Author Topic: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?  (Read 1586 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.

ebella

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2018, 08:03:54 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.

I have that exact same one!  And 2 others.....

robartsd

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2018, 09:13:18 AM »
Has anyone tried a gullwing style clothes drying rack?

I imagine that it would make for easier drying of bedding. Also I like the idea of hang clothes on the hangers they will be put away on (currently we do this, but hang in doorways - this would be a way to avoid blocking the doorways).

MMM98

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2018, 02:57:41 PM »
I have an AirBnB rental that I have a whole house energy monitor in.  I used this to help me decide if solar was a good idea. 

I have had about 21 renters in, most stay a month.  The monitor has given me great insights on people's habits and I can easily monetize them.  First most people wash in warm or hot.  A fifty degree rise in water temp at the electric water heater costs 1.4 cents per gallon.  If you will wash with heated water a front load will save at seven to ten gallons per load.  That can be 300% more with a top load, it depends upon the machines age.

An electric dryer will cost 25 to 32 cents per load. 

All prices quoted are at 10.5 cents per KwH, roughly the national average.

On average a couple at my rental washes five to six loads a week.  A typical month is 35 to 45 KWH for the dryer but some use nearly 70.  The front load washer uses a dc motor and uses less than 5 KWH per month.  From this you should focus your search on the dryer if you are solely concerned about power consumption.

Edit to add, overall if you are dealing to lower your electric bill the real dollars are in heating and cooling (most locations), then heating water.  The dryer is a big consumer but it pales in comparison to the hvac.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 03:04:55 PM by MMM98 »

bacchi

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2018, 09:48:31 PM »
I have an AirBnB rental that I have a whole house energy monitor in.  I used this to help me decide if solar was a good idea. 

I have had about 21 renters in, most stay a month.  The monitor has given me great insights on people's habits and I can easily monetize them.  First most people wash in warm or hot.  A fifty degree rise in water temp at the electric water heater costs 1.4 cents per gallon.  If you will wash with heated water a front load will save at seven to ten gallons per load.  That can be 300% more with a top load, it depends upon the machines age.

An electric dryer will cost 25 to 32 cents per load. 

All prices quoted are at 10.5 cents per KwH, roughly the national average.

On average a couple at my rental washes five to six loads a week.  A typical month is 35 to 45 KWH for the dryer but some use nearly 70.  The front load washer uses a dc motor and uses less than 5 KWH per month.  From this you should focus your search on the dryer if you are solely concerned about power consumption.

Edit to add, overall if you are dealing to lower your electric bill the real dollars are in heating and cooling (most locations), then heating water.  The dryer is a big consumer but it pales in comparison to the hvac.

That's great data but I'm surprised that 2 people can wash 5-6 loads a week. Even with sheets and towels, that's a lot of washing.

MMM98

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2018, 04:26:33 AM »
I have an AirBnB rental that I have a whole house energy monitor in.  I used this to help me decide if solar was a good idea. 

I have had about 21 renters in, most stay a month.  The monitor has given me great insights on people's habits and I can easily monetize them.  First most people wash in warm or hot.  A fifty degree rise in water temp at the electric water heater costs 1.4 cents per gallon.  If you will wash with heated water a front load will save at seven to ten gallons per load.  That can be 300% more with a top load, it depends upon the machines age.

An electric dryer will cost 25 to 32 cents per load. 

All prices quoted are at 10.5 cents per KwH, roughly the national average.

On average a couple at my rental washes five to six loads a week.  A typical month is 35 to 45 KWH for the dryer but some use nearly 70.  The front load washer uses a dc motor and uses less than 5 KWH per month.  From this you should focus your search on the dryer if you are solely concerned about power consumption.

Edit to add, overall if you are dealing to lower your electric bill the real dollars are in heating and cooling (most locations), then heating water.  The dryer is a big consumer but it pales in comparison to the hvac.

That's great data but I'm surprised that 2 people can wash 5-6 loads a week. Even with sheets and towels, that's a lot of washing.

Welcome to my world.  It's called 'vacation waste'.  It is not uncommon for guests to lower the temp to 65 at night and heat the house when they wake up, in August.  I imagine the loads are mostly towels from the pool.

Cadman

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2018, 08:54:34 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.

