Washing Machines: Should You Buy A Front Loader or Top Loader?

Front Load (F/L) washers use much less water and energy, yet clean better and are gentler on clothes.

  • They use less water than a top loader; this  means less water to heat, thus also saving energy.
  •  They are gentler on clothes and wash better, and the absence of a harsh agitator is the difference here. The tumbling action cleans better and does less damage. You can see this effect by the reduced lint in a dryer filter.
  • They spin out more water before going into a dryer; this means faster drying times using less energy.
  • They require high-efficiency detergent (low sudsing) because suds use water; low-sudsing detergent is a major way that front loaders are made better cleaners with less water.
  • All washers have some propensity to mildew, and F/L washers are a little more prone. This is resolved by leaving the washer door ajar when not in use. (Top loaders should keep the lids open for the same reason.)

As asides

  • F/L washer capacities are listed in cubic feet, just like a top-load washer, but this is not a true volume. The physical volume of a top-loader tub may be 3.1 c.f., but the agitator takes up about 12% of that, meaning that the usable volume is nominally more like 2.7 c.f. The original classic front-loader (White-Westinghouse) was rated a 3.1 c.f., but was physically a 2.7. It’s about compatibility of load capacity, but in fact, the smaller actual volume of a F/L is much more useful and effective in the absence of an obstructive physical agitator. (You can effectively wash a small comforter in a nominal 3.1 c.f. F/L washer.) This is not so different from how TVs are measured diagonally because picture tubes were originally round.
  • NEVER dry anything on HIGH.
    • High heat shrinks cottons, even if they have been pre-shrunk.
    • High heat ruins elastics, shortening their useful life dramatically.
    • Even if a cotton or other garment won’t shrink in high heat, the thread stitching likely will. This is often what causes puckering in the shape even of towels and other items that you might think are fine in high heat.

In short, never dry above medium heat unless there is some compelling and overarching reason.

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#Thinkwing: Mon, 9/18/2017, 9PM @KPFTHouston 90.1FM. TOPICS: FEMA – What you need to know now and in the future. GUEST: PETER HERRICK, Jr. is communications specialist for FEMA [AUDIO/VIDEO]

SHOW AUDIO: Link is usually posted within about 72 hours of show broadcast. We take callers during this show at 713-526-5738.

Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show  airing live every Monday night from 9-10 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer is Bob Gartner.

Listen live on the radio or on the internet from anywhere in the world! When the show is live, we take calls at 713-526-5738. (Long distance charges may apply.)

Please take a moment to choose THINKWING RADIO from the drop-down list when you donate.Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show  airing live every Monday night from 9-10 PM (CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer is Bob Gartner.

TOPICS:  SUPPORT KPFT!  FEMA: What you need to know now and in the future.

(Part 2 of the Flood Control discussion is now tentatively scheduled for September 25th)

GUEST:   PETER HERRICK, Jr. is communications specialist for FEMA in Washington, DC. Mr. Herrick is out front for the agency in times of disaster, serving as an Agency spokesman and the External Affairs Officer on a response team. </spanHe has responded to recent disasters such as the West Virginia chemical spill, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. He has also worked on high profile topics such as the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station biennial exercise and the 2015 Papal Visit.

For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:

  • You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
    Houston Mayor Annise Parker [L] with Mike, just before the show. (Dec. 14, 2015)

    Houston Mayor Annise Parker [L] with Mike, just before the show. (Dec. 7, 2015)

  • An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.

SIGNOFF QUOTE[s]:

“Insurance is just another way of saying, ‘We’re all in this together.’” ~ Michael R Honig, 9/17/2017  

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#Thinkwing Radio: Mon, 9/21/2015, 9PM @KPFTHouston FM 90.1. TOPIC(s): When Green…Isn’t?, Syrian Refugees, When Worlds Collide?, What is the future of Journalism, and more. GUEST: Open Forum [AUDIO]

THINKWING RADIO MOVED TO MONDAYS @ 9-10 PM, BEGINNING 4/13/2015.

SHOW AUDIO: 

Link is usually posted within about 72 hours of show broadcast.

Listen live on the radio or on the internet from anywhere in the world! When the show is live, we take calls at 713-526-5738. (Long distance charges may apply.)

Welcome to Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show (every Monday night from 9-10PM CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer and discussion partner is Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies).

For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:

  • You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
  • An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.

