Comparing High Efficiency and Traditional Washers

While high efficiency washers have been trending up in recent years among homeowners, there may still be a place for traditional washers in some homes.

Homeowners that are looking to make their homes more energy efficient will be pleased to know that there are a lot of options out there for new appliances which utilize new technologies to consume less energy. Among these, high efficiency washers have been gaining steam over the last several years after being standard in Europe for some time prior. Let’s take a closer look at how these washers compare to traditional models.

Traditional Washers

While traditional washers use more water and energy than the high efficiency models on the market, they are still sold and used because they have particular advantages. Since they use more water, they are able to complete a wash cycle in a shorter period of time than high efficiency models. In addition, they operate using a monotonous cleaning motion – a clockwise or counterclockwise turning motion – where HE washers tumble clothes in a manner similar to a dryer. While this doesn’t provide a thorough, deep clean of clothing, the surface level clean that results is actually gentler on your clothes long-term. Finally, the design of the units allows for better maintenance because they are not as susceptible to poor air circulation, which can lead to musky scents and mildew over time.

High Efficiency Washers

High efficiency washers use a combination of cleaning technologies to get your clothing cleaner while consuming less energy and using less water than a traditional unit. HE washers use a special blend of detergent, called HE detergent, which is more concentrated. Since the unit itself uses less water, the special detergent is less diluted during a wash cycle. And even though the cycle is longer than in a traditional washer, the tumble motion takes less energy and cleans clothing more thoroughly. Finally, high efficency washers tend to have larger capacities than traditional washers, allowing you to do more laundry per load.

While some argue that poor air circulation is a major con for the HE units, some manufacturers have developed features (such as a fresh hold option which circulates air in the unit for up to 12 hours after a load is completed) to solve this particular issue if you’re unable to leave your washer door open.

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