Energy efficiency in everyday house appliances has become a common feature and a hot commodity in a time where eco-conscious living has become chic. But there are practical reasons to invest in these energy sources: energy-efficient appliances can cut down on utility costs and save money over time.
Because of the electricity and water consumption of washing machines, many manufacturers have successfully developed energy-efficient models that can take a sizable bite out of the utility consumption of the equipment. This eco-friendly design can be found in a number of types of washers ranging from the traditional forms to more modern innovations.
For decades, the only option for an in-home washing machine was a top-loading washer, and despite all the innovations and technological advancements over the years, it remains one of the most popular types of washing machines. A big reason for this sustained popularity is the lower cost of a top-loading washer compared to front-loading and other models. The most economical washers are often top-loading, and some consumers prefer top-loading models because the drums of these machines are better equipped to wash certain loads because of the increased water volume they can accommodate.
Additionally, top-loading washers offer a larger drum space that can accommodate larger laundry loads, which is a key feature for large families that have a lot of laundry to grapple with. Although top-loading washers tend to be less efficient in terms of energy than other models, many have been improved enough to receive Energy STAR ratings and other eco-friendly seals of approval.
What top-loading washers lack in energy efficiency, front-loading washers have. Thanks to a smaller barrel and a limited capacity for water, front-loading washing machines conserve water and use less energy per load, making them one of the best options to conserve resources. The downsides are that front-loading washers have smaller barrels and accommodate smaller loads than top-loading models, which can lead to more loads over the course of time. Front-loading washers are also more expensive due to their design and trendiness, which could make them a tough buy for cash-strapped consumers.
Designed to provide greater functionality in limited or multi-purpose spaces, portable washing machines have become popular as an alternative to static machines of the past. Typically outfitted with wheels and weighing less than traditional models, portable washers accommodate smaller loads than top- or front-loading models. But they are also available at a lower cost, and many are still equipped with energy-efficient features to keep energy usage low.
Most steam-cleaning laundry machines are also front-loading models, and while this isn’t a standard, or necessary, feature in a washing machine, a steam cleaning cycle can be effective, enhancing the cleaning power of a washing machine while using a minimal amount of water to do so. Steam cleaning is ideal for individuals with allergies, but other consumers simply like the feel of steam-cleaned clothing. Whatever the case, many new steam cleaning washers come Energy STAR approved.
Regardless of what type of washing machine a consumer chooses, new models should prove to be a significant upgrade over older designs in more ways than one. The variety of options available on the washer market also provides more flexibility in finding a machine that fits the lifestyle and daily needs of a home. And thanks to eco-friendly technology installed virtually across the board, any washing machine is likely to help you trim the fat from your monthly utilities bills.
Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, enjoys warm clothes fresh from the dryer. She is a bit of a clean freak, but her care for the environment has led her to seek out eco-friendly appliances. Read her work at eatbreatheblog.com.