Are You Buying a Washing Machine?
Much of the cost of running your washing machine is due to the energy spent heating the water. It can take ten times as much energy for a warm cycle over a cold wash; depending on who your energy supplier is this could work out at around 20 cents or more for each wash. If you prefer warm washing your clothes, then it’s important to choose an energy-efficient washing machine.
Choosing Your Washing Machine
- Choose the Right Size
Find a washing machine that is the right size for your needs.
- Compare the water and energy rating labels
The energy and water efficiency of a washing machine is rated in stars. Therefore the more stars, the more efficient the machine and the less it costs to run it. Every washing machine comes with an energy rating label featuring the star rating and how much energy is consumed during a standard wash.
- Spin Speed
A washing machine with over 1000rpm spin speed is going to remove a lot of water, thus reducing drying time and – if you use a dryer – the costs of drying.
- Cold Wash
It’s important to choose a machine that allows you to perform a cold wash cycle.
- Load Size Selection/Auto-Sensing
Some washing machines allow you to choose the size of your load or are able to detect it automatically. This reduces the amount of water and energy needed.
- Tips for Solar Water Heaters, Wetbacks, and Heat Pump Water Heaters
If you have one of these heaters then you should consider a washing machine that comes with a cold and hot water connection. This reduces the length of the wash and the cost per wash. Look at the maximum hot water inlet temperature and ensure that you have a tempering valve on your own hot-water system. Because if a washing machine only has a single water connection then it should be connected to the cold water.
- ENERGY STAR®
If you want the very best in washing machine efficiency then you need to choose an ENERGY STAR® certified machine.
Which is Better; Top Loader or Front Loader?
Top loading machines have dominated the market for many years, but now there are plenty of great reasons that you should consider switching to a front loading washing machine.
The Pros and Cons of Top Loaders
- Use more water and energy
- Wears out clothes faster
- Comes with cold wash cycles
- Washes clothes faster
- Typically offers hot and cold water connections
The Pros and Cons of Front Loaders
- Uses less water and energy
- Gentler on clothes
- Slower washing time
- Generally washes clothes better, but every washing machine has to perform to a minimum standard
- There are a few that only have cold water connections and if you want a hot wash you must use the internal heater
Washer-dryers offer the best of both worlds; combining a front-loading washing machine with a clothes dryer. They feature integrated condenser dryers that avoid releasing moisture into the air of the room. The heat exchanger is cooled using water, which means water is used in both washing and drying clothes. Washer-dryers are a good choice for tight spaces that don’t have enough room for two individual appliances, but they can take a very long time to dry clothes.
How to Use Your Washing Machine Smartly
- Use cold water to save energy
Because warm and hot washes remove dirt and detergent from within the machine, they should be performed every fifth wash (for warm washes) or every tenth wash (for hot washes) to keep the machine clean.
- Wash full loads
Wash as many clothes at once as you can, rather than splitting the load into smaller loads.
- Adjust water levels
Make the amount of water match the size of your load.
- Try grouping clothes
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