Washing machines have come a long way from being merely luxury goods in every household to being an absolute need. They have emerged as an integral part of every household in this era, and a household remains incomplete without one. However, if you are looking for a new washing machine, you would have probably learned about the different styles and options available to you.
And while researching different types of washing machines, you must have come across 2 specific variants- Direct drive washing machines and Belt drive washing machines. We know it is confusing as to what to choose and which is better. In this article, we’ll be exploring everything about both the models and reviewing direct drive vs belt drive washing machines in detail that will help you choose the suitable one for you and your family.
What is a Direct Drive Washer?
Direct drive washers are known to be the epitome of washer advancement and technology. The design of direct-drive washers is considerably simpler.
These washers have a tub linked directly to the motor, which significantly reduces the number of parts that might wear down, along with increasing its energy efficiency and dependability. There is no energy transmission via a transmission assembly to the drum in the case of direct drive washing machines.
Consequently, the setup of direct drive washers does not have as many moving components as other types of washing machines. Direct drive washing machines are highly durable and long-lasting in nature. However, only trained personnel can handle the broken parts of such a washing machine. Since the motor and the shaft powering the drum are connected below/behind the basin, direct drive washers are structurally symmetrical in appearance and help in reducing unnecessary noise during the washing cycle.
What is a Belt Drive Washing Machine
As the name suggests, the motor of the belt-drive washing machines is driven by a belt. This makes these machines very easy to handle and excellent for individuals who like to handle their repairs by themselves.
Belt-drive technology was innovated along with the production of conventional washing machines. This results in the training of all standard technicians on these models, which reduces technicians’ costs.
Belt drive machines also have cheaper parts because they have been in production for a considerably longer period now. Due to lower-cost components, the overall price of belt-drive washing machines decreases substantially. However, the belts tend to break or tear down more often, due to which you are bound to perform more repairs. In addition, their lifespan is quite less as compared to the other types.
Direct Drive Vs Belt Drive Washing Machine: Which is Better?
Areas where Direct Drive Washing Machines are Better?
Direct drive washing machines are 28% more energy efficient when compared to belt drive washing machines. If you look at Energy Star ratings, you’ll see that nearly all of the energy-efficient top-ranked models are direct-drive versions.
The spinning speed of direct drive washers is 8% more efficient than the belt drive washers. There are fewer moving components in a direct drive machine’s arrangement. As the motor is connected directly to the spinning drum, it can facilitate the transfer of power without any substantial power loss during the transmission.
Therefore, these machines are well known for having higher spinning speeds that aid in extracting more moisture from the fabrics during washing cycles. It thereby reduces dryer load and helps to conserve electricity as well.
The chances of wear and tear of the components are less in the case of direct drive washing machines. This is because they contain fewer moving parts within the machine. Direct drive washers tend to vibrate less and can manage uneven loads more effectively. Whereas if we talk about belt drive machines, chances of wear and tear are considerably higher, with the belt being the usual culprit.
Areas Where Belt Drive Is Better Than Direct Drive Washers?
Belt drive washing machines are mostly appreciated for their budget-friendly prices. Here, a direct drive washer is 38% costlier than a belt-drive model. Nonetheless, the reason behind the increasing costs is not just direct-drive motor technology.
As direct drive washers are more efficient in their function, they remain the top choice for manufacturers in the latest model ranges. Due to this reason, they are expected to contain and are also fitted with superior features and functions such as steam wash and specialized cycles. Hence, the higher prices can be attributed to a combo of these features.
As belt-drive washing machines are conventional machines that have been in the market for quite a long time now, the standard technicians are well versed with these models and their repairing procedures. Hence, the repair cost is much less than the direct drive washing machines.
Also, the reason for the improved performance of a direct drive motor is its direct connection to the washer drum. This results in less energy loss, improved spinning speeds, decreased wear and wear, and increased energy efficiency during power transmission. This, however, is also the reason why repairs are expensive if they truly break down.
The most common reason behind the wear and tear of a belt-driven machine is the belt itself, which costs around INR 1500-3200. Whereas in the case of direct drive washers, the problem can arise from a different set of features and parts, including bearings, sensors, electrical motor windings, etc. People usually have a hard time finding replacements to these parts without an expert’s assistance.
Pros and Cons Of Direct Drive And Belt Drive Washing Machines
In order to understand different aspects of direct drive vs belt drive washing machines, we need to first have an overall idea about the pros and cons of both variants separately.
Direct Drive Washing Machine
- High durability
- Longer life span
- Soundless and vibrationless operation
- Available in a variety of features
- High spinning speed
- Energy efficient
- Great washing efficiency
- Larger tub sizes
- Expensive product
- Expensive repairing costs
- Dependence on uninterrupted electricity
Belt Drive Washing Machine – Pros and Cons
- Low maintenance cost
- Low repairing cost
- Absorption of vibration
- Can manage high loads
- High chances of wear and tear
- High noise
- Low mechanical efficiency
Direct Drive or Belt Drive: Which One Is Better?
In the battle of direct drive vs belt drive, everything comes down to your requirements and preferences. A belt-powered washer might be the best solution for a single person or small family (of 2 or 3 individuals). But a direct drive washer is certainly the best choice for most bigger households. There are 4 basic reasons that can explain this split opinion.
- The direct drive washing machines use 28% less power than a belt-drive washing machine. This means they are highly energy-efficient and inexpensive to operate as well.
- They have faster-spinning speeds, due to which they are much more capable of extracting moisture from the fabric during a washing cycle.
- Due to lesser moving parts, they make less or no noise, absorb vibration, and are less susceptible to wear and tear.
- Direct drive washers cost around 38%, on average, more than the belt drive washers. Therefore, it would be wise to buy a belt-drive model if your usage remains on the lower side.
How To Check If Your Washer Is Direct Drive Or Belt Drive?
You may use the following ways if you want to discover the drive type of any washing machine model.
- Consider checking the buyer’s Q&As available on different websites. You will find, in most of the case, a question related to this.
- Go through the manual provided by the manufacturer. You can get the manuals from their websites.
- Check websites where replacement materials are sold. If you discover a washing belt that is offered as a replacement for your model, you can conclude that the model you want is a belt-drive washing machine model.
If you live alone or have a small household, a belt-drive washing machine will be the most inexpensive as well as efficient model for you. Nevertheless, if you live in a large family that demands the washing of tons of clothes, a direct drive will work extremely well for this purpose and be the best option for you.