There are a lot of cynical opinions about newer style washing machines – how well they are built, how long they will last and more importantly how much money they save (or don’t save) in water useage. I know they use a LOT less water, but I was unsure about what the actual savings were. So I dusted off my calculator, licked the ‘ol pencil tip and did a few calculations. Here’s what I came up with.
First some stats: (Data from Energy Star Site)
Old style, full size washers … the ones that filled up with water each load, used about 25 gallons per load. That is an average number – some were less, and some were more – but the average water usage was around 25 gallons.
The average family with 2 adults and 2 kids does about 10 loads per week. That number is based on my own experience for what it’s worth …
So, the first calculation is: 25 gallons x 10 loads per week = 250 gallons per week x 52 weeks in a year = 13,000 gallons of water per year used to run your old standard sized washer.
OK – lets look at HE (High Efficiency) washing machines.
Energy Star washers (the best of the High Efficiency washing machines) use about 13 gallons per load.
Calculations: 13 gallons x 10 loads per week = 130 gallons per week x 52 weeks in a year = 6,760 gallons of water per year used to run a HE washer.
OK – so what does that mean in terms of cold hard cash??
Here in Southern Manitoba I pay $13.80 per 1000 gallons of water.
So lets do some more figuring:
Old Style Washers = 13,000 gallons per year x $13.80 per 1000 gallons = $179.40 per year in water.
New Style HE Washer = 6,760 gallons per year x $13.80 per 1000 gallons = $93.29 per year in water.
The average washer should last about 15 years …
Old Style Lifetime water cost = $2691.00
New Style HE Lifetime water cost = $1399.32
That is a savings of $1291.68 over the lifetime of your washing machine!! And this does not even include the electrical energy savings!
So when some jaded, cynical old codger tells you that there is no real savings in HE washing machines, you can call him out with cold hard numbers … and money in your pocket!
EDIT: Many HE machines are now also limiting the amount of hot water used per load by reducing the water temp on the initial fill and using cold water rinses. Of course, not everyone is happy about this (for reasons I truly don’t understand,) but there are more energy savings to be had here as well. Tricky to calculate but will amount to a decent amount of savings when you combine with the reduced water usage.