Our dryer is on the fritz and we are in the middle of deciding if we should get the new High Effeciency (HE) models out there. They are a lot more expense and are a little bit different to use, so there will definitely be a learning curve. We’d love to hear your comments, recommendations and suggestions about HE washers and dryers.
Maybe you are considering buying a new washer and/or dryer in the near future too? If you are, there are many decisions to be made prior to the purchase. There are three different types of machines currently in the market: regular top-loaders with center-post agitators, top-loaders without center post agitators, and front-loaders.
HE washers have been available for a decade and have become increasingly popular in the consumer market in the last few years. HE washers are available in both front loading and top loading units. There are many more choices in the front loading HE models than top loading HE washers. HE washers use significantly less water and energy than traditional units. The savings will depend on the age and model of your current washing machine. However, an HE washer can use from 20% to 66% less water and save 20% to 50% in energy use. As a consumer, these reductions translate to long term cost savings. There are also significant long-term environmental benefits.
HE washers use low-water wash and rinse cycles. They utilize a tumbling system rather than an agitator. In some models, the water level is so low it’s hard to see a pool of water. Even with the reduced water levels, you can wash the same size laundry loads. Once the cycle is completed, clothes may feel dryer because more water is removed. With less water in the HE washers, your HE dryers use less energy AND time to dry the clothes. So in the end you save time, energy and money.
There are detergents specifically formulated for HE washers and should be the only products used. These HE detergents are formulated to be low-sudsing and quick-dispersing to achieve the best cleaning performance. Traditional detergents can cause excess suds and will not perform well in a low water level system.
To identify the HE laundry detergents, look for a special HE symbol on the detergent box or bottle. Always read the label and use the manufacturer’s recommended amount of detergent for your wash load size and amount of soil.
Photo updated 10-11-13: Image credit: maxxyustas / 123RF Stock Photo