Making Our Home a Home Sweet Home - Part 11: ENERGY STAR washer
Unfortunately, I did not think far enough ahead to take pictures of our old washer and dryer, but suffice it to say that they were old, loud, and inconsistent. They were used when they were given to us when we moved to Durham (10 years ago). The free price tag, which thrilled our graduate student and first-time schoolteacher budget, was a deceptive value that failed us for too many years. While they were free, the water use and higher wattage motors meant we were paying for it with each use. The stackable washer and dryer we bought this year are the lower end Samsung front loaders that still have vibration reduction technology (VRT™), which allows faster spin speeds and dryer clothes after washing. They aren't as quiet as they claim (I think it's because of the stacking), but their performance trumps that for me. ENERGY STAR’s website tells us that an ENERGY STAR washer uses 14 gallons of water per load versus 27 gallons for standard machines. Our 10 year old machine may have used up to 35 gallons per load. According to Whirlpool, a machine from 1994-2003 uses about 904 kWh per year versus 192 kWh annual use for a new ENERGY STAR washer. A washing machine using 30% less energy and 50% less water can translate to annual savings of $100-$150 and more depending on the size of your family and machine use.