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Buying an Energy Efficient Washing Machine - What to Look For

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Energy Efficiency and Your Washing Machine:

Washing machines are costly appliances to operate. The amount of water used and the energy consumed can take up a large chunk of any home energy bill. For those who use hot water to clean their laundry, that bill can skyrocket even higher since 90% of the energy used to wash a load of laundry comes from heating the water.

Front Loading Machines:

Top loading machines may be the most popular model of washing machines because of their lower purchase cost, but they are not the most economical choice. Front loading washers may cost a bit more at the store, but they are more energy efficient since they have a larger capacity meaning fewer loads need to be done, less water is used so there is less water to heat, and the higher speed spin cycle removes more water from the clean clothes easing the dryer's work load.

The Energy Guide Label:

By far the most important tool in choosing an energy efficient washing machine is the Energy Guide label. The information on this yellow sticker will give you information as to how much energy is consumed by that model (measured in kWh, how the specific washing machine compares to similar models, and an estimated yearly operating cost. This by far is the most valuable comparison tool since it is not created by the manufacturer but rather by the US Department of Energy.

Energy Star:

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that recognizes the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly appliances and electronics on the market. On an average, Energy Star washing machines use up to 50% less energy than their counterparts.

Load Auto-Sensor:

While most washing machines have a dial that allows the user to specify a small, medium, or large load of dirty clothes, this tool is often set at large and left there regardless of the size of the load.

There are washing machines available that use sensors to determine the size of a load of dirty clothes, and then add the appropriate amount of water to the washing machine. This allows the user to save on the energy used for the water pump. Also, if hot water is used it is not wasted.
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