Come clean: The truth about energy-efficient washers and dryers


The average American family washes and dries about 300 loads of laundry each year, according to Energy Star. So, you may think it would be wise to replace washers and dryers with newer models.

Yet dryers can last longer than washers since dryers have not changed much in recent years. Instead, they can be maintained just by cleaning the lint tray before or after every use. However, the story’s a bit different for washers.

In the case of washers, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s appliances guide, upgrading washers every 10 years or so can save you more.

RELATED: Is an energy-efficient dishwasher worth the money?

The truth about energy-efficient dryers.

ENERGY STAR doesn't rate dryers because their efficiency has been about the same for years, according to LifeHacker.com. The average cost of a new dryer is $550.

Regular dryer maintenance will keep your dryer from breaking and heat clothes a little quicker which can save you money. In addition to cleaning the lint trap every load, vacuum the area below the lint trap periodically to decrease the dry time and save a few cents every month.

The truth about energy-efficient clothes washers.

New models have become more efficient by switching to the front-load clothes washer, using around 50 percent less water and 37 percent less energy. The average price of a new ENERGY STAR washing machine is $750, also according to LifeHacker.com.

Maintenance will not do much to make a washing machine more efficient.

If your washer is over 10 years old or a top-load washer, you could save up to $135 a year on both water and electricity by buying a new or newer front-load washer.

The truth about HE vs. energy-efficient.


Beware of high efficiency (HE) claims since this designation is intended to match certain washer types (for example, front load) with specially designed laundry detergent.

With no standards for energy efficiency behind the HE label, only products that have earned the ENERGY STAR are certified independently to save energy.

Last word from ENERGY STAR

Clothes washers are the second largest water user in your home. If your clothes washer was manufactured before 1999, according to the federal government, you should consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR-certified washing machine that uses four times less energy.

ENERGY STAR-certified clothes washers use about 25 percent less energy and 45 percent less water than regular washers.

Clothes washers and dryers that have earned the ENERGY STAR use advanced features, saving $490 over the lifetime of an ENERGY STAR-certified clothes washer and more with a washer/dryer pair.

Another cool energy-saving fact: If all clothes washers and dryers sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR-certified, the savings would be more than $4 billion each year and prevent more than 19 billion pounds of carbon pollution annually −equal to the emissions from 1.7 million vehicles.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Kempner: Arthur Blank only cautiously bets on soccer fans in Gwinnett
Kempner: Arthur Blank only cautiously bets on soccer fans in Gwinnett

Atlanta United proved a shockingly large number of metro Atlantans are willing — anxious even — to pay good money to go wild at pro soccer games. But a top official for United and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is toning down expectations as they press their luck with the world’s biggest sport. The organization is poised...
Traveling during the holidays? Navigate Atlanta's airport like a pro with our guide
Traveling during the holidays? Navigate Atlanta's airport like a pro with our guide

It’s time for the holiday rush at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Check out the latest developments for travelers, so you can navigate the Atlanta airport like a pro. Road construction. The airport has launched a $6 billion plan to modernize the terminal and expand the airport. Watch for road closures outside the domestic terminal...
Wes Moss: Why $500,000 is a key figure in retirement planning
Wes Moss: Why $500,000 is a key figure in retirement planning

Fear mongering surrounds the topic of retirement. To hear many “experts” tell it, a solid, happy retirement is almost, if not completely, out of reach. Suze Orman recently said that everyone (everyone) should work until they’re at least 70 years old. Legg Mason released a study stating that if you don’t have at least $2...
Metro Atlanta Chamber announces 2018 priorities
Metro Atlanta Chamber announces 2018 priorities

The Metro Atlanta Chamber on Thursday unveiled its priorities for 2018, a slate of initiatives that include new job recruitment strategies, workforce development, an emphasis on economic mobility and a new digital platform to recruit young professionals to move and start their careers in the region. During a lunchtime gala on the field of the new Mercedes-Benz...
Even a tech reviewer struggles with upgrading a MacBook Pro
Even a tech reviewer struggles with upgrading a MacBook Pro

I tried to upgrade my MacBook Pro to High Sierra this week. Yes, tried — and failed. Recently, Apple released new versions of all of its operating systems: iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. My Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPhone 8 Plus and iPad Air 2 all took the new operating systems without a hitch. My early 2011 15-inch MacBook Pro downloaded the macOS...
More Stories