The most helpful household appliance, at least when it comes to saving time and backbreaking
work, has to be the clothes washer. Clothes washers have come a long way over the decades, and they’re now more energy efficient than ever—even while the average tub size has grown. In fact, a clothes washer manufactured in 2011 uses
over 75 percent less energy than one manufactured in 1991. Those savings really add up over the years.
Thankfully, when consumers are looking to purchase a new clothes washer, they can rely on those models that carry the AHAM Verifide mark which signifies that it has been verified by an independent laboratory to perform to the manufacturer’s product claims for energy consumption and water use. Additionally, for those clothes washers that have earned ENERGY STAR designation, AHAM’s energy verification of the unit ensures that the product meets ENERGY STAR criteria.
Ralph Hudnall, AHAM’s Director, Product Certification and Verification, explains that the independent laboratory randomly selects units from a list of models when they visit the manufacturers’ warehouses. When the units are taken back to the lab, technicians determine the capacity of the tub volume by measuring how much water and how many pounds of clothes it can hold. Special “test cloths” are used for these tests. These test
cloths, are produced according to an industry standard so that water absorption and weight are the same across all samples, thereby ensuring accuracy. Additionally, the annual energy use is determined by calculating the amount of energy used per wash cycle and then multiplied by the total number of loads of laundry the average household does each year.
“The great thing about the AHAM Verifide program is that consumers can
trust the numbers they see on the yellow energy labels because this program has verified them. They’re not just random numbers the manufacturer has put on there. Particularly in households that have a lot of laundry, choosing the most energy efficient model can be the top priority,”Ralph says.