The Green Laudry Room: Energy Efficient Washer and Dryer

Clothes washers and dryers are notorious for consuming huge amounts of electric power, contributing to high utility bills. Thus, one of the key requirements homeowners look for when shopping for these equipment is energy star rating from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Energy (DOE).  This is due to the promise that electric appliances with such energy saving designation can help users save money and conserve the environment at the same time.

Picture of Energy efficient washer and dryer

The efficiency rating displayed on most appliances in the market exclude combination all-in-one washer-dryers. Credit: Andybee21

So, how exactly do these government agencies determine the energy efficiency of washer/dryer machines? According to experts at Flex your Power, washer and dryer units have different energy efficiencies. For a washer to be rated as “efficient,” it must have a minimum modified energy factor (MEF) is 2.0, and a maximum water factor (WF) of 6.0.

Similarly, the two government agencies lay out the criteria for determining dryer efficiency. A dryer with high efficiency should have 20% more energy efficiency than a standard one.

With these criteria in mind, is it possible to find such dryers in the market? Here are two dryers from two manufacturers who make bold claims in regards to energy efficiency:

The Whirlpool WED 7400 XW

This is a convenient appliance for large households, due to its enhanced carrying capacity and convenient design features. One of its energy saving features is the Damp Dry Signal, which alerts you when laundry is 80% dry. This allows you to remove lighter clothes from the load, reducing overall drying time for the remaining ones. The whirlpool also features an eco monitor that displays approximate energy usage as the dryer is running, enabling you to change settings as needed to reduce power consumption.

Other essential features of this dryer include:

•    Direct water installation to set up steam.

•    Steam drying unit.

•    Wrinkle shield.

•    Convenient Dryer rack.

The main drawback of this appliance is that you cannot stack it with a washer to save space. However, its large holding capacity enables you to insert bedding and similar heavy fabrics.

Bosch WTVC 3300US


Image Credit: Bosch

This dryer has automatic cycles detected by moisture sensors, to prevent overheating and wastage of power. It also comes with an integrated cotton and permanent press automatic cycle referred to as ECO action. This option increases drying time for laundry, using less heat to reduce power usage by up to 10 percent. The WTVC produces 64 decibels of noise only while running, making it one of the quietest dryers in the market. An end-of-cycle signal notifies users when laundry has dried.

Other features of this dryer include:

•    Lint filter and exhaust alert system.

•    Low energy and water consumption.

•    Wrinkle block.

•    Child-lock.

•    Delayed start option.

•    Reversible hinge door.

•    Stacking kit with matching pedestal and drying rack.

However, the Bosch does not have a sanitizing feature, albeit its price, inherent features and warranty are worth every cent.

At the moment, there is no high-efficiency dryer in the market with energy star ratings in the U.S. The efficiency rating displayed on most appliances in the market exclude combination all-in-one washer dryers. Government agencies are not keen on rating these dryers yet, until a model with 20% or greater energy efficiency is patented. The EPA version 6.0 specification for electrical appliances made in Europe is also under review, to meet these envisaged high standards of the government agencies.


See also:

Choosing Energy Efficient Freezers and Refrigerators

Green Your Lighting With Eco Friendly Light Bulbs

Breezing Through the Summer With the Energy Efficient Air Conditioner


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