Crisp, Clean Clothes Without the Waste
Washing laundry is a significant use of water for the average person: According to the 2016 Residential End Uses of Water Study, water used by clothes washers makes up about 16 percent of an individual's total water use. ENERGY STAR® estimates that the average American family washes 300 loads of laundry per year, making laundry a prime opportunity for water savings. Clothes washers certified by the ENERGY STAR® program use 33 percent less water than traditional models and about 25 percent less energy. These models are available in front- and top-loading configurations to meet the user's specific needs.
Integrated Water Factor
The ENERGY STAR® program uses the metric Integrated Water Factor (IWF) to compare the water efficiency of clothes washers. IWF is the measure of gallons used per load per cubic foot of capacity. The lower the IWF, the more efficient the clothes washer. You can read further information about IWFs and review ENERGY STAR®'s specifications here.
More Information About Clothes Washers
The standard top loading clothes washer, using a vertical-axis drum, has changed little from General Electric's design in 1947. The vertical axis design requires enough water in the drum to suspend the fabric in the soapy water while the agitator churns the clothes to help remove dirt and stains. The large amount of water required to suspend the fabric in the tub limits the ability for this type of washer to efficiently use water. Historically, vertical axis washers consumed 45 gallons per load (170 L), though newer models of the past few years have reduced this to less than 40 gallons per load (151.4 L). Even the best designs manufactured today require more than 9 gallons (34.1 L) of water per cubic foot of capacity (28.31 L).
High-efficiency front or top loading washers facilitate greater efficiency because they use less water and energy. These high-tech machines are proven to be more effective in cleaning the clothes with less water, and is gentler on the fabric when compared to old-school vertical axis washers. Additional benefits of lower water use are: a) less laundry detergent is required; and, b) less water needs to be heated resulting in energy conservation. Most high-efficiency washers use only 15 to 30 gallons (56.8 to 113.6 L) of water to wash the same amount of clothes as older washers (29 to 45 gallons per load (109.7 to 170 L). The most efficient washers use less than 5 gallons (18.9 L) per cubic foot of capacity.
In the Market for an Efficient Washer?
When buying a new machine, finding the Water Factor rating of a clothes washer is not always easy. Though manufacturers measure Water Factors for each model of washer, manufacturers are not required to display the rating on the machine. Fortunately, the ENERGY STAR® Program reports Water Factors and energy use for nearly every HEW in the market.
Listing of High Efficiency Clothes Washers
Are you in the market for a new clothes washer? The most recent listings of high-efficiency clothes washers are provided here: