By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now
If you want the most energy-efficient washing machine on the market, wait a few weeks.
That’s because five washers atop the government’s Energy Star ratings (when sorted by energy efficiency) aren’t on the market yet. The Whirlpool WFW94HE, WFW95HE and WFW97HE and Maytag’s MHW7000 and MHW6000 (model numbers will vary slightly based on retailer) are tightly under wraps until October.
Whirlpool (which owns the Maytag brand) won’t even give you a peek.
If you can’t wait that long, we’ve rounded up some of the other most energy-efficient washing machines on the Energy Star list, as well as top-rated ones from Consumer Reports.
To see all the Energy Star washing machine ratings, go to its website and type in your requirements for size, type, brand or efficiency, then click “Find Clothes Washers.” That will bring up the Energy Star ratings. When looking for the most energy- and water-efficient washers, learn these two acronyms: MEF and WF.
MEF stands for Modified Energy Factor and measures the energy a machine uses to run, heat water and operate a dryer. The higher the MEF, the better.
WF stands for Water Factor, a measure of water efficiency, in gallons. The lower the WF, the better.
All the top Energy Star rated washing machines are front-loading. Shop around, because prices here can usually be beaten.
If you don’t count the mystery washers, the Electrolux EFWLS70 is the most energy-efficient on the market now. The washing machine has a large 5.1 cubic feet of load space, although Energy Star’s space measurements sometimes differ from the manufacturers’. Electrolux says the machine takes 15 minutes to wash a load, adds steam to some wash cycles and has lots of other features, including more than 20 wash settings. All that wonderful stuff isn’t cheap at $1,800.