A new clothes washer can save a significant amount of both energy and water, so early replacement of an aging clothes washer can make sense.
There is a balance between the cost of a new machine and the savings available. Here’s the logic on an early replacement of your clothes washer: We’re assuming the current unit is a standard top loader. If you have a high efficiency top loader or a front loader, wait until you machine wears out before replacing – the energy savings are too small to justify early replacement.
Energy Savings. A new high-efficiency washer (top- or front-loader) will save energy. About one-third from washing machine use and two-thirds from reduced dryer time – the better the spin cycle, the less moisture the dryer has to deal with. At a typical 300 loads per year (just under 6 per week), that’s $50 per year.
Water Savings. Here’s where the big savings are, thanks to the reduced water use of new models. You’ll save $20 per year on average on water costs.
Cost of New Washing Machine. Get a high-efficiency top-loader or front-loader, about $950.
Rebates. Often your local water and/or energy utility will pay you $50 – $75 to buy a new washing machine. They want you to save!
Sale prices. During key sales periods, you can save another $75 – $100 through retailer discounts (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Black Friday, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July).
Putting it all together:
$950 Purchase price
-$75 Retailer Discount
$825 Net Washing Machine Cost
At a total energy and water savings of $70 per year ($50 + $20), the energy savings will pay for the cost of the washing machine in 11 years ($825/70). If you take care to buy a washing machine in the top CEE tier, the savings will cover the cost in only 3 – 4 years. See our shopping guide for details on the CEE tiers.