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Energy-Efficient Front-Load Washing Machines

1/23/2008 12:00:00 AM


The old washing machine finally bit the dust after nearly 14 years. Yea! What a great opportunity to invest in a new energy-efficient front-load washing machine! But the new machines work differently. You might be surprised.

There were several factors involved in our decision, but my wife Sue and I are now the proud owners of an LG WM2016CW. We checked the Consumer Reports Buying Guide and epinions. After shopping around a bit to see what was available from retailers in our area, we also read the reviews on the Home Depot and Sears sites. I was relying on the yellow stickers on the machines to determine energy efficiency, but could have checked the Energy Star ratings online first.

After the machine was installed and tested, Sue started the first load. A few shots of water entered the machine and the clothes started tumbling. Hmmm. They still look dry. A few more shots of water; still tumbling. This isn't like the front loaders at the laundry mat. So Sue made a call to be certain the machine was not malfunctioning. She was reassured that it wasn't and allowed the machine to run.

Sure enough, the machine kept adding water a bit at a time until the clothes were thoroughly soaked. But there was never so much water in the machine that it was visible along the door. At the end of the 51-minute cycle, the clothes were spun out — probably drier than our old top-loader. It's really an amazing and efficient process. For the first few loads we sat on the floor in front of the machine, watching it like TV.

One of the sales people told Sue that her utility bills dropped $40 per month after purchasing a front-loader. I'm not expecting results quite that impressive, but I look forward to seeing the impact of our purchase.

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