How Much Electricity Does a Washing Machine Use?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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A washing machine is an indispensable home appliance, especially for larger households. But electricity costs can practically suck the joy out of your life, causing you to retract your footsteps in acquiring even an average washing machine. But how much electricity does a washing machine use? Or what’s its average wattage?

This post demystifies the enigma of power consumption in a washing machine. We dive headfirst into the watts, kilowatt-hours, costs, and energy labels, dissecting the inner mechanisms of these cleaning knights.

How to Understand Power Consumption in a Washing Machine

Understanding power consumption in washing machines is more than reading its wattage. Even though washing machines use relatively low power, mistakes can lead to high costs. You must examine various components to understand your clothes washer and related costs.

These include drum rotations, single load, water pumping, water heater, and control panels. Each element is crucial in transforming electricity into efficient laundry cleaning power. Thus, you must analyze all these factors to know how much power your washing machine uses.

Additionally, you must explore the age and type of washing machine, load sizes, and ratings. Combining these helps you make informed choices on purchases, helping you save money and reduce your environmental footprint.

Furthermore, with the understanding, your washer will last longer, making washing clothes more enjoyable.

How Much Electricity Does a Washing Machine Use? 

An average washing machine requires between 400 and 1400 Watts. However, the exact amount of electricity or wattage depends on several factors. These factors include size, frequency of use, and the machine’s spin speed. 

In addition, it’s crucial to know how to operate your washer. This entails efficiently using your washer and knowing the digital control panels and electrical current needs, among others.

Factors Affecting Power Consumption in a Washing Machine

Power consumption in a washing machine is a function of several factors. Some of these include:

1. Energy Efficient Rating

With more effort toward green energy and sustainability, the rating of a washing machine is a crucial factor in determining this machine’s power consumption.

Currently, the energy rating system groups home appliances from A to G, with the former being the most efficient and the latter being the least efficient. Therefore if you are looking for the best energy star appliances, go for a washing machine with a class D mark and above.

Nevertheless, the rating may differ slightly if you have a washing machine manufactured before 2021. These machines’ rating ranges from  A+++ (most efficient) to E (least efficient)

2. Frequency of Use

The more often you use your washing machine, the more energy it will consume over time. Each cycle requires electricity to power the motor, heating elements, and other components. 

However, energy consumption per use remains relatively consistent regardless of frequency. So, if you find yourself constantly running loads, it may be worth considering doing laundry less often or combining smaller loads into larger ones to maximize energy efficiency. 

Additionally, running several loads frequently can cause the motor to overheat, increasing energy consumption.

3. The Age Game: New Machine vs. Old Machine

The age-old battle between old and new, vintage relics versus state-of-the-art marvels also finds itself in washing machines. The model’s age, type, and efficiency rating make all the difference in washing machines. 

A modern washing machine boasts wondrous electricity and cost-saving technologies. The higher the rating, the better. So, if you want an electricity and cost-friendly appliance, consider a kilowatt-hour-friendly device.

4. The Wash Cycle Duration

The wash cycle duration in a washing machine directly impacts energy use. Generally, longer wash cycles consume more watts than shorter ones. This is because extended cycles involve more water usage, additional agitation, and prolonged heating elements. 

While longer cycles may result in cleaner clothes, they also increase power consumption. On the other hand, shorter cycles ensure low energy usage and long-lasting garments. 

The best way is to go for a quick wash or eco-friendly settings. This way, you can cut down on the time your machine spends churning away, ultimately reducing your overall energy consumption. So, balancing cleanliness and energy efficiency is key to keeping your electricity bill minimal.

5. Spin Speed

Higher spin speeds extract more water from your laundry, reducing the drying time required afterward. This means you can save energy by utilizing a high spin speed and allowing your clothes to retain less moisture before hitting the dryer or drying rack. 

But great speed comes with great power consumption. The energy required to achieve those higher spin speeds does contribute to increased electricity usage. One way to utilize the spins and not use more energy is to choose a setting with a lower rotation per minute.  

