High-Efficiency Washers and Dryers
It can be difficult to make your home as energy-efficient as you want it to be. You know you’re spending too much on utility bills, but where do you start? Solar-powered water heaters are nice, but a solar panel installation may be more than your budget allows. If you’re looking for ways to save on home energy costs, your laundry room is a good place to start. After all, most of us use our washers and dryers regularly, making them some of the most common sources of household energy waste.
Upgrading to high-efficiency (HE) appliances can be an investment against the rising cost of future utility bills. These appliances may cost more up front, but they are significantly more affordable to operate, as they save both water and power. HE washers, for example, are designed to clean clothes without relying on an agitator, resulting in a 20 to 66 percent reduction in water usage. The savings continue from there. Less water used for washing means less water that needs to be heated. That can mean 20 to 50 percent less energy on your electrical meter, giving you long-term savings and benefiting the environment at the same time. With energy and wastewater savings of $50-90 a year, it’s possible to recover the difference between HE and conventional appliances in about three years. Government and state tax credits offered for upgrading can also help offset the price.
Here are some of the other benefits HE appliances can offer:
- They can extend the life of your clothes, since they employ a tumble process rather than an agitator.
- They use two-thirds less detergent than conventional machines.
- Detergent is rinsed out more thoroughly, which is better for your skin.
- Front-loading machines can wash large or bulkier things like quilts, down sleeping bags, or pillows.
- Many models offer steam-cleaning modes, great for even the most delicate fabrics.
- A more efficient washer means a more efficient dryer, too. Less heat is necessary to dry the same size loads from a conventional washer.
After purchasing a HE washer, it is vitally important that you use only specially-formulated high-efficiency detergents. These cleaning products are expressly designed for the distribution and washing cycles of HE washers. For one, these detergents produce fewer suds because they are designed to bond to dirt and soil particles. This insures the dirt doesn’t simply get re-deposited into the clothes as they are being tumbled. The detergents are also formulated to disperse more quickly in water, pulling more dirt away from the clothes in the spin cycle. Using a conventional detergent will upset this process. It will produce more suds, which actually ends up leaving your loads less clean. When shopping, look for the HE symbol on the detergent box or bottle.
When it comes to making energy-saving changes to your home, they don’t have to be expensive. Considering starting the process by upgrading your appliances. These machines see use on a regular basis, which means you will start seeing the return on your investment, and benefits for the environment, right away.