Upgrade Clothes Washer

Upgrading your clothes washer to an Energy Star model can save significantly on water, energy and money.  If your clothes washer was built in 2002 or earlier, you can save up to $180 and 6,000 gallons of water a year!

Medium
Households: 0 completed, 1 committed
160
Points ?
$10
Annual Savings
$600 - $1,200
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
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Energy and water savings

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0
kWh Electricity
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0
Therms Natural Gas
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0
Gallons Gas
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1560
Gallons Water
  • Save precious water resources
  • Save energy and money

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Overview

The Action
We will upgrade to a new Energy Star clothes washer.
Is this action for me?
If you own a clothes washer, this action is for you!
When and Who?
This action is best done when your current clothes washer is no longer working or if it was made before 2003. Installation is usually offered on delivery for an additional fee.
How long will it take?
Medium - time to research and choose a model and coordinate installation.
What is the cost?
Around $600 - $1,200 or more depending on the features you choose. An additional fee for installation.

Benefits

  • Save precious water resources

  • Save energy and money

Resources

Financing

Find the best financing options for your energy efficiency project with Go Green Financing.

Information

Find and compare energy-efficient clothes washers.

Shopping for Home Appliances? Use the EnergyGuide Label.

The Basics

Upgrading your clothes washer can save significant water, energy, money and time, particularly if it is older than 2003. Find out more about when to consider upgrading and what features to look for.

Checklist

Learn the benefits of energy efficient clothes washers
Decide when to upgrade
Choose the right clothes washer
Buy Energy Star
Consider front vs. top-loader
Check online reviews
Decide who installs

Energy star clothes washer = big savings

The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry per year, which can be up to 40% of household water use.  Energy efficient, or Energy Star rated clothes washers use 25% less energy and 40% less water than regular washing machines.  They also have a greater tub capacity, which means you can wash fewer loads to clean the same amount of laundry.  The secret is new technology that allows the washing machines to clean without filling the tub up all the way with water.

Energy Star models have sophisticated wash systems that flip or spin the clothes through a stream of water and rinse with high-pressure spraying rather than soaking.  On average, if you upgrade from a non-Energy Star to an Energy Star washing machine, you can save $40 or more on utility bills and over 3,000 gallons of water per year for a family of four.  If your clothes washer was built in 2002 or prior, you can save even more, up to $180/year and 20 gallons/wash which can add up to 6,000 gallons of water saved per year!

When to upgrade

Purchasing a new clothes washer is an investment, since most models are priced from $600-$1,200 or more.  If your current clothes washer is pre 2003, the annual savings will be significant, $180/year or more.  This savings can pay for the cost of the upgrade in 3-7 years depending on which model you choose.

If your current clothes washer was built in 2003 or later, but is not Energy Star rated, then you will still get savings, but not as much.  In this case, it probably makes sense to wait until you get at least 8-10 years of use out of your current washing machine to reap the benefits of your investment.  The average lifetime of a clothes washer is around 10-14 years.  If you're not ready to upgrade, schedule the purchase of an Energy Star model out on your timeline when this investment makes sense for you.

Choosing the right clothes washer

The most important feature to look for when you upgrade is an Energy Star rated model.  In addition, check the label for energy efficiency information, since there is a range of efficiencies within the Energy Star rating.  The higher the rating, the more you will save!  Another option to consider is whether to buy a top or front loading machine.

It is often thought that only front loading machines can be efficient, but this is actually not the case.  There are a number of high efficiency top loading models.  These machines spin faster than regular top loaders, which removes more water from your clothes and saves on drying time.  Of course, front loading machines are always a great option.  They are often more expensive, but generally clean better, are gentler on clothes and use less water than top loaders.  They also often have a bigger capacity for their size.  They take longer than top loaders, but spin faster and extract even more water to minimize drying energy and time.

Other factors to consider are capacity, noise and features.  On capacity, make sure if you go bigger that your new washer will fit in your space.  Some good features to look for include automatic dispensers and temperature control, extra rinse cycle, stainless steel tub and end of cycle signal.  At the end of the day, look for a model that meets your family's needs and your budget.  For more information on features and models, check out this Consumer Reports buying guide.

Installing your new washing machine

Clothes washers are generally very easy to install.  However, many retailers will include the installation for free as well as hauling off your old washer for recycling, a great benefit.  If you do the install yourself, make sure to recycle your old one!

Use it wisely!

Once you have your new clothes washer, use it wisely!  If you are not in the habit of running full loads or washing only when needed, but are ready to make a change, learn more on the Wash Wisely action.