Are front load washers really that good?
When our washer decided to keep filling with water before the rinse cycle, we had a mess on our hands. Once we cleaned up all the water and got everything dried up, my wife and I sat down to discuss our options. We’ve had this washer for nine years and it was old when we bought it. We’ve been frustrated at how small it is (we can’t wash our queen size comforter or our sleeping bags in it) and we had been talking about the “someday” when we would have a bigger washer.
Now it would seem we have our chance to get a new washer. The old one is on the fritz and we wanted a new one anyway, so we decided to start researching washers in an effort to make an educated decision. We have heard horror stories about the new front load washers leaking and smelling bad over time, so we want to make sure we buy the right one. As we did our research, we learned a lot and we want to pass that knowledge on to you. Isn’t that nice of us? 🙂
High Efficiency Saves Money… Or Does it?
They say the front loaders save you money over time, but I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around how much savings you see as the consumer. I mean, these things cost upwards of a thousand dollars. There has to be some major energy savings over time for me to spend that kind of money. So that’s the first thing I researched: how much money can you actually save with these things? Here’s what I found:
Front load washers don’t agitate the clothes like traditional washers. They don’t need to because they tumble the clothes into a pool of soapy water. This is more efficient because they don’t need to fill up the tub with water so many times. I know water savings is good, but how much do you really save? According to consumerenergycenter.org, you actually save 15 gallons of water per load. Plus, you can fit more clothes in the washer per wash load so you’re saving on the number of laundry loads you do. That means you use even less water. Plus, you don’t have to heat as much water because they use less water. That means you save on your energy bill. Now we’re starting to get somewhere.
Adding up the Savings
So how does all this add up? According to the same website I mentioned above, you can save approximately $850 over ten years in water and detergent. That’s a good thing because the average life span of these new washers is 8-12 years. I have several friends whose new high efficiency washers only lasted five years. So if you buy one that doesn’t last, you’ll actually lose money over the life of the washing machine.
At this point, I know that the high efficiency washers are less expensive to operate but more expensive to buy. And there’s a good chance I’ll break even on my energy costs vs. the cost of the washer over time. But I really don’t know which one to buy. Or if a high efficiency washer is even the way to go. More updates and research is coming in future blog posts. Until then, stay tuned!