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Published: Thursday, 5/7/2009

Tips for Selecting the Right High Efficiency Washer and Dryer

(ARA) - More practical than a flashy new car or the latest electronic gadget, high efficiency washers and dryers are gaining popularity with consumers that, given the current state of the economy, are on the lookout everywhere for bargains.

Valued for their ability to drastically reduce water and energy costs, studies have shown that high efficiency machines use 40 to 50 percent less water and 50 to 65 percent less energy than conventional top-loaders. Additionally, from an environmental standpoint, HE machines are also extremely desirable: experts claim that a family of four would reduce their water usage by as much as 8,000 gallons a year by using an HE washing machine. The hefty initial cost of HE machines (which cost, on average, around $800 per unit) is more than offset by the lifetime savings the consumer can expect, making them a prudent long-term investment.

However, as with any new technology, HE machines come with new maintenance requirements and style considerations that new owners should become aware of before purchasing. Below are a few insights, submitted by laundry experts, which can help consumers make the right choices in purchasing their HE machine and help them to enjoy their benefits for years to come.

* Always buy the largest washer that your space and budget allow. Doing bigger loads will not only reduce your workload -- it will also make your water usage more cost effective.

* Electronic touch-pad controls look sleek, but reviews say they're more delicate than knobs and dials, and more expensive to repair. Technology-challenged individuals should perhaps steer clear. However, this might be a good way to introduce a tech wizard child to the wonderful world of doing laundry.

* A stainless-steel tub is preferable to porcelain because it won't rust or chip.

* Automatic temperature controls are a worthy feature because they automatically select the right water temperature for each selected load, and can take the guess work out washing delicate knits or undergarments.

Maintenance-wise, some consumers have experienced issues with mysterious odors coming from their machines. Turns out, this is caused by residual water in the tub of an HE washer, which can then become a breeding ground for built up odors from past washes.

The remedy in these cases is incredibly simple: adding 3/4 cup of bleach to your regular white laundry cycle will remove the build-up in your machine and help keep both your washer and clothes smelling fresh. Some companies like Clorox have already created new products specially designed for HE machines, like Clorox Plus High Efficiency Bleach. The new formula is specially designed to protect the internal metal parts of HE washing machines and has a thicker consistency which makes it easier to pour into those tiny dispensers and prevents splashing.

HE machines are a good investment for those who wish to cut down on their water and energy consumption for financial and environmental reasons. As long as consumers keep in mind their own individual needs while shopping and are willing to perform a few simple maintenance tasks, HE machine ownership can prove to be a highly practical and cost-effective alternative.

Courtesy of ARAcontent



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