Author Topic: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?  (Read 541 times)

ebella

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Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« on: June 11, 2018, 12:49:24 PM »
We're in the process of buying an apartment with a washer dryer hookup that allows for side by side washer dryers in a walk in closet area.  So we're not too concerned with space or aesthetics.  Our main concerns are energy efficiency (mostly wash on cold and usually hang clothes to dry/use dryer for linens) and it being quiet (the laundry area is next to our bedroom and against a neighbors wall).  I've never bought a washer dryer and have no idea where to begin.
I heard February is a good time because of sales but waiting that long and using coin laundry will be pretty expensive (current coin laundry situation is $2.75 for just 1 wash!).  I am hoping around Father's Day we might see some good sales at places like Lowes, sears, Home Depot.  But the cheapest combos I'm seeing with cursory online search are around $1000 total.  We're all set on installation (father in law is actually a professional plumber) and transporting it (got friends with pickups), so my main concerns are price and efficiency and quiet.  Anybody got suggestions on how to make it cheaper?

Sibley

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 01:37:36 PM »
I have a new speed queen washer and a 30 year old gas dryer. The dryer was free and required some minor repairs. Hopefully the washer will last 15+ years. There was a free washer that came with it, but it unfortunately died beyond repair. I prioritized longevity. They don't match and I don't care.

Re noise - turning off the sounds (music, buzzer) will be the biggest bang for your buck. All the fancy new things seem to be obsessed with playing music.

Recommendation: find a used washer & dryer in good condition. Bonus points if it's highly mechanized rather than computerized. Make sure they're installed properly, are level, and you've turned off the buzzer. If there's a bad belt causing a squeak, fix it.

trammatic

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 06:22:20 AM »
Most of the units on the market today are pretty quiet and meet energy star requirements.  Front loaders are marginally quieter, fwiw.  I'd look for a dryer used, no problem.  They're very simple machines that are easy to repair.  As for modern washers, there are a lot of electronics that can be expensive to replace and troubleshoot, so if you buy used, make sure it's a recent model and that it works as-is.  A few years ago, I thought I'd buy and rehab a front loader, and it ended up bleeding money.  I'd look for scratch and dent for the washer from a big box store.  One of my go-to places is searsoutlet.com.  They post all of their scratch and dent nationwide online.  I ended up getting a new Samsung front loader washer with a scratch on the side for $300.

ebella

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 07:58:59 AM »
Most of the units on the market today are pretty quiet and meet energy star requirements.  Front loaders are marginally quieter, fwiw.  I'd look for a dryer used, no problem.  They're very simple machines that are easy to repair.  As for modern washers, there are a lot of electronics that can be expensive to replace and troubleshoot, so if you buy used, make sure it's a recent model and that it works as-is.  A few years ago, I thought I'd buy and rehab a front loader, and it ended up bleeding money.  I'd look for scratch and dent for the washer from a big box store.  One of my go-to places is searsoutlet.com.  They post all of their scratch and dent nationwide online.  I ended up getting a new Samsung front loader washer with a scratch on the side for $300.


Ooooh good suggestion!  Will do!

grandep

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 08:38:43 AM »
Recommendation: find a used washer & dryer in good condition. Bonus points if it's highly mechanized rather than computerized. Make sure they're installed properly, are level, and you've turned off the buzzer. If there's a bad belt causing a squeak, fix it.

I second this recommendation -- I recently bought a used Frigidaire washer and dryer set for under $300. The dryer had a bad squeak so the seller wanted to get rid of it (not willing or not able to fix it himself, I guess). But dryers are pretty straightforward to fix. All I had to was replace the belt (which cost $7) and apply some lubricant to the idler pulley and the squeak is gone.

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 02:40:08 PM »
Any modern front loading washer will be far more efficient, and quieter, than any top loader.  Besides using a fraction of the water, the high speed spin gets a lot more water out, for a lot less time in the dryer.  Beyond that, I don't think they differ much in efficiency, though they may in reliability.

Old Speed Queen and Maytag are reliable and durable, but they're nowhere near as efficient or effective as a modern front loader.  And they're a lot harder on your clothing.  Agitators pull, stretch, twist, and abrade everything to an early death.  At best these are 1960s technology.

I don't think dryers differ much, new or old, though gas is usually cheaper to run.

Consumer Reports has good reviews.  So does Wirecutter.

Sears has always been great for appliances, especially on sale, with discounts if you use their credit card.

Habitat for Humanity has great deals too.  I see late model front loaders there all the time for $225 or so.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 09:40:04 PM »
I'd like to offer up a few counterpoints to FiftyIsTheNewTwenty:

While newer, high-efficiency washing machines do indeed use less electricity and water, they also come with a few downsides.  One of those downsides is lower capacity, which means you may end up running the machine more often, which will take back some of those efficiency gains.

