Clothes Washers

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 25% less energy and 40% less water than regular washers.

photo of a Clothes Washer

They 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. ENERGY STAR top-load models utilize new technologies that do not require the tub to fill with water. 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. On average, a new ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer uses 280 KWh of electricity and can save you $40 a year on your utility bills compared to a standard model.
  • Use less water. A full-sized ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer uses 13 gallons of water per load, compared to the 23 gallons used by a standard machine. That's a savings of more than 3,000 gallons of water, per year!!
  • Is your washer over 10 years old? It's estimated that there are 76 million top-loading washers, 25 million of which are at least 10 years old, still in use across the country. Washers built before 2003 are significantly less efficient than newer models. Together, these inefficient washers cost consumers $2.9 billion each year in energy and water. If you have a standard clothes washer that is over 10 years old, it's costing you, on average $180 a year.

If every clothes washer purchased in the U.S. was ENERGY STAR certified, we could save more than $4 billion each year and prevent more than 19 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions, equal to the emissions from 1.8 million vehicles.

Current Specification Effective Date: March 7, 2015

Clothes washers originally earned the ENERGY STAR label in May, 1997. Clothes washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are about 25% more efficient than non-certified models and are more efficient than models that simply meet the federal minimum standard for energy efficiency.

Eligibility Requirements:
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 are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR certification.

Clothes Washers Key Product Criteria: ENERGY STAR

Learn How a Product Earns the Label

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 certified models are also available in stackable and under-the-counter designs, which fit in smaller spaces.

Choose an ENERGY STAR certified dryer with a moisture sensor.
ENERGY STAR now certifies clothes dryers! ENERGY STAR clothes dryers have a moisture sensor which automatically adjusts heat output based on the moisture of the laundry load. 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. Together, ENERGY STAR clothes washers and clothes dryers are the simple choice in energy efficiency.

Choose a model with a high Integrated Modified Energy Factor (IMEF) and a low Integrated Water Factor (IWF).
Integrated Modified Energy Factor (IMEF) is a measure of energy efficiency that considers the energy used by the washer during the cycle and while on standby, the energy used to heat the water, and the energy used to run the dryer. The higher the IMEF, the more energy efficient the clothes washer. Integrated Water Factor (IWF) measures water efficiency in gallons of water consumed per cubic foot of capacity. The lower the IWF, the more water efficient the clothes washer. Both IMEF and IWF are listed on the ENERGY STAR certified product list.

Advanced Technology

Most ENERGY STAR certified 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 certified 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 energy used by the dryer.

Save in So Many Ways!

Save enough money to pay for the dryer.

You're wasting 10 gallons of water every time you wash with a non-ENERGY STAR certified 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 certified washer ensures you get premium features and equal functionality, in addition to the following benefits:

Top Loading & Front Loading Clothes Washers

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.

Best Practices

Clothes Washer Tips

Find out more about ENERGY STAR Clothes Dryers