The Energy Star Label:
The Energy Star
label has become the most sought after stamp of approval for appliances and electronics. Products that have earned this label have met certain critera that place them as the most energy efficient models in their product class.
Washing machines, like all appliances, have a very unique method for determining if a specific model can earn the Energy Star
label. To begin with, only front and top loading clothes washers with a capacity greater than 1.6 cubic feet can be qualified to earn an Energy Star
label. Also, the minimum modified energy factor (MEF)
for a washing machine is 1.42 in order to be considered an Energy Star
The variables used to determine MEF are as follows:
C - The capacity of the clothes container (remember this must be at least 1.6 cubic feet).
M - The sum of the machine electrical energy consumption.
E - The hot water energy consumption.
D - The energy required to remove the remaining moisture for a wash load.
Having all of the vairables in place, it is now time to plug them into the formula that the Federal Government uses to determine if the washing maching has earned the Energy Star
The MEF is found by dividing the capacity C
by the sum of M + E + D, or MEF = C/(M+E+D).
The higher the MEF number, the more energy efficient the washing machine is.
The Next Step:
As of January 1, 2007 the minimum MEF will be raised to 1.72 for a washing machine to earn the Energy Star
seal. Also, the washing machine's Water Factor
will be taken into consideration.
The water factor is a standard that allows a comparison of the washing machine's water consumption. To measure this, we utilize the variable C from the MEF formula (which equals the capacity of the clothes washer) and introduce the variable Q which measures the total weighted per-cycle water consumption of the washing machine. To find the water factory, Q is divided by C, or WF = Q/C.
How You Can Use This:
When shopping for a new washing machine, there are many factors to take into consideration. Obviously, you should read the productsEnergy Guide
, and look for the Energy Star
label. These two bits of information are provided for you by the manufacturer.
Being able to understand how a washing machine earned the Energy Star
label can allow you to compare the most energy efficient clothes washers on the market in greater detail. By understanding what the experts look for in determining the most energy efficient washing machines, you too will be able to find the most efficient model for your price range.