Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Truth About High Efficiency Washers

When we moved, we decided not to take our washer with us. My daughter had done a number on it by overloading it. Despite replacing the belt, it had a wine and wobble ever since. My brother-in-law warned me another moved would kill the already fragile machine. It was time to buy a new machine.

Truth told I am spoiled when it comes to appliances. My father retired from General Electric and supplied us with low cost appliances for years. This was probably our first real full price appliance. A friend gave me our stove, while the fridge was a scratch and dent model. We walked through various stores looking at the cost of a washer. The average washer was about $600 and it went on up after that. I couldn’t figure out the charm of the front loading models.

We finally ended up at H.H. Gregg and purchased a Whirlpool High Efficiency washer for under $500. We were able to get free shipping too. What a bargain, but my sister quickly burst my bubble telling me about the evils of HE washers. She doesn’t have one. She just heard about it.

High Efficiency Myths

1.       They smell.

Mine doesn’t and had it for a year now. I do leave the laundry room door open because the furnace man insisted it would prevent mildew from building up in the furnace.


2.       You can’t stop them once you start them.

You can’t stop a front loader, but I went for the cheaper top loader you can stop.


3.       They are rough on your clothes.

Having a bra, panties, or anything caught on the agitator and having it twisted the whole cycle isn’t hard on it? I bought a bra ball to save my lingerie, but I forget to use it half the time.


4.       It doesn’t save you money or water.

Tell that to my water bill, which is a fraction of what it used to be. I also use less detergent.


5.       You have to use expensive HE detergent

It is hard to find detergent that isn’t HE. Originally more sudsing components were added to detergent to make extravagant suds to reassure us that our clothes were getting clean. Of course, it took a great deal of water to rinse out all those suds. Suds that neither made the clothes clean or helped the environment.


According to Ted the Appliance guy a top loader HE uses half the water an agitator does. This matters because you’re paying for the water if you’re on city water. It also matters if you are on septic because it means less gray water in your system. Both are win-wins scenarios.


According to Ted, you want to avoid front loaders for second story laundries because of the vibrations. If you want to get the most for your money, there is no reason not to buy a top loading HE washer as opposed to an agitator.   

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