5 Facts to Know About High-Efficiency Washers

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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If your washing machine is more than 12 years old, it’s using approximately 27 more gallons of water to wash a load of clothes than today’s most energy-efficient models. With the average American family washing almost 400 loads of laundry each year, that’s an extra 10,800 gallons of water going down your drain annually.

It’s no wonder high-efficiency (HE) washers are now dominating the marketplace. According to Consumer Edge Research, 44 percent of U.S. households had high-efficiency washing machines at the end of 2013, and that number is growing by about two percent per year.

Whether you already have an HE washer or you’re in the market for one, here are five important facts you should know about these machines.

HE washers use 35 to 50 percent less water than traditional agitator washers

But the efficiency doesn’t stop there: Because there’s less water to heat, energy use can be as little as 20 percent to 50 percent of that required by traditional agitator washers.

To save more water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises choosing a clothes washer with a low water factor. The water factor is the number of gallons per cycle per cubic foot that a clothes washer uses.

If you have an HE machine, you need to use a detergent formulated for HE washers

At lower water levels, cleaning problems can occur if detergents create too many suds or if soils from the laundry can’t be completely rinsed out of the laundry and the washer.

Detergents for HE washers are lower sudsing than regular detergents, so they’re able to provide better cleaning and rinsing, and keep your machine in top condition. High-efficiency laundry detergents can be identified by the HE symbol on the detergent box or bottle.

HE washing machines can be either top-loading or front-loading

Top-loading models look like standard machines from the outside, but they use a different type of washing action to get clothes clean using less water and energy. Front-loading models lift and drop clothing into the water instead of rubbing clothes around an agitator.

Both top-loading and front-loading HE washers utilize faster spin cycles to extract more water out of the laundry, reducing dryer time and energy use.

HE washing machine capacities are generally larger than those of traditional washers

When choosing a washer, capacity is an important consideration. A large-capacity machine often means fewer loads to process, which requires less water, detergent and energy to wash and dry.

On the other hand, if you live by yourself or don’t do a lot of laundry, the half-empty drum of an oversized washer will waste water and energy.

To be labeled an HE laundry appliance, a washer must meet certain criteria and guidelines

HE guidelines related to water, electricity and detergent use are more stringent than Energy Star standards, so all HE appliances also wear the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Energy Star” compliance seal.

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