As the year comes to an end, the Department of Energy has updated the standards for energy and water-efficient clothes washers. Clothes washers manufactured on or after January 1, 2018 shall have an Integrated Water Factor (IWF) no greater than 6.5 gallons per cycle per cubic foot for top-loading, standard washers and 4.7 gallons per cycle per cubic foot for front-loading, standard washers. Top loaders manufactured before the start of the new year previously had an IWF of 8.4. The IWF standard will not change for front loaders.
IWF is the water performance metric for ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers. The lower the IWF, the more water efficient the machine. According to ENERGY STAR, washers are the second largest water user in a home.
It Will All Come Out In the Wash
Notably, front loaders have a lower IWF than top loaders and may be the better choice between the two because they use up to 70 percent less water, as reported by CHOICE, an Australian consumer advocacy group. Front-loading machines tend to perform better, are gentle and do not use agitators. They also take up less space and are more energy and water efficient. Although more expensive, front loaders offset the purchase price because they are more cost efficient in the long run.
If a product is better for you, your pocket, your clothes and the environment, why not take the extra step to bring it into your home?
To learn more about energy and water conservation standards and their compliance dates, visit: www.ecfr.gov.