Buying a Clothes Washer

When purchasing a new clothes washer, consider the following:

  • Clothes washer energy efficiency is indicated by the Modified Energy Factor (MEF), which accounts for dryer energy and water heating energy associated with the use of the washer. The Water Factor (WF) indicates the number of gallons needed for each cubic foot of laundry. You want to select a washer with the highest MEF and lowest WF you can find given your budget, capacity needs, and other considerations.
  • In general, front-loading washers are much more efficient that top-loading washers.
  • All front loaders and many of the higher-efficiency top-loaders feature advanced electronic controls to adjust the water level automatically according to the size of the load. If the models you are considering do not have these controls, choose a machine that lets you select lower water levels when you are doing smaller loads.
  • Choose a clothes washer that offers plenty of choices for energy conserving wash and rinse cycles. Wash and rinse temperatures have a dramatic impact on overall energy use—a hot water wash with warm rinse costs 5 to 10 times more than a cold wash and rinse.
  • Faster spin speeds can result in better water extraction and thus reduce the energy required for drying.

You can find ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers by using the search here.

Learn more at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy

Interested in finding a washer? Washerhq offers a side by side comparison of top 2014 washers.