We decided to go ahead and replace them, with front-loading ones.
I knew that front loaders were “greener” in that they were suppose to use less water and less energy but I never knew exactly why/how.
So what do I do when I want to find out something?
Google it of course.
I am glad I did cuz I found this very informative Energy Star website that answered my questions and then some.
Here are a few of the things that I learned/confirmed about front-loading washers:
- Use a horizontal or tumble-axis basket to lift and drop clothing through a small amount of water instead of rubbing clothes against an agitator in a full tub of water which dramatically reduces the amount of water used in the wash cycle.
- Efficient motors spin clothes two to three times faster during the spin cycle to extract more water. Less moisture in the clothes means less time and energy in the dryer.
- Have extremely efficient sensors to monitor incoming water temperature.
- Rinse clothes with repeated high-pressure spraying instead of soaking them in a full tub of water.
- Their gentle way of washing not only lengthens the life of often-washed items, many models can safely clean silk, wool and other hand-washables (I can vouch for that)
- Without a bulky agitator, there is more usable space in the washer for laundry (including larger items like comforters). More capacity means fewer loads (Another thing I can vouch for. The sales rep told us that we can load it up with the equivalent of 21 large bath towels. I have found this to be true. Easily.)
- When using front-loading washing machines you should use special HE detergent which are low-suds detergent and typically formulated to wash clothes better in cold water (again saving energy by not having to heat the water).
- Use airtight seals to prevent water from leaking while the machine is in use. When the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture and lead to mold. Leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow moisture to evaporate. Make sure children do not climb into the machine while the door is open. (It is funny that they should mention this because just this morning I walked by the laundry room and saw 2 little feet sticking out of the dryer. My daughter was searching for her favorite pair of Cinderella underwear.)
It is amazing what you can learn with a quick Google search!