What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Front Loaders - Washer & Dryer

Whirlpool Duet

For years we used a wonderful, bought used Admiral washer and dryer set. It gave us a lot of good service. The washer went first, spitting oil all over so it was replaced by a Kenmore HD toploadind washer. The dryer was replaced with a Moffat HD gas dryer because gas is cheaper here than electricitiy. We knew this was a bandage appoach so took our time doing the reseach to find a washer and dryer that would meet our needs and save us some money in the process.

The very first thing to consider when upgrading your appliances is the Energy Star rating followed by whether gas or electric is cheaper. For this purchase we chose Whirlpool Duet but only after I did my research. I was seriously after energy efficiency on this pair.

Let's compare front loading to top loading washing machines. This particular model uses 68% less water than a conventional top loader. At the same time you can put almost three times the amount of laundry in one load meaning three loads of laundry will be washed and ready for drying in the length of time one load would normally take. Now this in itself will save you the cost of running those two additional loads and will save you time too! What really impressed me about this washer was the EnergyGuide rating of 180 on a scale of 113 to 680 (kWh/year) so it is pretty energy efficient. An added plus is the frontloaders express more water from your clothes making them dryer so your dryer needs to work less. That means for us we are also saving on drying costs. We cannot dry outside due to allergies so clothes must be dried indoors. The final huge thing is because there is no agitator, the washer is easier on your clothes making them last longer. Ok so we are saving on electricity, gas, water and clothes so is there a catch?

I read the epinions reviews and this set got either five stars or one star. I think I did this link right as I'm on epinions as well so you can read my reviews. The ones that gave one star in most cases did not follow the manufacurer's suggestions. You must use HE laundry soap not regular laundry soap. Sam's Club has a large jug of All HE Anti-Allergen for $10.99 and since you are using less soap and three times the load, that's not a bad price! Do not use non-HE soap as it will cause extra sudsing and will gunk up your machine. It can also cause premature failure of some of your washer's components. Now we are sitting here with almost a year's supply of our regular brand of laundry soap thanks to our frugal nature however we will distribute this amongst family and friends so it doesn't go to waste. Ok, next problem I discovered was one problem with all front loading washers was molding. Now this was a huge concern for me and since bleach is also a problem, the suggested solutions are not an option. However, another family member has had a front loading washer for three years without a problem. The trick is to leave the door open after wash day. Now some seem to be making a huge deal about this on epinions, yet my normal routine has been to leave the lid open on the old top loader after all the laundry is done. This is not a huge problem for me and it will work nicely for where our new set is located. The third complaint was vibration and given our floor situation, I do think we can expect some but honestly not near as much as the top loader. These machines especially the washer need to be level!

If you do the research and check out all the specs the front loading washers are energy efficient, environmentally friendly and just make good sense in these times of rising energry costs!

Garden Gnome
© 2007