How much does the washing machine consume? The consumption of household appliances is in fact one of the most frequent questions that more and more families ask themselves after the recent increases in the cost of energy. Analyzing the trend of prices and tariffs in 2022, compared to 2021 electricity increased by 110.4%, with a heavy burden on the pockets of the Italians. Well, in the case of the washing machine – today practically present in almost all homes – its use can involve a significant consumption of energy and water, having a significant impact on the expenditure on the bill. Fortunately, however, there are several strategies that can be adopted to reduce the running costs of the washing machine, without compromising the effectiveness of the wash.
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How much does the washing machine consume?
Although it is almost impossible to have reliable data expressed in euros on how much does a washing machine consume (indeed it depends on the type of use, the load capacity and the model), however we know that the power consumptions can range from approx 154 kWh per year for a class A washing machine at 413 kWh per year for an energy-efficient washing machine. Enea (the National Agency for New Technologies) has carried out a comparison of costs for 6 kg and 9 kg loads, comparing washing machines belonging to different energy classes, calculating washing cycles at 60° C and 40° C. Well, what emerges is that a class A washing machine, for a load of 6 kg, has an annual consumption of less than 154 kW/h and an electricity cost of approximately 55 euros per year (to date, in fact, the cost of kWh amounts to 0.361 €/kWh and refers to the tariff regulated by ARERA in the protected market, while the cost of kWh in the free market is established by the individual electricity suppliers).
Conversely, a class D washing machine consumes over 290 kWh per year and has a bill cost of over 104 euros per year. If, on the other hand, the load is 9 kg, the consumption of a class A washing machine will be less than 218 kW/h per year and the cost will be less than 79 euros per year. Conversely, a class D washing machine will consume more than 413 kW/h per year, with an annual cost in the bill of over 149 euros. It goes without saying that, in the case of a 90° C wash cycle, the energy consumption (and, consequently, the annual cost) will be almost double that of a 60° C cycle.
Class A washing machine (or higher)
To minimize energy waste, first of all it is good to buy recent models of household appliances, which belong to energy class A. Also choose a capacity suitable for the number of family members: for a group of 3-4 people, a washing machine with a capacity of 5-6 kg will be more than sufficient (more would be useless and would only of additional waste). Keep the washing machine always efficient, providing for periodic cleaning of the drum and the drain pipes, if not even the filters to make the water less hard.
Full load washing
The basket must be full, but without being filled to the limit. The full load in fact, it allows you to group several items in the same wash, so that washings are less frequent and energy and water consumption are exploited to the maximum. Turning the half-empty basket does not result in a half-empty energy reduction, but only by 20%. The basket though it must not be overloaded. Avoid forcibly pushing an extra item, if the drum is full the water will struggle to circulate and the laundry will be less clean. The only cases in which the drum can be half filled is for synthetic/blended fabrics, for wool and for delicates, since these fabrics are more affected by rubbing between garments.
The right program
Each washing machine offers the possibility of choose different programs: where possible, use those a lower and short-lived temperatures. Reserve washing at 90° C for garments with stubborn dirt, generally 60° C are more than sufficient. If the clothes are lightly soiled, use even lower temperatures (40°C are fine in most cases) and programs for synthetic/mixed fabrics instead of those for cotton which are generally longer.
No to prewash and suitable detergent
Avoid doing the prewash, unless the clothes are really very dirty. The factor should not be overlooked either detergentdose it according to the instructions found on the package and in any case for 1 kg of laundry, do not exceed 25 ml of detergent.
When to do the laundry to save money
The demand for electricity is not the same at every hour of the day and producing energy during peak hours costs much more on average. Well, with the two-hourly and multi-hourly rates policyenergy costs less from 19:00 at 8:00 during the days of the week, as well as during the weekend it’s us holidays: if properly exploited, these tariffs allow you to further save on energy costs.
There are three reference time slots for users of the electricity market, namely: F1, F2 and F3
- F1 band: from Monday to Friday, from 8.00 to 19.00, excluding national holidays.
- Fascia F2: from Monday to Friday, from 7.00 to 8.00 and from 19.00 to 23.00, excluding national holidays; Saturday, from 7.00 to 23.00, excluding national holidays.
- Band F3: from Monday to Saturday, from 00.00 to 7.00 and from 23.00 to 24.00; Sundays and holidays, all hours of the day.
- In the case of domestic customers, for homes served under the protection regime, consumption is divided into range F1, as defined above, and band F23, which includes all the hours included in the F2 and F3 slots (i.e. from 19.00 to 8.00 every weekday, every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday).
Therefore, if your energy utility offers two-hour or multi-hour tariffs, you will be able to program the washing machine at times when energy costs less, i.e. during the evening or night, or during the weekends. Not only that, it is useful to remember that the most modern washing machines are equipped with intelligent sensors that detect the weight of the load and automatically adjust the necessary energy and water consumption: therefore, if you have a lighter load of clothes than usual, you can set the washing machine for the shortest cycle and at lower temperatures, so as to further save on energy consumption.
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