What should you consider when buying a washing machine to save energy?
If you have to buy a new washing machine, a look at the energy label is particularly worthwhile for you. The EU energy label was first introduced in 1998 and has since been gradually introduced for more and more household appliances. The energy efficiency class of each new washing machine is entered on the energy label. The higher the efficiency class, the lower the machine’s annual power consumption. Modern washing machines are almost exclusively available in class A +++. The differences in power consumption between a class A + and A +++ machine are not insignificant.
A very economical washing machine of energy efficiency class A +++ with a capacity of 7 kg consumes e.g. 150 kWh of electricity per year on average. In contrast, the power consumption of a class A + machine of the same size is around 220 kWh. With an electricity price of 28 cents per kilowatt-hour, this means savings of almost 20 euros per year and a corresponding relief for the environment. If there is a hot water connection in the laundry room, it is worth buying a washing machine that draws the warm water from the central heating. The heating of a house heats water much cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the electric heating elements of a washing machine.
4 tips if you want to save energy when doing your laundry
The following tips should help you to save both energy and money when washing your laundry:
Tip # 1: Sort and load properly
Saving energy when washing clothes starts with loading the washing machine. If the machine is only switched on when it is really full, the energy consumption is lowest in relation to the amount of laundry. Older machines in particular require the same amount of water and energy with a small load as with the maximum possible amount of laundry. If the laundry is sorted according to color and type of textile, the optimal washing program can also be set.
If you do not have so much laundry that a machine is always full, you should use paint catchment cloths and dirt catchment cloths. They can be used to wash different types of laundry without causing discoloration. The cloths catch color particles in the water and hold them in place.
Tip # 2: wash at low wash temperature
Lowering the washing temperature offers even more savings potential. Thanks to modern detergents, it is virtually no longer necessary to wash at 90 or 95 degrees. In most cases, 60 degrees is completely sufficient to get even heavily soiled laundry spotless and hygienically clean. Only lightly soiled laundry is perfectly clean even at 40 or 30 degrees. Another advantage is that textiles last longer at a lower washing temperature and the colors stay fresh for longer with colored laundry.
Tip # 3: Use the eco function
Many washing machines now offer an eco function. This extends the washing time but reduces energy consumption.
Tip # 4: pretreat stains
The pre-wash cycle that is possible with many machines only consumes energy unnecessarily and does not really improve cleanliness. Targeted pretreatment of stains with a stain remover is more energy efficient. A good example is gall soap. Likewise, if you do not use a fabric softener, the running time of the machine can be reduced, thus saving energy.
Tip # 5: The right washing machine location
And the location of the washing machine also plays a role in energy consumption. In an unheated basement, every washing machine emits heat faster than in a heated utility room or kitchen. Simply because of the temperature difference between the heated machine and the environment is greater.