Choose an eco-friendly Washing Machine

November 17th, 2012 by Alice Leave a reply »

What is an eco-friendly washing machine, and why should you choose one? In a nut-shell and eco-friendly washing machine is one that is particularly efficient, and therefore uses the minimum power and the minimum water to do the job of getting your clothes clean. Using less power is better for the environment in that it will reduce the amount of carbon emitted, and reduce water needs. Perhaps most important of all to you, it means that you will be paying less for each wash. You help save the planet and you save on bills too. A win-win situation, and even the higher cost of some energy efficient and eco-friendly washing machines, will be offset by the lower bills after a period.

But before we get into details, it’s important to look out for washing machines that offer bigger load sizes. Provided you have the space for them and can wait to clean your clothes until you can assemble a full load, you’ll save money and be eco-friendly at the same time. The energy, water and heat required to wash a 10kg load is virtually the same as a 7kg load. A load from 7kg up to 10kg can reduce your number of washes by up to 90 loads over a year.

Always look for a machine that gives you a lot of programme options. There’s no point having a full blown full cycle hot as possible wash if you’re just freshening up some clothes, or washing T-shirts that have only been worn once for example.

These days the majority of washing machines carry an A grade status in energy efficiency, manufacturers have been working extra hard to make their model stand out. The result is that it’s common nowadays for machines to be 10% more efficient that the A rating, and in some cases up to 50%. To make it easier for consumers to compare different models and see which are the most energy efficient,  EU energy labels now include A+++, A++ and A+ ratings, on top of the traditional A-G rating scale.  In today’s market, it’s rare to see a washing machine with anything less than a ‘B’ for energy efficiency. And because most consumers are savvy about saving money, if not trying to be as eco-friendly as possible, even B rated machines are not selling well. But it can get to silly extremes-you may see a washing machine with ‘A+++++’ ratings. But this is not recognised by the EU labelling scheme and can be considered just a marketing ploy.

Panasonic washing machines are using less water than ever before to get your clothes clean, although the bigger the capacity, the more water will be required. Old fashioned machines used to require gallons and a number of wash and rinse cycles to get clothes clean. But the best agitators on eco-friendly washing machines and modern detergents mean much less is necessary.

One aspect of a good eco-friendly washing machine is giving clothes a good wash with cold or barely warm water. That means the programmes are shorter than standard ones as no (or very little) time is spent heating up the water. Quick-wash programmes are also getting shorter, with some as short as a quarter of an hour. A washing machine would use very little power and water in that time.

Finally, one of the latest innovations for eco-friendly washing machines is sensor washing. Also known as fuzzy controls. A machine with this technology can work out how much washing there is, how dirty it is, and even sometimes the type of fabric and detergent you are using, giving the most energy and water-efficient wash. Naturally with that sort of technology, it’s not going to be at the cheaper end of the range of eco-friendly washing machines. But then again, you’ll be saving even more money with each wash.

In conclusion, if you have a washing machine that’s over 8 or more years old, you will be spending a lot more water and money on electricity each wash than you would if you changed it for a new machine. See your new eco-friendly washing machine as an investment that will repay its cost in time, and then everything else after that is money saved.

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