Energy Star–qualified clothes washing machines use 50% less energy and 35% to 50% less water than a standard washer—and they do just as good a job of cleaning laundry. Replacing a washer that's over 10 years old can save $135 each year on your utility bills, according to the Energy Star program. Most Energy Star washing machines save energy and water through a horizontal axis design (usually front-loading instead of top-loading) that tumbles clothes in a small amount of water. These models also include a high-speed final spin cycle that extracts more moisture than standard washers. Less moisture means less drying time, which saves even more energy. And horizontal axis washing machines tend to be less abrasive to fabric than conventional top-loading machines with agitators, helping clothes last longer.
Choose a model that's the right size for your household's needs. Larger models hold more clothes but they use more energy too.
High-efficiency clothes washers typically require the use of low-sudsing, high-efficiency detergents (often labeled HE). These detergents are used in smaller amounts than conventional detergents and cost less per load.
Clothes Dryer Tips
When you can, dry laundry on a line outside or on racks in your home. You'll save energy and reduce wear and tear on fabrics. The Energy Star program does not cover clothes dryers. When shopping for a clothes dryer, choose a model with a moisture sensor. This feature saves energy by automatically turning off the machine when the clothes are dry. Also keep in mind that gas-fueled clothes dryers cost a lot less to run than electric models.