If your current clothes washer is about to quit, you should consider buying one that’s Energy Star-certified. Energy Star appliances are better-engineered to save you money on your utility bills and help the environment by using less energy and water. We get our electricity primarily through the burning of fossil fuels, which create greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, that in turn leads to climate change. Energy Star says that clothes washers that earn its label use 37% less electricity and 50% less water than other washers.
The Energy Star program recommends that when buying a clothes washer, you pick one that is an appropriate size. Using a small, super-efficient model more frequently to handle a large amount of laundry is less energy-efficient over time. Energy Star has two metrics to measure washer efficiency. The first is the Water Factor number. The lower the WF rating, the more efficient the washer is in using water. The second metric is the Modified Energy Factor, which takes into account the amount of energy used to run the machine and the amount of energy used to heat the water for it. The higher the MEF, the more efficient the washer is in its energy use.
Here are the top 10 washers as of May 2011, according to the Energy Star website, ranked by MEF. Note that model numbers listed with asterisks (*), have characters that indicate model color, or something else that has no bearing on performance.
This is a 3.81 cubic feet-capacity front-loader with variable wash cycles, including a steam wash and a vibration control system to reduce noise. Energy Star estimates that it’ll use 96 kwh of electricity during the course of a year. Its Modified Energy Factor is listed at 3.09 and its Water Factor was given at 3.3. It is priced at $1,049.
This is a front-loading model with 10 wash cycles. A wash cycle is said to take 25 minutes. Steam is one option. It has a capacity of 3.65 cubic feet. It will use 83 kwh of electricity a year. Its MEF is 3.09. Its WF is 3.3. Currently all online retailers that carry them advise you to contact them for a quote on its price.
This model has a “Cold Wash” function that claims to get the same results with cold water as most washers to with hot, thus saving you energy. It has a direct drive motor with few moving parts and an anti-vibration system for quieter operation. It uses 100 kwh a year and has a 3.87 cu. ft. capacity, an MEF of 3.14 and a WF of 3.3. It is priced at $1159.
Variable wash cycles and time-management cycle technology. A front-loading machine with a 4.34 cu ft load capacity. It will use 104 kwh of power in a year. Its MEF is 3.15 and its WF is 2.8. This model costs $1,538.
This is a front-loading model that features a seven-inch LCD display screen and 26 different cycle choices. It has 4.4 cubic feet of space. Energy Star says that it’ll use 109 kwh of power a year. Its Modified Energy score is 3.15 and its Water Factor is 2.8. It costs $2,027.
This model is a front-loader with many different wash cycles and a “6th Sense” load weight sensor that determines how much water the unit will use in a load. 4.33 cu ft of capacity. Energy Star says that it will use 123 kwh of electricity annually. It gives in a Modified Energy Score of 3.21 and a Water Factor score of 2.7. This model costs $1,200.
This front-loader has a capacity of 3.81 cu ft. The manufacturer claims its wash cycle takes twenty minutes. It features vibration control to minimize noise. You can add steam to a wash cycle. Its kwh annual usage is 104. The Energy Star MEF is 3.21 and its WF is 2.9. It sells for $1,150.
A front-loader with 4.442 cu. ft. of room. Electrolux claims a 15-minute wash cycle, specialty cycles and the ability to add steam to certain wash cycles. Energy Star says it will use 118 kwh of power a year. It has an MEF of 3.29 and a WF of 2.8. MSRP is $1,800.
This is a front-loading washer with 4.3 cu ft of capacity. It features 11 wash cycles and a sensor to determine appropriate water use and an internal water heater. Energy Star says it’ll consume 127 kwh of power a year and gives it an MEF of 3.3 and a WF of 2.7. Its MSRP is $1200.
This is a 4.3 cu. ft. front-loading clothes washer model with 11 wash cycles. Energy Star gave it an MEF of 3.33 and a WF of 2.8. It’ll use an estimated 102 kwh of electricity a year. Electrolux says that a wash cycle takes 15 minutes. It costs $1,200.