April 23, 2014

Does Size Really Matter?

Is bigger always better? Maybe not, when you are talking about washing machines.

Just how many clothes can effectively be washed and rinsed in a single load is covered by new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) guidelines—and the answer may surprise you.

“Due to new Department of Energy regulations regarding clothes washer capacity, consumers may hear a lot of conflicting information about whether size really matters when it comes to laundry,” said J.B. Hoyt, director of regulatory affairs for Whirlpool Corporation. “The common belief is that bigger is better, but that is only true if your clothes still get clean.”

The Imperial Valley News writes that as part of the guidelines, manufacturers including Whirlpool, Maytag and Amana will voluntarily report new capacity measurements based on DOE test procedures in order to provide accurate measurement of all clothes washers across all brands.

For those in the market for new laundry appliances, Hoyt shares the dirt on capacity, cleaning and, most importantly, what to look for when shopping for a new washer.

• When making a new purchase, ask about capacity as it relates to cleaning versus just how much the machine will hold. What is the largest maximum capacity that will get your clothes clean?

• No matter how big the machine is, do not overload. Clothes will get cleaner when given room to move freely.

• Thanks to high-efficiency washing machines, you don’t have to stuff everything into one load just to save energy and water. Today’s high-efficiency washing machines use only enough energy and water to properly clean your clothes, which means you can do small loads when you have time, rather than waiting for the basket to fill up.

Tips for Saving Money and Energy Around the House

Looking for ways to save money? Look no further than your kitchen. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) offers these simple energy savings tips to consumers looking for ways to cut energy bills this summer.

The energy consumed by home appliances has dropped sharply since 2000.
Refrigerators, dishwashers and clothes washers combined account for a 43% decrease in
energy consumption since 2000. Replacing an eight year old refrigerator, dishwasher and
clothes washer with new appliances of average efficiency will save consumers about
$95.00 per year in energy bills. Replacing an eight year old clothes washer will save
more than $60.00 in electricity costs and nearly 5,000 gallons of water per year.
Additional savings can be obtained by purchasing Energy Star appliances.

Energy savings can also be obtained by following these easy tips:

• If you are replacing your refrigerator, do not use the old refrigerator as a second
refrigerator. This will not yield energy savings. Properly recycle the appliance.
To find recycling options in your area, call 1-800-YES-1-CAN.

• Allow hot foods to cool before placing them in the refrigerator; and always cover
foods that may release moisture in the refrigerator.

• Limit opening the refrigerator and freezer doors. Label foods or use clear food
storage bags to easily identify foods.

• Scrape, but do not pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
Dishwashers do a great job of cleaning soiled dishes.

• Take advantage of your dishwasher’s “eco” option that reduces water use, or use a
no-heat air dry feature.

• Use load size settings- if you are washing a small load of clothing, be sure to
change the load setting. Use cold water settings whenever possible.

• Always clean the lint filter on the clothes dryer after each use. A clogged filter
will reduce dryer performance.