead the door to succumb to its injuries. Apart from that everything is good with the washing machine.
Having said that, I would like to zero down on just a few products, each of Front Loading and Top Loading, that offer the most bang for the buck, here they are:-