The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year. ENERGY STAR can help families cut their related energy and water costs. ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers use about 20% less energy and 35% less water than regular washers. They also have a greater tub capacity which means you can wash fewer loads to clean the same amount of laundry. They are available in front-load and top-load models. The top-load models look like standard machines on the outside, yet they do not waste water filling up the tub. They clean using sophisticated wash systems to flip or spin clothes through a stream of water. Many have sensors to monitor incoming water levels and temperature. They also rinse clothes with repeated high-pressure spraying instead of soaking them in a full tub of water.
Consider the following:
- Use less energy. One the average, a new ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer uses 270 KWh of electricity and costs $85 to run, each year.
- Use less water. A full-sized ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer uses 15 gallons of water per load, compared to the 23 gallons used by a standard machine. Over the machine's lifetime, that's a savings of 27,000 gallons of water!!
- Is your washer over 10 years old? It's estimated that there are 76 million top-loading washers with agitators, 25 million of which are at least 10 years old, still in use across the country. Washers manufactured before 1998 are significantly less efficient than newer models. Together, these inefficient washers cost consumers $2.8 billion each year in energy and water.
If every clothes washer purchased in the U.S. this year earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save 540 million kWh of electricity, 20 billion gallons of water, and 1.4 trillion BTUs of natural gas every year, resulting in energy bill savings of about $250 million, every year.
Current Specification Effective Date: February 1, 2013
Clothes washers originally qualified for the ENERGY STAR label in May, 1997. Clothes washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are about 20% more efficient than non-qualified models and are more efficient than models that simply meet the federal minimum standard for energy efficiency.
Only front and top loading clothes washers meeting the ENERGY STAR definitions for residential clothes washer and commercial clothes washer, with capacities greater than 1.6ft3 and less than 6.0 ft3 are eligible to earn ENERGY STAR certification.
What else should I look for when buying a Clothes Washer?
Check the yellow EnergyGuide label.
This label helps you determine how much energy it takes to operate the model, compare the energy use of similar models, and estimate annual operating costs. Learn How to Use the EnergyGuide Label.
Think carefully about the size.
While a larger model will obviously hold more clothes, it will also use more energy. On the other hand, a model that's too small will require a lot more clothes washing. ENERGY STAR qualified models are also available in stackable and under-the-counter designs, which fit in smaller spaces.
Choose a dryer with a moisture sensor.
While ENERGY STAR does not label dryers, you can reduce your dryer's energy use by choosing a model with a moisture sensor. This feature automatically shuts off the machine when clothes are dry, which saves energy and reduces wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.
Choose a model with a high Modified Energy Factor (MEF) and a low Water Factor (WF).
Modified Energy Factor (MEF) is a measure of energy efficiency that considers the energy used by the washer, the energy used to heat the water, and the energy used to run the dryer. The higher the MEF, the more energy efficient the clothes washer. Water Factor (WF) measures water efficiency in gallons of water consumed per cubic foot of capacity. The lower the WF, the more water efficient the clothes washer. Both MEF and WF are listed on the ENERGY STAR qualified product list:
Most ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers do not have a central agitator.
Clothes washers that meet ENERGY STAR criteria use next generation technology to cut energy and water consumption about a third compared to conventional washers.
ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers come in either front-load or redesigned top-load designs. Both configurations include technical innovations that help save substantial amounts of energy and water.
No Central Agitator
Front-loaders tumble clothes through a small amount of water instead of rubbing clothes against an agitator in a full tub. Advanced top loaders use sophisticated wash systems to flip or spin clothes through a reduced stream of water. Both designs dramatically reduce the amount of hot water used in the wash cycle, and the energy used to heat it.
High Spin Speeds
Efficient motors spin clothes two to three times faster during the spin cycle to extract more water. Less moisture in the clothes means less time and energy in the dryer.
Save in So Many Ways!
Save enough money to pay for the dryer.
You're wasting 8 gallons of water every time you wash with a non-ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer.
Washers with agitators pull and rub clothes to get them clean. Clothing damage can be seen in the amount of lint in your dryer.
In recent years, clothes washer technology has seen dramatic improvements in efficiency and functionality. Selecting an ENERGY STAR qualified washer ensures you get premium features and equal functionality, in addition to the following benefits:
Top Loading & Front Loading Clothes Washers
Top-loading models look like conventional machines from the outside, but these ENERGY STAR certified washers use different types of washing action to get clothes clean with less water and energy. Many have sensors to monitor incoming water temperature closely. They also rinse clothes with repeated high-pressure spraying instead of soaking them in a full tub of water.
Front-loading models are similar to machines used in laundromats. They use a horizontal or tumble-axis basket to lift and drop clothing into the water instead of rubbing clothes around a central agitator. Both top-loading and front-loading ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers save water and energy. They also use faster spin speeds to extract more water from clothes, reducing dryer time and energy use.
For both models, check to see if you need to use special detergent. Low-water washers use special low-suds detergent for best results. Ask your sales representative for recommendations on detergent use.
Clothes Washer Tips
Clothes Dryer Tips
ENERGY STAR does not label clothes dryers because there is little difference in energy use among models. Here are some ways to reduce energy consumption when using your clothes dryer:
- Use the moisture sensor option.
Many new clothes dryers come designed with a moisture sensor, which automatically shuts off the machine when clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy, but it will also save wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.
- Clean the lint filter.
Cleaning the filter after every load will improve air circulation and increase the efficiency of the dryer. It's also an important safety measure.
- Scrub the lint filter regularly if you use dryer sheets.
Dryer sheets can leave a film on the filter that reduces air flow and, over time, can affect the performance of the motor. Use a toothbrush to scrub it clean once a month.
Visit the U.S. Department of Energy's Web site to learn more about clothes dryers and energy efficiency .