GUESTS: (More complete biographical info on my guests are below Source links.)

OPEN FORUM

POSSIBLE TOPICS: 

  • When Green…Isn’t?
  • Syrian Refugees
  • When Worlds Collide?
  • What is the future of Journalism

SOURCES WHICH MAY BE RELEVANT TO OTHER DISCUSSION:

=======================================================

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#Thinkwing Radio: Mon, 8/31/2015, 9PM @KPFTHouston FM 90.1. TOPIC(s): First Time Homebuying Made Easy(er). GUEST: Brad Stevens, Real Estate Broker [AUDIO]

THINKWING RADIO MOVED TO MONDAYS @ 9-10 PM, BEGINNING 4/13/2015.

KPFT is your community radio station, and community is about where you live. With housing prices remaining strong in many cities and neighborhoods, it’s often a seller’s market, and interest rates may start ticking up soon for the first time in years.

Tonight’s program is for those folks who want to own a stake in their community in the form of their own home, but may not know where to begin, what assistance exists for them, or how to navigate the process.

SHOW AUDIO: 

Link is usually posted within about 72 hours of show broadcast.

Listen live on the radio or on the internet from anywhere in the world! When the show is live, we take calls at 713-526-5738. (Long distance charges may apply.)

Welcome to Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig (@ThinkwingRadio), a listener call-in show (every Monday night from 9-10PM CT) on KPFT-FM 90.1 (Houston). My engineer and discussion partner is Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies).

For the purposes of this show, I operate on two mottoes:

  • You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
  • An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.

GUESTS: (More complete biographical info on my guests are below Source links.)

Brad Stevens, REALTOR® and Licensed Real Estate Broker, has been a Landlord, property manager, listing agent, buyer’s agent and rehabber, but he started his career with a focus on first-time homebuyers. Clients he guided through the home-buying process may not have been able to purchase their dream home without first learning about some of the lesser-known advantages – yes, advantages – of being a first-time homebuyer.

POSSIBLE TOPICS:

  • Who is considered a first-time homebuyer? ANYONE WHO HAS NOT OWNED REAL ESTATE OF ANY KIND FOR AT LEAST 3 YEARS.
  • What types of loans are available for any buyer?
    • What are the general criteria for loans?
  • How does credit play into the process?
    • What if I don’t have bad credit but have NO credit history?
    • How much cash (of varying types) do I need in the bank?
    • What is my credit score and how do I find out?
    • How do I improve (or hurt) my credit score, and how can I make it more appealing to a lender?
  • Where do I get started with a lender (your bank may not be the best at home lending!!).
  • How much can I afford?
  • What are the advantages of being a first-time buyer in respect to special LEGITIMATE homebuyer programs?
    • Tax credits and deductions, etc.
  • Am I interested in a New or Existing home?
    • As a first-time homebuyer, does it matter to me?
    • New or used, know what you’re getting: Have your home inspected before you buy it.
  • What is the process of purchasing a home?
    • Pre-approval
    • Search (geography)
    • Offer
    • Executing Contract
    • Inspection
    • Appraisal
    • Closing
  • What mistakes to avoid?
    • Being hasty before your credit is sufficient.
    • Not selecting the right lender for your needs
    • Listening to your peanut gallery (friends, family, co-workers)

SOURCES WHICH MAY BE RELEVANT TO OTHER DISCUSSION:

=======================================================

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Microwave Ovens vs. Microwave/Convection Ovens vs. Microwave/Halogen Ovens

[12/8/2013: This article was modified for clarity.]

For about 10 years, I sold appliances, among other things. While model-specific knowledge has passed me by, I’m still familiar with many points relating to technology, applications, useful features, features to avoid, and user errors which create some problems.

For my Chinese in-laws, I sometimes suggest appliances which may be helpful to them, but which may not be common in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In such cases, I write ‘helpful hints’ emails to assist them in finding equivalents. In many cases, they must educate the Chinese sales people with whom they deal, who themselves may not be familiar with Western-style appliances which we take for granted. (As an example, only 1% of Chinese households have automatic dishwashers, and sales people are usually unfamiliar with how to use them  effectively and safely, let alone what features are useful for solving a customer’s  needs or desires.)

Below my bullet points, I’ve pasted some examples. If you live outside the United States, you will probably have to look for comparable domestically-available units.

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