In responds to last week’s post on washing your clothes in cold water, a Lakeville resident asked the question, “We are looking for a new clothes washer. Which ones are the best energy value?”
While I don’t have a recommendation on a specific washer model. Here are some things to keep in mind about energy efficient washers for your Lakeville home.
Replace your old clothes washer
Why? Washing your clothes uses a significant amount of energy, especially if you use warm or hot water. New, efficient clothes washers use less water and energy than old and conventional washers, resulting in energy savings.
What to look for:
ENERGY STAR® qualified clothes washers. They use nearly 40% less energy and cut water consumption by nearly half compared to non-qualified washers. Look up efficient models here.
A Modified Energy Factor (MEF) of 2.0 or higher. The MEF considers the energy used by the washer, the energy to heat the water, and the energy used by the dryer. The higher the MEF, the more energy efficient the clothes washer.
A low Water Factor (WF). WF measures the amount of water the washer uses. The lower the WF, the more water efficient the clothes washer.
The right size. Choose a washer that’s sized appropriately for your household.
Wash more clothes. Some front-loading models without an agitator and some advanced top loaders can handle more clothes per load, which means fewer loads are needed to finish the laundry.
Gentler on clothes. Front-loading clothes washers are also easier on your clothes, helping them last longer. Advanced top-loaders are also gentler.
Dry less. Efficient washers extract more water from clothes, so they dry faster.
Facts from Minnesota Energy Resources
Good to know: An ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer will save you the most energy if your current clothes washer was manufactured before the year 2001.