When it comes time to upgrade your washing machine and invest in a new model, there are plenty of decisions you’ll have to make. You can buy a standalone washer, or purchase one in a set with a matching dryer. Your washing machine can be front or top loading, and it can come in a range of colors. Perhaps the biggest decision, however, is choosing between a more traditional washer and a high-efficiency washing machine. HE washers certainly have their perks, but there are also some drawbacks involved.
Take a closer look at the pros and cons in order to make an informed decision.
Pro: Less Water and Less Detergent
HE washers are designed to need far less water to run properly. These washing machines don’t fill up completely with water and then agitate the clothes in that water, like a traditional washer might do. Instead, they have only a small amount of water at the bottom of the machine, and the contents are tumbled for a better clean.
A typical high-efficiency washing machine uses just 20 gallons per cycle, which is roughly half what it takes a traditional washer to do the same job. In addition to saving a significant amount of water, an HE washing machine needs less detergent. This might only save you a few cents per cycle, but it can add up over time, particularly in families who do several loads of laundry each week.
Con: Longer Wash Cycle Times
HE washers have stronger spin cycles, which means that drying the clothes at the end of the wash cycle can be faster. However, the washing process itself can be much slower, often taking 75 to 90 minutes for an ordinary load of clothing. For anyone who wants to get the laundry done as quickly as possible, these longer cycles can be problematic.
If your washing machine is in a central location in the home, you might hear the noise of the cycle for longer. However, it is important to note that many HE washing machines also have a larger total capacity, meaning that you’ll need fewer cycles to wash all of your items.
Pro: Lower Energy Bills
Saving the environment and helping the planet are two admirable goals, but one way that you can really feel the difference of a high-efficiency washing machine is when it comes time to pay your energy bills. Since less water needs to be heated with each load of laundry, less electricity is required to heat that water.
Overall, operating costs of a high-efficiency washing machine is less than half of a traditional washing machine. Plus, due to the more efficient motion of a HE washing machine, you don’t even need to use hot water to get clean clothes. Many consumers who wash several loads of laundry each week can save more than $100 each year as a result of using a high-efficiency washer.
Con: Higher Price Tag
If a high-efficiency washer sounds too good to be true, take a look at the cost. HE washers can cost anywhere from $100 to $600 more than traditional washers, resulting in a much bigger upfront expense. Over time, however, even this drawback will be cancelled out by energy savings.
Investing in a high-efficiency washing machine isn’t a cheap choice, so knowing the pros and cons can help guide you through your decision.