Average Washers vs. Water-Saving Washers
According to Eco-Rate, the average washing machine uses 40 to 55 gallons of water per load. However, machines that fulfill Energy Star requirements consume between 18 and 25 gallons per wash.
Energy Star Criteria for Water Usage
Energy Star is a joint program of the US. Environmental Protection Agency and the US.
Department of Energy that aims to help people save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. Energy Star gauges washing machine water usage in terms of gallons per cycle per cubic foot of washer capacity.
This is referred to as the water factor.
Interpreting a Washer's Water Factor
The lower the water factor, the less water the washing machine uses. As of 2010, to qualify as an Energy Star product, a washer can have a water factor no higher than 75.
This figure will drop to 60 on January 1, 2011.
Front Loaders vs. Top Loaders
According to Eco-Rate, Energy Star-labeled front loading washing machines are more water efficient. However, Energy Star-labeled top loaders also dramatically reduce the amount of hot water used in the wash cycle.