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Washing & Drying


Whether you wash one load of laundry a week or two loads a day, an energy-efficient washer and dryer can help you save money and energy. Newer models offer different configurations to meet varying space, usage and mobility needs, as well as special settings to further enhance performance and operation.

Clothes Dryers

High-efficiency dryers don’t actually exist yet, at least not in American appliance stores. The fact of the matter is that all dryers on the U.S. market today use about the same amount of energy. ENERGY STAR® doesn’t even rate clothes dryers for this reason. And ENERGY STAR® won’t even consider rating dryers until a cost-effective model that is at least 20 percent more efficient than standard models is available.

To help your clothes dryer run more efficiently choose a model with:

Temperature sensor: Uses the temperature of the dryer exhaust air to estimate when clothes are dry and automatically shuts off the dryer

Moisture sensor: Shuts the dryer off when the humidity of exhaust air indicates that the clothes are dry

Another way to help your dryer work more efficiently is by using a faster or extended spin cycle on the washer. Most of the newer washers have either faster spin speeds or several spin settings. Spinning the clothes faster or longer removes more water so that the dryer doesn’t have to work as hard to dry them.

Types of Clothes Dryers

Compact Dryers

Compact dryers range in size from small countertop models to slightly larger wall-mounted or floor units. They’re ideal for less-expansive dwellings like apartments and condos where space is at a premium. Newer to the market, most compact dryers tend to be energy-efficient by design.

Portable Dryer

Typically designed to sit on a counter top or table, these small-capacity, plug-operated machines require no installation. While a practical, efficient and fairly effective choice for a tiny living space, these models lack the popularity of portable clothes washers.

Standard/Traditional Dryers

While they vary in size and capacity, standard or traditional dryers are sufficient for typical laundering needs. Most provide customary features like various fabric and temperature settings, but some models offer special options—like a moisture or temperature sensor, for example—that can save you money and energy while maintaining optimal performance.

Clothes Washers

Today’s high-efficiency clothes washers can lower your electricity costs, reduce your water consumption, decrease your detergent use and increase your overall energy efficiency—all of which adds up to big savings for you.

Consider the following:

High efficiency washers

-Use less water. A full-sized ENERGY STAR® qualified clothes washers uses 15 gallons of water per load, compared to the 23 gallons used by a standard machine. That’s 50 percent less water, per load. Over the machine’s lifetime, that’s a savings of 2,500 gallons of water!!

-Use less energy. On average, a new ENERGY STAR® qualified clothes washer uses 270 kWh of electricity and costs $60 to run, each year. That equates to 30% less energy and half the amount of water used by regular washers.

Learn more about high efficiency clothes washers.

Types of Clothes Washers

Compact Washers

Compact washers range in size from smaller portable models to slightly larger under-the-counter or floor units. They’re ideal for less-expansive dwellings like apartments and condos where space is at a premium. Newer to the market, most compact washers tend to be energy-efficient by design.

Front-Loading Washers

With these models, clothes are placed inside the washer via a door on the front of the machine. Laundry is cleaned by a rotating horizontal drum that uses a tumbling action—and the power of gravity—to wash, rinse and spin the clothes. By design, these high-efficiency models save you money and energy by using substantially less water, detergent and electricity than their top-loading counterparts. They’re also much gentler on your clothes.

Portable Washers

Portable washers, which use an adapter to connect to the kitchen faucet, are a great option for small living spaces like apartments or condos. Though they lack the convenience and capacity of an installed washer, they are fairly easy to use and can be wheeled away when not in operation.

Top-Loading Washers

With these models, clothes are placed inside the washer drum via a door on top of the machine. Laundry is cleaned by a vertical central agitator that churns the water and clothing together. While effective, the traditional versions of these machines use more energy—and can cost you more in water, electricity and detergent than their high-efficiency peers.

Combined Washers/Dryers

Combined washer and dryer models are a great—and often energy-efficient—choice for small spaces like apartments and condos. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, each offering its own set of features and benefits.

Types of Combined Washers/Dryers

All-in-one Models

An all-in-one laundry appliance, this washer-dryer combo machine first washes and then dries your clothes. Many of these units offer great features, like wash level and moisture sensors, a delay start, fabric care settings and more. Fairly portable, they require no venting and plug into a standard electrical outlet. They are a great option for people in small living spaces, like apartments, condos or temporary housing.

Stacked Models

Stacked laundry units typically have a washer on the bottom and a dryer on the top. They vary in size and capacity, and offer the option of either a top-loading or front-loading washer. Newer, high-efficiency models are designed to save energy and space, which make them ideal for people in small-to-medium-sized dwellings.