The newer models also have a reputation for more frequent and very expensive repairs.  Washing machines used to be electromechanical, i.e. no electronics at all.  They're much more reliable and cheaper to replace.  That's no longer the case--my father recently had to replace his HE washer due to the main control board going out.  It seems there is exactly one model left on the market that hasn't succumbed to the electronics trend--a commercial Speed Queen model.  Replacing a control board on a HE machine can easily wipe out years worth of water and electricity savings.  Our electromechanical washing machine, now 13 years old, has needed repair three times.  Twice it was a $5 part (agitator dogs, which are a wear item anyway), and once it was a door switch (maybe $20?).  It does about 300 loads per year, and has probably done around 3,000 loads in its life.

Front-load washers are also prone to mold/mildew if you leave the door closed.

I don't have personal experience, but I've heard that HE machines are less effective at actually getting clothes clean.

If your top-loading washing machine is too hard on your clothes, you can reduce the speed setting.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2018, 02:47:54 AM »
In my area you can get decent used appliances like this for $50-$100 each, so long as you don't care if they match. Why? Because people around here will replace the set if one of them breaks.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2018, 09:14:20 AM »
We replaced our noisy 20 yr old Maytags last year (stopped working). Those things had a buzzer for everything!

We bought Speed Queens.
1. had good reviews wherever we went
2. totally made in the US, by union workers This fact led us to believe OSHA standards were followed (Worker safety is very important to us)
3. They have 3, 5 and 7 yr warranties, but I can't remember which ours have.
4. I didn't know this when buying them, but they are very quiet
5. The washer's tub is stainless steel
I've never had a washing machine that squeezed the items so dry.

I read the post a couple before this, and it is electromechanical
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 09:16:22 AM by TheWifeHalf »

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 09:45:18 AM »
I got one like this for $10 used from Craig's List. My building has powerful dryers but I haven't used them since buying this. You'll probably buy a power dryer anyway (you may want to read Consumer Reports), but you may want to consider getting one of these too. Like me, you may find yourself using the power dryer far less than you expect.

> for energy efficiency and quiet

They operate silently, require zero power, and mine hasn't needed a repair yet.



Actually, I've acquired 2 others for free from moving neighbors. A load only uses 1.5 at a time, so if you want the third, you can have it.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 09:46:55 AM by JoshuaSpodek »

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2018, 03:32:08 PM »
^^^ Good point!  I've found that with a good-spinning washer, hanging the clothes in a room with a ceiling fan can dry them almost as quickly as a dryer!  At a tiny fraction of the energy cost.  I would bet my ceiling fans use no more than 20W, while the dryer probably uses 1000-2000W.  For heavy items like towels or bedspreads, a fluff and second spin can eliminate a second dryer cycle that might be needed. 

I do hang most of my clothes, as it is so much easier on them, as well as less costly.  Dryers really destroy clothing, the hotter the worse.  I only use the high heat for towels and sheets.

zolo, all good points about classic Speed Queen vs. modern front loaders, worth thinking about.  Some top loaders do spin really well, but though to the touch they feel like they dry as well they don't with respect to drying time.  I've tested this!

And while I do think front loaders clean better, top loaders deal better with loose dirt like mud, sand,  big food goobers, etc., which their copious amounts of water can better drain away.  Also, if you need to use a lot of Oxy-Clean, etc., which takes a ridiculous amount of water to rinse out completely.

But the original question was about efficiency and quiet, where top-loaders aren't even in the running.

Sibley

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2018, 09:04:52 AM »
Comment on the SpeedQueen washer - when I bought mine last year, there were 2 types. Mechanical (no fancy buttons), and electronic (fancy buttons). While they do have the models produced for commercial purposes, mine was produced for home use. So far so good, and I have hopes it'll last for 10+ years. It is expensive - I believe it was around $800-900, but don't remember exactly.

Cadman

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2018, 10:19:36 AM »
I think you'll find the Speed Queen TL'ers highly recommended by this community. They really are built to last a lifetime, do a great job getting clothes clean and are easily repairable if needed. But BE AWARE, they recently redesigned their machines to have a fixed agitator and washing ability is now worthless. So if you go shopping, do a little googling beforehand.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 11:58:56 AM »
I think you'll find the Speed Queen TL'ers highly recommended by this community. They really are built to last a lifetime, do a great job getting clothes clean and are easily repairable if needed. But BE AWARE, they recently redesigned their machines to have a fixed agitator and washing ability is now worthless. So if you go shopping, do a little googling beforehand.
Do you have a link to more information about the design change?  I'd love to do a bit more research on it.

robartsd

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 04:14:03 PM »
> for energy efficiency and quiet

They operate silently, require zero power, and mine hasn't needed a repair yet.


That's exactly what I was thinking. I haven't had the fortune of having neighbors moving and giving additional units away, so we still have to find auxiliary hanging space for large loads.