A laundry room revolution
High-efficiency washing machines, both front and top loading models, are revolutionizing the way we do laundry. Both front loaders and some top loaders use significantly less water to clean clothes and, because they spin out more moisture than traditional machines, less energy is needed to dry clothes.
The benefits of a high-efficiency clothes washer are piling up
Independent testing has shown that high-efficiency clothes washers:
- Use up to 40% less water
- use 50% less energy
- Get clothes cleaner
- Use less detergent
- Are gentler on clothes
- Save space without sacrificing capacity
- Help preserve the environment through reduced water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Which high-efficiency washing machine is best for you?
High-efficiency washing machines are readily available at appliance retailers. However, some models offer greater savings than others. Ask your retailer to show you the water and energy savings for different models so you can compare. The following considerations might be useful to help you choose the the perfect machine.
High-efficiency Washing Machine Models
Ensure the model has a Water Factor (WF) of 6.0 or lower and a Modified Energy Factor (MEF) of 2.0 or higher. Visit the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) to confirm your model meets the standards.
High-efficiency clothes washers come in a variety of tub capacities ranging from about 1.6 cubic feet up to 3.1 cubic feet. When purchasing a new washer, choose a size that most closely matches your laundry needs.
Raised Platform or Top Loader
If you have back problems you may consider purchasing a high-efficiency top loader or a manufactured platform for your front loader.
If you have a limited space, or live in a condo or apartment, consider stackable appliances.
Machines with the choice of wash cycle times, fabric settings such as regular, permanent press, delicate, hand wash, prewash and soak options allow the most flexibility.
Water Temperature Settings
Make sure the machine has a good selection of water temperatures, including extra hot, hot, warm, cool, and cold. Cold water washes reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Right Detergent
No matter which high-efficiency machine you buy, you need to rethink your detergent use. Regular detergents do not work well in these new machines as they can create excess suds, which can overflow and actually damage machines. To prevent excessive sudsing, HE or low sudsing detergents should be used. These detergents are readily available at local stores.
Regardless of the type of detergent, you can use half or less of the manufacturer's recommended amount of detergent, as Greater Victoria's water is among the softest in the country. Less detergent reduces the impact on the environment and energy used to treat wastewater.