6. Load Sizes

Following your machine’s load size is essential to reducing power consumption. Overloading your washing machine means making it work harder, thus consuming more power. This may also reduce the machine’s lifespan.

A front loa washine machine with a ‎4.5 Cubic Feet capacity

Image Credits: Amazon.com

Furthermore, smaller loads tend to require less energy and water to cleanse, whereas larger loads demand more resources to ensure thorough cleaning. The trick lies in optimizing the load capacity.  

7. Water Temperature

Water temperature has a significant impact on energy consumption in a washing machine. When you choose hot water settings, the machine has to work harder to heat the water, which results in more costs. 

Labeled Hisense brand washer

Image Credits: Amazon.com

Moreover, cold water washes can be just as effective in cleaning most laundry loads, thanks to modern detergents specially designed for lower temperatures. 

Strategies and Tips to Reduce  Power Consumption of Washing Machines

Implementing electric and bill-saving strategies helps you contribute to a greener environment and save the running cost of a washing machine. The tips rest on understanding your average washer and how it works, such as heating water, kWh, automatic valves, and power rating.

Here are some handy tips and tricks to reduce the power consumption:

  • Embrace the coolest water setting: Most laundry loads can be effectively cleaned with cold or cool water, saving the energy needed to heat water for each wash.
  • Optimize load sizes: Always avoid overloading your washing machine. Instead, aim for balanced loads that allow proper movement of clothes. This not only enhances cleaning performance but also reduces energy usage. The best way is to go for ¾ of the load capacity.
  • Choose energy-efficient models: Modern washing machines have load sensors, shut-off valves, efficient wash cycles, and water-saving technologies to minimize consumption.

Washing Machine Smart Water Shutoff Valve

Image Credits: Amazon.com

  • Utilize eco-friendly detergents: Switch to detergents designed for cold water washes. They are formulated to work effectively in cooler temperatures, reducing energy consumption during laundry sessions.
  • Wash full loads: Whenever feasible, wash full loads of laundry. Maximizing the machine’s capacity ensures you get the most out of each cycle, leading to more efficient energy utilization.
  • Skip unnecessary pre-washes: Unless your clothes are heavily soiled, skip pre-washing. Modern washing machines usually have powerful clean cycles that handle most stains without pre-washing, saving water and energy.
  • Opt for air-drying: Whenever possible, air-dry your clothes instead of using a dryer. Not only does this save energy, but it also extends the lifespan of your garments while reducing wear and tear.
  • Clean the washer: Regularly clean the washer for it to serve you longer. Issues like a clogged filter can restrict airflow, making the machine work harder and consume more.
  • Time your washes strategically: Take advantage of off-peak electricity hours when rates are typically lower. This can lead to cost savings on your electricity bill, especially for households with time-of-use pricing plans. Additionally, plan your wash frequencies to be at the possible minimum.

Conclusion

Most average washing machines use fewer watts when well-maintained. In fact, if well chosen, a washer can ease your laundry process and save electricity. But if choosing a washer seems hectic, this informational article will help you make a more informed choice. It will also help you use your washer better, save money and other related costs.

So, don’t fear the electric bill from household appliances. Follow our tips, and you will save considerable money on your electricity bill.

Frequently Ask Questions About Power Consumption in a Washing Machine 

1. How many watts does a washing machine use?

On average, a washing machine uses 850W. However, this depends on the brand and how frequently you use it. Normally, the consumption ranges from 400-1500

2. Does a washing machine consume a lot of electricity?

Your washing machine will use less or more electricity depending on how you use it, its load capacity, and the wash cycle. The secret to reducing consumption is using an energy-efficient machine and practicing energy-saving tips.

3. How much electricity does a washing machine use per load?

On average, a washing machine will use between 200-1050 watts per load. This is for a 30-45 minutes wash cycle.  

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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