8 Top Energy Efficient Clothes Washers for 2013

Considering the purchase of a new energy efficient washing machine this year? Read this post first.

According to the ENERGY STAR website, the average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year. In order for a clothes washer to be ENERGY STAR qualified, it must use 20% less energy and 35% less water than regular washers. ENERGY STAR washers also have a larger tub capacity for fewer washings.

Both top- and front-load washers can be ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR top-load models do not fill water to the top of the tub like standard top-load washers do. They clean by flipping or spinning clothes through a stream of water and have sensors to monitor water levels and temperature. Rinsing is also unlike traditional top-load washers; ENERGY STAR top-load washers rinse clothes with repeated high-pressure sprays rather than soaking. Front-loaders, on the other hand, simulate the motion of putting clothes in water by dipping them over and over via spinning. They only fill partially with water and spin faster to reduce drying time and energy consumption by better extracting moisture.

We have reviewed major brands and identified 8 of their most efficient washers for sale in 2013, based on ENERGY STAR ratings. These comparisons focus on two equations: Modified Energy Factor (MEF) and Water Factor (WF). Energy efficient washers have a high MEF and water efficient units have a low WF value. These numbers are often compared to Federal Standards as a benchmark. The Federal Standard MEF is 1.26 and the Federal Standard WF is 9.5. All 8 of our picks exceed the Federal Standards by varying degrees.

kenmore elite efficient washing machine

Kenmore Elite 4107#21# / 4107#31# washing machine

The Kenmore Elite 4107#21# / 4107#31# (model names vary due to color differences) ranks among the most efficient washing machines, based on its MEF. This front-loading washer has a large 5.16 cu. feet tub capacity to hold more clothes, reducing the number of loads you need to wash. Its built-in steam cycle works out stains, so you will not waste water by using a pre-rinse cycle. The steam cycle uses 73% less water and 77% less energy than previous models. This Kenmore offers 10 washing cycles and 6 different wash motions that can be adjusted to use the right amount of water and electricity for the size of your load.

The Kenmore Elite comes in white (41072) for $1200 or metallic silver (41073) for $1500. This model is a CEE Tier 3 ENERGY STAR appliance, so it may qualify for local rebates. The estimated yearly operating cost is $14 (electric water heater) or $10 (gas water heater).

ENERGY STAR Facts:

Load Configuration: Front
Volume (cu. feet): 5.16
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year): 135
Modified Energy Factor (MEF): 3.45
Water Factor: 3

LG mega energy star washer

LG WM8000H** clothes washing machine

The LG WM8000H* washer shares similar specifications to the Kenmore model, including excellent energy efficiency. LG’s exclusive Turbowash shaves 20 minutes off one standard load run time, which can consist of a king-sized comforter and complete set of sheets in its large 5.1 cu. feet capacity tub. If you have a smaller load, you can use this LG washer without a guilty conscience: SpeedWash can finish a small load of laundry in only 15 minutes. Water levels automatically adjust to the size of the load, taking the guesswork out of choosing a water level. This front-loading unit also offers a ColdWash feature combined with advanced washing motions to simulate warm water cleaning. Like the Kenmore model, the LG uses steam to tackle stains, reducing the need for a pre-rinse. These features and a total of 14 wash cycles and 12 options make it easy to save water, energy, and time.

This model comes in white (WM8000HWA) for $1400 or graphite steel (WM8000HVA) for $1500. This model is a CEE Advanced Tier 2013 ENERGY STAR appliance, which means it performs exceptionally well with innovative energy saving features. The estimated yearly operating cost is $14 (electric water heater) or $10 (gas water heater).

