Eco-friendly appliances can make a real difference on your energy bill but also to the environment. What should you consider when it comes to washers and dryers? Read on.
Washers: front- or top-loading?
Top-loading washing machines are very popular and on the whole cheaper than front-loaders and top-loading units also wash more quickly. However, it’s important to note that buying a front-loading machine will likely save you money in the long run and will most definitely be better for the environment.
Front-loaders normally use less water. In fact, an efficient model can use more than 100 litres (26 gallons) less per wash than an inefficient top-loader. Another significant fact you can’t ignore: front-loaders consume about 40 percent less energy than top-loaders and about half as much detergent. And finally, they’re know to wash more gently, so your clothes will look better and last longer! Dryers: what to choose?
- Always choose a model with a high ENERGY STAR rating. Machines in Canada with this designation are certified to meet strict technical performance for energy efficiency.
- Look for models with the following features: sensors that automatically switch off the machine when the clothes are dry; reverse tumble; a wide range of fabric and temperature settings, including a cool-down option; an external rack for drying additional items using exhaust air; and an accessible lint filter that can easily be cleaned out.
- If you can afford it, consider investing in a gas-fired or heat-pump dryer. These are more expensive than electric dryers, but far more efficient, so they will save you money in the long run.
Eighty per cent of the energy required for a hot wash is used to heat the water, so use a cold wash whenever you can. You’ll also cut greenhouse emissions as a hot wash generates 15 times as much greenhouse gas as a cold wash.