Tips for the Drought #3: the Washer

You can’t really talk about saving water without talking about the washing machine. Only the toilet guzzles more water. So if you are thinking that your old washer, that steady worker that has been trundling clothes around in the basement for for the past 20 years needs to go, don’t miss this opportunity to save a significant amount of water and energy.

There are many different types of washers, but if you are looking for an efficient one, you will have the most options if you look at front loading machines. Within this category, make sure you are looking at energy star models.

Washers typically use a lot of water, and a lot of energy. The front loading design was a big breakthrough in terms of cutting water use. Now some companies are developing proprietary processes to make cold water work as well as hot water when it comes to cleaning. This is significant, because 90% of the energy a washer uses goes towards heating water. LG’s ‘Cold Wash’ technology and GE’s ‘eWash’ are the two main contenders for best cold-wash system.

To find a model that uses the least amount of energy, rely on the U.S. Government Energy Guide labels that should be on all appliances. This tool was created to help consumers quickly compare appliances for energy efficiency. Check out the image below for some tips on how to use it:

To determine how much water the washer will use, you will have to look at the specifications for the individual model. The easiest way to make sure you aren’t using more water than you have to is to not get a bigger washer than you need. This can be hard to estimate. How large, exactly, does a washer have to be for a family of five?

Here’s how to figure it: load capacity for washers is measured in weight. So just take an average load of laundry at home, and weigh it (stand on your bedroom scale while holding it, then without, and subtract). Make sure your next washer is at least large enough to handle that weight, but not too much larger. Find the washer that can handle your load size with the least amount of water per cycle, and you’re set.

Once you have a brand new washer, your washroom might look a little dingy. In fact, it’s probably time for a remodel. So give VanRossun a call at (512) 263-9244, and we’ll talk about how great and shiny your new washing machine is, and what we can do about putting some new flooring down to replace that old stained tile it’s sitting on.

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