April 17, 2014

Universal Measurements for Washing Machines

AHAM, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, is developing a voluntary, uniform industry test procedure for product manufacturers to determine clothes washer drum volume which is expected to be finalized by the end of 2009.
This new procedure will result in standardized volume measurements that can be applied
across all washers—traditional and high-efficiency top as well as front loaders—and can be
used by the consumer to compare washer volume. It is possible that, if appropriate, AHAM will request government adoption of this measuring test procedure.

Manufacturers already follow the U.S. Department of Energy drum volume measurement procedures to calculate energy and water consumption. This is the same procedure used for ENERGY STAR and for calculating the data found on the FTC EnergyGuide label.

The Department of Energy drum volume procedure provides an accurate measurement for the purpose of calculating energy and water consumption. Because of the advancements in clothes washer technology and energy and water efficiency, the DOE method may not provide the most meaningful representation of useful volume to the consumer when making a purchase decision among various product choices.

As a result, manufacturers have employed different rating systems to provide meaningful purchase evaluation information to the consumer. With consumers continuing to demand the best performing products that are energy and water efficient, AHAM members desire a simpler uniform test method to determine washer volume which can be easily communicated to the consumer.

This AHAM effort of developing a uniform procedure is on a fast track and will be completed by the end of 2009.