Zolo, here's a link for starters: http://www.automaticwasher.org/cgi-bin/TD/TD-VIEWTHREAD.cgi?74059_75   It looks like the 2018 models are identifiable by a black console vs white on the 2017's. SQ is doing all they can to squelch negative reviews on the new design.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2018, 10:52:56 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.

Zolo, here's a link for starters: http://www.automaticwasher.org/cgi-bin/TD/TD-VIEWTHREAD.cgi?74059_75   It looks like the 2018 models are identifiable by a black console vs white on the 2017's. SQ is doing all they can to squelch negative reviews on the new design.
Wow, the difference in performance between the old vs new designs is rather stark.

Sibley

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2018, 12:50:48 PM »
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.
Zolo, here's a link for starters: http://www.automaticwasher.org/cgi-bin/TD/TD-VIEWTHREAD.cgi?74059_75   It looks like the 2018 models are identifiable by a black console vs white on the 2017's. SQ is doing all they can to squelch negative reviews on the new design.
Wow, the difference in performance between the old vs new designs is rather stark.

Well, I have the 2017 washer, but not that electronic one. Mine is pretty mechanical. I got it because I didn't want to deal with failed control boards or whatever. I can happily recommend it though.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2018, 07:05:58 AM »
Right now I have a Bosch washer front load. It has been a good machine. There are a few things I don't like.

1. Machine does get a mold smell even with door cracked open after use. I recently ran the machine with Clorox and hot water cycle to eliminate the smell.

2. Can't fill the machine with water to soak clothes that need extra time to treat for stains or other reasons to soak.

3. The machine is meant for large loads and can wash comforters which is a plus, however, when I do a very tiny load like two velveteen shirts, it will not wring them out and they will be dripping with water. The machine likes heavy loads. Except, I did have trouble with some throw rugs too. I think the load was off balance in the washer.

I chose a machine that didn't have a thousand buttons. It has about 5 different load types.

I also have a rod in my laundry room where after I dry the clothes for about 5 minutes in the dryer, I hang them on a hanger on the rod. Then I put on a fan to blow them dry. It works really nice and helps prevent dryer shrinkage. I don't use my dryer a lot but will for towels, some whites, sheets, comfortors, bedspreads. Putting the clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes takes out most of the wrinkles.

robartsd

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2018, 10:32:19 AM »
3. The machine is meant for large loads and can wash comforters which is a plus, however, when I do a very tiny load like two velveteen shirts, it will not wring them out and they will be dripping with water. The machine likes heavy loads. Except, I did have trouble with some throw rugs too. I think the load was off balance in the washer.
A load that the machine can balance is important in front loaders. It's not really so much about the load being heavy as the machine being mostly full and all the items having similar density and water retention properties. If the machine isn't full enough, when it spins fast enough to get items to remain on the sides throughout the revolution the items all remain pretty much on one side. In a top loader your two velveteen shirts load would hopefully spin out with the shirts on opposite sides of the drum, but getting the shirts on opposite sides of the drum in a front loader is virtually impossible. The machine detects the imbalance and slows the spin speed trying to get some of the load to fall to get a better balance, eventually the time the machine allocates for spinning is exhausted and the machine stops without a fast enough spin to extract the water being reached.

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: Best washer dryer for energy efficiency and quiet?
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2018, 09:31:04 PM »
... most people wash in warm or hot.  A fifty degree rise in water temp at the electric water heater costs 1.4 cents per gallon.  If you will wash with heated water a front load will save at seven to ten gallons per load.  That can be 300% more with a top load, it depends upon the machines age.

An electric dryer will cost 25 to 32 cents per load. 

All prices quoted are at 10.5 cents per KwH, roughly the national average.
Edit to add, overall if you are dealing to lower your electric bill the real dollars are in heating and cooling (most locations), then heating water.  The dryer is a big consumer but it pales in comparison to the hvac.

This is in line with our use.  Electric hot water is a killer. 

I wash in cold except in winter, when the cold water is too cold to rinse completely.  Modern detergents do work as well in cold water, but they have their limits.

With heavy items like towels and bedspreads, an extra spin in the washing machine (top loader) can significantly cut down on dryer time.  Pull it out, peel it apart and fluff it, put it back in and spin it again.  Modern front loaders spin dry enough to begin with, and take a lot less dryer time too.