Buy an Energy Star Washer, Get the Dryer for Free*

*this is not a promotional offer. Just keep reading; you’ll catch on.

(Unfortunately, the washer that comes with a drum full of dollar bills is now discontinued.)

The amount you’ll save on water and electricity costs over the life (in this case, 11 years) of an Energy Star washer will pay for the matching dryer.

You’ve heard plenty anecdotal advice about energy-efficient appliances saving you money on your utility bills.

But when you’re comparing price tags – an estimated $492 for a conventional washer versus an estimated $750 for an Energy Star-qualified washer – it may seem like you won’t save money at all.

But allow us to run the numbers for you, given the above estimates with an average of 7.5 loads per week, according to the Energy Star website:

$258 (initial cost difference)
$481 (life cycle savings)
___________________
$223 (net life cycle savings)

So, you’ll save $223 over the life of the washer, meaning that you’ll make up for the upfront additional cost of an energy-efficient model within 4.7 years.  But that’s just the savings of a standard new washer versus an Energy Star washer. Most Energy Star washers replace a old “clunker.”

Nearly 30% of all clothes washers in the U.S. are more than 10 years old. Replacing a model that old with an Energy Star model can save you more than $135 a year on your utility bills.

$135 x 11 (average life span) = $1485 savings.

$1485? That buys a really nice dryer.

Steam Dryer: Not Just Hot Air

Iron-a-aphobia? Don't worry, there's help.
Iron-a-aphobia? Don’t worry, there’s help.

The steam dryer function does more than you think it might.

Tell me if this has happened to you: You work all day, come home for a quick wardrobe change for a night out only to find your dress or dress shirt more crinkled than an Ore-Ida – and you don’t have time (or refuse) to iron!

What now? Hang it on the door and turn on a hot shower? I think we’ve all tried that.

Instead, toss it in a steam dryer for a refresh and throw it on 15 minutes later.

Steam Refresh Dryer Cycle

In steam refresh cycles, a small amount of water is sprayed into the drum after several minutes of tumbling with heat. The dryer will continue to tumble at regular heat for the duration of the cycle to reduce wrinkles, static and odors in fabrics.

@falenkdwb's LG washer and steam dryer.
@falenkdwb’s LG washer and steam dryer.

But they aren’t just for procrastinators/wrinkled-clothes wearers.

These dryers have a sanitize cycle, which is NSF certified to eliminate 99.3% of three common infectious bacteria. Think of all those decorative pillows, comforters and children’s toys and stuffed animals that can’t be washed, but need to be sanitized for allergy-sufferers and to ward off cold/flu this season.

Do you use a steam dryer? If so, what’s your favorite feature?

For more laundry tips and tricks, explore more on our blog!

Why do front-load washers take so long?

Many customers seem confused when we explain that front-load washing machines need an hour minimum for a normal wash cycle.

Luckily, for times when I can't wait an hour and a half for a clean outfit (sports uniforms, anyone?), I have the 18-minute wash, 18-minute dry feature from Electrolux (though my laundry room looks nothing like this). In a word: lifesaver.

But front-load laundry machines profess great water and energy savings. How does a longer cycle reconcile with such efficiency?

First, front-load washers don’t fill deeply with water, only to dump it all out a short while later. Rather, they pump in a minimal amount of water (some models use sensors to determine the size of the load).

Water continuously filters in and out throughout the cycle, meaning the water stays clean the entire time. Top-load washers fill with water until the clothes float, and then the clothes just sit in that water for the entire cycle.

Also, heating the water often takes longer in a front-loader. A sanitation wash cycle takes about two hours. But you can be assured the hotter temperature eliminates all the cold and flu germs and dust mites congregating in your clothing and linens.

The good news is laundry still takes the same amount of time because dry times have been cut in half. We used to wait for the hour-long drying cycle to finish long after the washer was done. But now, because front-load washers extract so much water during the spin cycle, the average dryer cycle lasts only about 30 minutes.

Or for me, the skinny jeans (which I refuse to put in the dryer because they may get a bit too skinny) I hang on a drying rack easily dry by morning.

Dryer not drying? Check the vent

If your clothes still are damp after a dryer cycle or you’re increasing the drying time, you probably need to check your dryer for clogs or damage that slow moist air from leaving the dryer.

Run your dryer and go outside to check the air coming out of your exhaust hood.  If you feel less air movement than a blow dryer on its highest setting, the dryer’s exhaust hood or interior vent could be clogged.

First, clean dried lint from your exhaust hood and make sure to clear any blockages such as leaves or overgrown plants. (Or squirrels…)

If your air movement still seems subpar, clean the lint from the entire length of the system. You should do this about every two years to keep your dryer running its best and to prevent risk of fires.

(See “How to Clean A Dryer Vent” video on YouTube.) If this seems involved, consider replacing your venting — it’s relatively inexpensive.

Also, replace any venting that’s been kinked or crushed (see example below) with rigid or flexible heavy metal venting at least 4 inches in diameter. NEVER use plastic or metal foil venting.

dryervent

whirlpool.com

To prevent clogs in the first place, clean your dryer’s lint filter after each use and keep your exhaust vent unobstructed.
Info source: ServiceMatters.com