Washer/Dryer & Energy Efficiency? The Tightly Knit Relationship
Washing machines and dryers are often two of the most utilized appliances around the home. With many homeowners using their washer/dryers daily, it is critical that these devices are equipped with the proper energy efficient qualities. This is even more important in the face of an ever-growing awareness we now have towards the "green movement."
ENERGY STAR® Qualified Washers & Dryers
Recent technological advances have paved the way for washer/dryers that are more efficient – both with energy and water – than ever before. Such machines are often given the coveted ENERGY STAR distinction, a government backed program designed to protect the environment. The following characteristics describe a few of the ways washers and dryers have found their way into the efficiency forefront and gained the ENERGY STAR logo:
- Larger capacity — More washing and drying areas allow more laundry to be done in less time, which in turn means less energy is being used.
- Load-sensing adaptive fill — This unique feature measures dry clothing and adds only enough water needed to clean the textile inside.
- Longer agitation strokes — Top loading washers have begun using longer agitation strokes, which helps turn over the clothes inside of the machine and ultimately allows for less water each load.
- Moisture sensors — The innovative dryer technology that detects when clothes are dry and automatically stops the machine, thus preventing the machine from running unnecessarily.
Many ENERGY STAR qualified washing machines and dryers will use over 50% less water and energy through each load of laundry. Some models, like GE's Energy Efficient Front Load Washers, will use as much as 64% less water and 75% less energy. These percentages may correlate to nearly $500 in energy savings over the course of the appliance's lifetime.
At the turn of the century when the green movement was beginning to develop a head of steam, becoming more energy efficient generally meant spending extra money in an attempt to help preserve the environment. More recently though, technology companies like GE have made it easier and more affordable to save energy (and water), and washers/dryers exemplify this trend beautifully.