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High-Efficiency HE Washer vs. Regular: Everything You Need to Know

Learn the difference between a HE washer and a regular version in this guide. While you may have seen the "HE" mark on some detergents at supermarkets, these laundry room appliances are some of the differences are larger factors than you'd think: we'll examine them in terms of size, technology, efficiency, cost and more.

What's the Difference?

Hoping to upgrade your laundry appliances? Look at more than just new technology: energy efficiency and water usage are no doubt considerations. Learn more about HE washers and what sets them apart.
HE washer vs Regular Washer
The fact of the matter is that switching to energy-efficient appliances (those that are Energy Star certified) could save you 30% or nearly $600 on your energy bills throughout the year, making them a cost-conscious investment. At the same time, you'll be cutting down on nearly 5,500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions when you swap your old energy hogs for lean new ones.
In no consumer appliance category is efficiency quite as impactful as in the laundry room. In fact, your laundry appliances are some of the highest energy users in your home, coming in right behind refrigerators and water heaters. That means every bit of money saved in every load is going to count toward a lower energy bill—and a lessened carbon footprint.
In many houses, laundry appliances account for over 13 percent of energy use, costing an average of $143 per year. Switching to a HE washer and dryer set can help you save money on your energy consumption while bringing many more benefits to the table.
If you're looking to take advantage of these cost-effective, energy-efficient new technologies, start by swapping out for a HE washer. But what's the difference between these models and a regular version? Let's take a deeper dive into how they function:
High Efficiency Washer with Water
  • SIZE: High-Efficiency Washers Are Bigger—Most standard versions have a capacity between three and five cubic feet, while the vast majority of enlarged styles fall somewhere between four and six cubic feet. This means you can clean more clothes less often, resulting in a more cost-effective and eco-friendly laundry room. Typically, they load from the top rather than the front and have longer cycles.

  • TECH: They're Smarter—A cutting-edge high-efficiency top load washer needs to be a lot more tech-savvy than its standard counterpart. Since they're generally larger than regular models, these super versions often have smart sensors to sense the size of the load and adjust accordingly (in other words, they won't use the same amount of water for every load). Many are also compatible with your smart home devices and can be controlled from an app on your phone.

  • EFFICIENCY: They're Leaner—We've already covered many of the ways that these new models use less energy and water. They also tend to feature high-speed spin cycles that get more water out of each load, which means your clothes will require less time (and energy) to dry. Plus, they're made to clean well with less water, so you may see a bit of a dip in your water bill, too.
  • COST: HE Washers Are More Economical—Naturally, because they bring so many advantages, these units cost more upfront. With that being said, they're more economical in terms of energy and water use, saving you money over time. The higher load capacity also means you'll use less detergent and fabric softener, which will save you money in the long run.

  • DETERGENT: HE Washers Require Special Detergent—When switching to a HE washer, you'll need to purchase HE detergent. These variants use lower water levels and a tumbling washing motion to clean your clothes, and regular detergents are generally too sudsy for the job. High-efficiency detergents are low-sudsing, so they work best with large, HE machines. When shopping, look for the label that says it works for these types of appliances.

Should You Buy One?

If you have a busy household and are looking for ways to cut down on your energy and water consumption, then switching to a high-efficiency washer is definitely a smart move. As long as you're okay with a slightly longer cycle and using a specific kind of detergent, there's no reason not to make the switch. The appliance experts at Abt are always available to assist you with your purchase so you get the ideal gear for your laundry room, household, budget and needs.

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