Are All Washing Machines High Efficiency?

Laundry tech, like all of our technology, had made some serious leaps and bounds with the progression of the years.

These days, Smart Technology washers can even message you to let you know that your laundry’s done but are all washing machines High Efficiency?

Most washing machines will be High Efficiency, with the exception of models that came out before the mid-1990s and a handful of small brands that have clung to the legacy designs.

Typically, you will see a mark such as a sticker that indicates it is a High-Efficiency model or it may read ‘Energy Star’ as a sure indicator.

Today we’re going to clear the fog around the subject by giving you the scoop on what HE washers actually do, along with an estimate of the savings, and the cons of this modern technology.

Read on to find out what you need to know about High-Efficiency washers!

What do High-Efficiency washers actually do?

In a nutshell, High Efficiency washers use less electricity and considerably less water than washing machines which this not considered to be ‘High Efficiency.

Loads of laundry tend to take a little longer (although this is not always the case) and the washer itself will be a little larger than an older, non-HE model.

High-Efficiency washers will typically use an impeller, as well, rather than an agitator, which sounds a bit vague until we describe it.

The agitator is definitely something that you’ve seen before – it’s the vertical, moving spindle in the center, which often has fins on it, that whips the laundry around while it’s fully submerged in water.

An impellor, by contrast, is a much smaller cone or even a disc, that also provides movement to help dislodge dirt but which is lower profile and less aggressive, allowing for more modest use of water to perform the same function, albeit with a longer time usually being involved (more on this, shortly!).

How much difference is there in energy and water savings?

Okay, so we’ve established that HE washers take longer, ‘agitate’ differently and use less energy and water to clean your laundry.

So, how much less, exactly? Well, while there are units that can use as much as half of the water, we’re going to go with the Energy Star standard for our purposes today.

Energy Star is one of the most common standards in the business and if you see a sticker stating that the unit is Energy Star Compliant, then this means it will use 25% less power and a minimum of 33% less water to clean your clothes.

If you do a lot of laundry, that’s considerable savings over time, and definitely nothing to sneeze at.

With that in mind, let’s explore the cons of this popular technology so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this will be a good fit for you.

Are there any cons to High Efficiency washers?

As everyone knows, no matter how good something seems to be, there’s always a catch.

Thankfully, with HE washers they’re pretty minimal and we’ve laid them out below for your consideration:

  • HE washers have a robust spin cycle that’s much faster than non-HE washers. This means care must be taken with waterproof clothing, as this can imbalance a load, and the vibration can slowly damage your washer.
  • If you are working outside a lot for your employment or for hobbies, such as gardening, impellor cleaning is a little less efficient than old-school agitators. While agitators use considerably more water, they are much better with clothing that has serious, caked-in dirt, and this may be a consideration for some consumers with heavier-than-average cleaning requirements.
  • Some High-Efficiency washers require special detergent for maximizing water management, so this can add slightly to the overall cost.
  • HE washers are larger than non-HE units and this could be a problem if space is at a premium.

In closing: Unless you need an agitator, HE washers are the way to go!

As you can see, HE washers are definitely here to stay, and for good reason.

You can save at least 25% on electricity and 33% on water per load and not only does this save you money, but for environmentally conscious folks, it gives you a smaller ‘footprint’.

That said, if you deal with quite a lot of caked-in dirt, then this may not be a perfect fit for you, but for most needs, High-Efficiency washers are definitely the way to go!