Washing Machine Energy Labels Explained
Almost half of the electricity consumed in the average home is used in the kitchen and with us all trying to do our bit for planet, energy efficient appliances have never been more important.
But just what do those colourful energy labels mean, let us explain all below.
The Anatomy of an Energy Label
Annual Energy Consumption
This figure tells you how much energy the washing machine is estimated to consume in a year. This is measured in Kilowatts and as you’d imagine, the lower the kilowatts, the more efficient the washing machine is. This figure can be particularly handy when comparing two machines with the same energy rating e.g. A+ as you’ll be able to see which appliance uses the least energy, despite having the same overall rating.
Annual Water Consumption
This section here is the amount of water the washing machine is estimated to use on a yearly basis. Water consumption is measured in litres and quite simply the smaller number, the better and the lower your water bills should be.
From the outside you’d be forgiven for thinking that all washing machines are the same size, but in actual fact inside their capacity can be dramatically different. This section of the energy label shows you how many clothes you can fit into the machine and is measured in kilograms. Typically for every 1 kilogram you can fit about 5 T-shirts into your washer and most washing machines on the market today range from 25 to a whopping 60 T-shirts.
Spin Drying Efficiency
When the cycle is nearly complete the washing machine will spin faster in order to remove excess moisture out of your clothes. This part of the energy label tells you how efficient the spin drying process is.
Tip! The spin cycle is usually the least efficient part of the wash cycle so pay attention to this rating when comparing similar models.
Decibels for Washing
A Decibel is the measurement of noise and is represent with the letters dB. This figure shows you how much noise the washing machine makes during the washing phase of a cycle and is worth paying particular attention to if you have an open plan layout in your home. To put things into perspective, 60 dB is similar to the amount of noise made by an ordinary conversation and anything of this figure or below shouldn’t disturb you while your washing machine is on.
Decibels for Spinning
The spin cycle is typically louder than the rest of the wash and this section of the energy label tells you how much noise the washing machine makes during spinning. For open plan living and peaceful nights in front of the TV, look out for a spin rating lower than 70 dB.
How much money will I save with an energy efficient washing machine?
The monetary value of the savings made with an energy efficient appliance can vary on a different factors, these include, how often you use the washing machine, which programs you use and of course how much you pay for your electricity and water.
Here are 2 easy ways you can get to grips with how much energy your washing machine is likely to cost you to run.
- By using the annual kWh consumption figure on the energy label and a recent electricity bill, you can work out the approximate cost of running your appliance with a simple calculation.
- Find out how much you pay per kWh and multiply it by the annual consumption. By doing this you’ll have a good idea about how much the washing machine will cost to run on a yearly basis.
- Invest in a smart energy meter. Available through most energy suppliers, you can hook it up to your electrical goods to keep track of how much energy your appliances are using.
4 Top Tips to save more energy!
Buying an energy efficient washing machine is a great step to saving on your electricity and water bills but there are a few more things you can do to really get the most out of your washing machine.
- Turn it Down – Using a 30°C wash or even lower cycle uses around 40% less energy than higher temperatures.Most clothing can be washed thoroughly at 30 degrees and it’s only for particularly soiled items that you are likely to need to wash at a higher temperatures.
- A Helping Hand – For heavily soiled items or stains give them a soak and scrub with some soap before putting them in the washing machine.This should save you having to do a repeat wash if the stains don’t come out first time.
- The Waiting Game – Try and wait until you have a full load before doing the laundry. Of course, if you’re running low on underwear then you might just have to pop a load on, but to avoid wasting water and energy it’s best to wait for a full load.
- Turn it Off – The easiest tip of all. Make sure your washing machine is fully turned off when not in use.Even when just one light is on the machine will still be using a small amount of electricity. Every little helps!
Did you know?
Some washing machines have specialist sensors which detect the weight of a wash load and even how soiled it is. It can then calculate exactly how much water is needed to wash your clothes in the most efficient way.
Help me Appliance City: What kind of water feed do I need for my washing machine?
Historically washing machines have taken both a cold and hot feed tap.
However, more modern washing machines simply take the cold feed tap. There are some acceptions to rule if you really want a hot feed. Look out for like the new Fisher & Paykel washing machines, Fisher & Paykel give you the option of using a hot feed in conjunction with a cold feed.
Why have they taken the hot feed away?
Two reasons, firstly to make the machines more efficient for you, it is more cost effective for a washing machine to heat up it’s own supply than it is for your home boiler to.
The other reason is down to the enzymes in your detergent. At high temperatures these enzymes unfortunately die off meaning your detergent suffers in performance.