ENERGY STAR Facts:

Load Configuration: Front
Volume (cu. feet): 5.1
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year): 135
Modified Energy Factor (MEF): 3.45
Water Factor: 3

Maytag clothes washer

Maytag MHW6000A* Maxima XL clothes washing machine

Maytag has designed an equally impressive energy and water efficient clothes washer, the MHW6000A* Maxima XL washing machine. Maytag has worked carefully to engineer its cold wash cycle to produce warm-water results, so using this cycle can reduce your monthly electric bill. Like the Kenmore and LG, this Maytag has a steam cycle to fight stains and allergens, allowing you to skip the pre-rinse cycle and save water. The Maytag offers an additional convenience: a 6-hour Fresh Spin will tumble damp clothes every 13 minutes for up to 6 hours after the wash cycle ends. This gives you time to move the clothes to the dryer without having to put them through an additional rinse spin to remove wrinkles or odor. The MHW6000A* has a PowerWash cycle that uses an integrated water heater to automatically increase water temperatures to get very dirty clothes clean in just one cycle.

This model comes in white (MHW6000AW) for $1200 or granite (MHW6000AG) for $1300. This model is a CEE Tier 3 ENERGY STAR appliance, so it may qualify for local rebates. The estimated yearly operating cost is $13 (electric water heater) or $10 (gas water heater).

ENERGY STAR Facts:

Load Configuration: Front
Volume (cu. feet): 4.3
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year): 135
Modified Energy Factor (MEF): 3.45
Water Factor: 3

samsung clothes washer

Samsung WF455A*GS** clothes washer

Samsung’s most efficient washer uses only 90 kWh of energy per year, the lowest of the 8 models we highlight. Samsung’s has shortened its normal wash cycle, the SpeedSpray, by 15 minutes. Its jets shoot water and dissolved detergent directly onto clothes so that cleaning begins faster and less water and energy is used. During the rinse cycle, jets shoot water while the tub drains simultaneously, meaning clean clothes are not sitting in dirty water. The 4.5 cu. foot tub can wash almost 2.5 laundry baskets full of clothes in a single load, but for the largest loads, Samsung has included a PowerFoam feature that creates a powerful penetrating foam in order to clean hard-to-reach areas so that clothes do not need to be run through a second cycle. Thirteen wash cycles, 5 temperature settings, an internal water heater, and an eco cold-wash function contribute to making this front-loading appliance very environmentally and budget-friendly.

This model comes in white (WF455ARGSGR) for $1500. This model is a CEE Tier 3 ENERGY STAR appliance, so it may qualify for local rebates. The estimated yearly operating cost is $10 (electric water heater) or $7 (gas water heater).

ENERGY STAR Facts:

Load Configuration: Front
Volume (cu. feet): 4.47
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year): 90
Modified Energy Factor (MEF): 3.42
Water Factor: 2.7

Frigidaire Affinity clothes washer

Frigidaire FAFW3921** clothes washing machine

Frigidaire’s most efficient washer is also the cheapest on our list. It uses a low amount of energy per year: only 92 kWh. The FAFW3921** front-loader contains a smaller 3.7 cu. foot tub, but its energy saver option can reduce energy use by up to 60%. Combined with a fresh water rinse option that utilizes detergents and additives more effectively, your clothes will be cleaner in a shorter amount of time. The Frigidaire’s fastest load can be completed in just 25 minutes and sensors automatically determine the water fill level according to load size. Seven other Express-Select wash cycles are available, with an additional 5 spin speeds and 5 water temperature selections.

This model comes in white (FAFW3921NW) for $900. This model is a CEE Advanced Tier 2013 ENERGY STAR appliance, which means it performs exceptionally well with innovative energy saving features. The estimated yearly operating cost is $11 (electric water heater) or $4 (gas water heater).

ENERGY STAR Facts:

Load Configuration: Front
Volume (cu. feet): 3.68
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year): 92
Modified Energy Factor (MEF): 3.35
Water Factor: 2.9

electrolux front loading washing machine

Electrolux EIFLS60** clothes washer

Electrolux’s most efficient washer includes its innovative Expertcare wash system to deliver excellent cleaning options using less energy and water. Vents located at the bottom of the tub increase the amount and direction of steam to help eliminate stains and reduce the need for a pre-rinse cycle. Its fastest wash cycle can be completed in just 15 minutes. The front-loader washer features an IQ-Touch control, meaning all cycles and options are always available to view, allowing you to customize wash conditions to reduce energy and water usage. A 22-hour delay start feature allows you to load the 4.3 cu. foot washer and have it start automatically to take advantage of off-peak water and electricity rates. Five specialty cycles, 11 normal wash cycles, 5 temperature, soil, and spin options, and an energy saver option makes this an incredibly versatile appliance.

