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When shopping for a new washer and dryer, you have a few options to consider, and each has their pros and cons. There are two main types of washers on the market currently: top-loading and front-loading.

Traditional top-loading washers, like can be divided into two subsets; those with an agitator, which clean by moving clothing around a central pole in the middle of the drum, and those with an impeller, which clean by whipping up the water to move clothes around with a propeller-like device at the bottom of the machine. Both subsets of machine work quickly, completing a 12-16lb load of laundry within 35 minutes.

The newer, high-efficiency top-loading washers, are heads and shoulders above their predecessors in both capability and capacity. They save in so many ways: using up to 50% less water and energy, slashing hot water usage, and requiring less detergent. They even aid reduction of your drying time, since they spin faster and wring out your laundry better. Because there is no center post agitator, since these models use a wash plate and a drum that rotates back and forth to toss and lift laundry around the tub, they can wash more: between 24 and 28lb loads!

Front-loading washers are automatically high-efficiency machines, and they also have the reputation for being the best at cleaning. Their method is to rotate laundry back and forth while allowing gravity to pull water through the clothing, meaning they can wash larger loads than a traditional top-loading machine, and they use less water and electricity, slash your hot water usage, and wring clothes out better as well. Because there is no agitator, they’re also very gentle on clothes.

Both electric and gas dryers use electricity to spin the drum and keep your clothing moving throughout the drying cycle, but electric dryers also use electricity to power the heater and fan that continually blows hot air through the machine, while gas dryers power these components use natural gas or propane. Gas dryers warm up more quickly and the cycle runs faster, saving you money in that aspect, though electric tends to be an easier install. Some of the most helpful innovations with clothes dryers is the addition of the drying rack inside the drum, allowing for drying shoes and other clunky items without the extra noise, and the steam cycle, which helps with removing stains and odors.

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