Choosing Energy Efficient Washers

Each year almost 400 loads of laundry are done in the average American household. What most people don't realize is that they can cut their electricity bill by as much as a third and their water costs by almost half just by switching to energy efficient washers. If your washer is more than 10 years old, replacing it with an energy efficient washer could save you more than $135 on your utility bill each year and enough water to fill a swimming pool. The combined savings in energy and water each year is enough to pay for a matching energy efficient dryer.

Choosing quality energy efficient washers will ensure that you get consistent functionality and premium options, along with these other benefits:

- Advanced energy-efficient washers drastically reduce the amount of water you use, saving 17 or more gallons every time you do a load of laundry. That's as much water as most people use for their daily shower.

- Advanced top-load and front load energy efficient washers are gentler and do not twist or pull clothes, so most models can safely be used to wash wool, silk and other delicate garments. That means your clothes will last longer.

- With the removal of the bulky agitator, these models feature more room for larger loads and bulky items such as comforters.

Note the volume capacity of the washers: A high capacity model lets you wash more clothes at one time but also requires more energy to operate, while a smaller model uses less energy but requires more frequent use to do the same amount of laundry. Generally the larger units are more efficient per pound of clothes washed.

Make the most of your energy efficient washer with these energy-saving tips:

- Use High Efficiency (HE) and not regular powdered detergent. Front load washing machines are designed for this type of detergent.

- Fill every load. Washing a small load uses almost the same amount of energy as washing a large load, so run as many full loads as possible.

- Wash your clothes in cold water. Washing clothes in cold water reduces energy use and, unless you've got heavy grease or oil stains, will get clothes just as clean as washing in hot water.

- Use the high-speed or extended spin feature. Removing as much moisture from the clothes after washing means they will require less time in the dryer. If at all possible, air-dry your clothes to save even more energy.

Among the champions in the range of standard sized washers are the Samsung WF409 and WF419 with a volume of 3.69 cubic feet (104.5 liters), and a kWh per year usage of 109 which is actually less than some compact washers with half the volume. Close behind is the Kenmore 410 and 421 series at 110 kWh per year but slightly larger capacity at 3.87 cubic feet (109.5 liters).

Another advantage to the Samsung is that although they have 5% smaller capacity, they use up 15% less water than the Kenmore. Given that some older washers can consume upwards of $100 of even the most economically priced electricity, it is astounding to learn that the Samsung will run a whole year in low-cost Idaho for a total of $8.45 in electric consumption. Even in stratospherically-expensive Hawaii, the Samsungs will still only use up $27.78 in electricity per year! Keep in mind that there are likely still some older washers in use in Hawaii that cost their owners over $400 a year, which will more than buy a Samsung WF409 outright in just two years!

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Shrink your carbon footprint by following some really straightforward energy conservation tips in your home in addition to on the road.

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