This model comes in Titanium (EIFLS60LT) and Silver Sands (EIFLS60LSS) for $1400 or Island White (EIFLS60JIW) for $1300. This model is a CEE Advanced Tier 2013 ENERGY STAR appliance, which means it performs exceptionally well with innovative energy saving features. The estimated yearly operating cost is $12 (electric water heater) or $10 (gas water heater).

ENERGY STAR Facts:

Load Configuration: Front
Volume (cu. feet): 4.3
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year): 102
Modified Energy Factor (MEF): 3.33
Water Factor: 2.8

whirlpool clothes washer

Whirlpool WFW88HEA* clothes washing machine

Whirlpool’s WFW88HEA* front-load model takes advantage of a Cold Wash cycle and steam action to reduce water and energy usage. The Cold Wash cycle uses HE detergent efficiently to clean clothes using no energy to heat the water. Steam can be added to certain wash cycles as a stain pretreat option. The Whirlpool also features a 6-hour Tumble Fresh option, which periodically tumbles clean clothes in its 4.33 cu. feet tub for up to 6 hours after the wash cycle ends. Not only does this help reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria, you also will not waste water or energy on refresher spin or rinse cycles. An EcoBoost option lowers water temperature and increases tumbling action while using less energy. Finally, an Adaptive Clean Wash system automatically senses the size of each load using 6th Sense technology to automatically control the water level and temperature to maintain optimal conditions for your load type.

This model comes in chrome shadow (WFW88HEAC) for $1300 or white (WFW88HEAW) for $1200. This model is a CEE Tier 3 ENERGY STAR appliance, so it may qualify for local rebates. The estimated yearly operating cost is $12 (electric water heater) or $9 (gas water heater).

ENERGY STAR Facts:

Load Configuration: Front
Volume (cu. feet): 4.33
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year): 112
Modified Energy Factor (MEF): 3.32
Water Factor: 2.7

GE Top Loader energy star washer

GE GTWN8250D** top loading clothes washing machine

GE’s most efficient washer does not deliver the MEF, WF, and annual energy use values that the seven other units boast, but it still beats Federal Standards by an admirable amount. This GE is a 4.8 cu. foot top-loader with an eWash energy saving option that utilizes a cold-water wash. The GTWN8250D** has an innovative pre-programmed stain removal setting that automatically adjusts your cycle to treat the four most common stains, eliminating the need for a pre-rinse. For regular loads, a sensor will automatically determine the water fill level based on load bulk. To further save on energy and water bills, you can set this unit to begin washing during non-peak hours—up to 9 hours ahead of time. Thirteen pre-set cycles, 4 options, and 6 wash/rinse temperatures allow you to customize your wash experience.

This model comes in white (GTWN8250DWS) for $1100. This model is a CEE Tier 3 ENERGY STAR appliance, so it may qualify for local rebates. The estimated yearly operating cost is $20 (electric water heater) or $15 (gas water heater).

ENERGY STAR Facts:

Load Configuration: Top
Volume (cu. feet): 4.82
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year): 191
Modified Energy Factor (MEF): 2.87
Water Factor: 3.7

A published writer and novice gardener, Stephanie Lezotte dabbles in over 1500 square feet of newly purchased gardens that yield hundreds of tulips, daffodils, hostas, and daylilies. She enjoys trying new gardening tools and techniques and isn’t afraid to get (a little) dirty, as long as her clothes washer is working properly.

Do you own one of these washing machines? Love it or hate it? Leave a comment and share your experiences!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: