Water is a precious resource. It is also a costly one. As such, it is important that we all save water whenever and wherever we can. Investing in a water-efficient washing machine and dishwasher is a really good place to start. Liam Gawne from leading appliance manufacturer, Miele, offers some advice on how to go about selecting the most water-efficient appliances possible:
The washing machine
A washing machine makes your life considerably easier. However, it can also be a big water guzzler –accounting on 15% to 40% of the overall water consumption inside the typical household of four persons (depending on the amount of laundry being washed and the make and model of the washing machine). Says Liam Gawne from leading appliance manufacturer, Miele: “The water efficiency of washing machines can vary greatly – the most efficient models currently on the market, such as those from Miele, will use around 6 litres of water per kilogram of laundry. While the least efficient can use up to a whopping 14 litres per kilo of laundry! So – you can see that by upgrading to an water-efficient model, you can save more than 50% of the water you are currently using to do your laundry.”
He says that you should avoid choosing your washing machine based purely on its energy rating, as this can be misleading: “The rating can be confusing, as it is based on electricity usage and not on water usage. By reading the bottom half of the label however, you can garner a better understanding of both the energy and the water efficiency of a particular model. All washing machines should have an energy efficiency label with a scale from A to D. For example, Miele’s washing machines have the most efficient rating possible – an A+++ rating. The label should also clearly show the average estimate of how many kilowatt hours and how many litres of water are consumed each year for a family of four. Further information on the label includes the capacity in kilograms, energy efficiency of the dryer (if it is a washer dryer), and the noise created in decibels.”
He explains that Miele is completely invested into continuously finding ways of offering ever better sustainability offerings: “All Miele’s W1 washing machines for example, effortlessly achieve the highest energy efficiency rating of A+++. Some Miele models are equipped with SmartGrid technology, which allows you to profit from cheap electricity tariffs. If you choose a Miele washing machine with a second water connection, you can make savings of up to 47% by using hot water combined with a solar-thermal system. The Miele Allwater system allows you to use hot, well or rain water, which can save up to 70% drinking water. With the new Miele washing machines, you save electricity and water like never before.”
However, Liam notes that one thing you will not save on when investing in a Miele washing machine is perfect cleanliness: “With Miele’s PowerWash 2.0 technology, Miele is creating a sustainable laundry revolution – for the benefit of all. At a previously unachieved level, PowerWash 2.0 combines cleaning performance with energy efficiency and speed. Doing laundry has never been more effective and economical at the same time. This makes you more flexible and provides economic assurance. Achieve more with less – that is Innovation made by Miele!”
Liam offers the following tips on how to save water when using your washing machine:
- Look for a washing machine with automatic load recognition technology, which allows the machine to automaticall adjust the energy and water consumtion to suit the amount of laundry being washed.
- If your washing machine does not have automatic load recognition, then only wash full loads.
- Use cotton wash instead of synthetic wash, as the latter usually uses much more water to avoid the synthetics from creasing.
- Do not use extra rinse – the purpose of the extra rinse cylce is t ensure all the fabric softener is removed for the beenfit of people with sensitive skin.
- Front loaders generally use less water than top loaders – so be sure to check the water icon on the energy rating label.
- If your clothes are not that soiled, then rather use the EcoWash, Express or QuickPower Wash programmes to clean them.
- Only wash items that are really dirty – ask yourself if you can wear that again, instead of mindlessly throwing it into the laundry basket.
Arguably one of the most loved appliances in the home, the dishwasher can save you hours cleaning up in the kitchen. However, did you know that using your dishwasher could also help you save water? Liam explains: “A fully loaded Miele dishwasher for example, can wash up to 130 items perfectly, using a mere 6,5 litres of water. You would never be able to achieve this water-efficiency if you were washing those dishes by hand. Miele is seriously committed to going green, and it has mangaged to reduce the water consumption of its dishwashers by 85% over the last 30 years. Electricity consumption has also been reduced to new all-time lows – in the ECO programme, Miele dishwashers achieve energy consumption values of only 0.83 kWh.”
He says that, like washing machines, choosing a dishwasher with automatic load recognition technology can save you thousands of litres of water annually: “By using automatic load recognition, Miele dishwashers automatically detect the amount of crockery in the wash cabinet and adjust the use of water and electricity accordingly. Thanks to this automatic function, you don’t always have to wait until your dishwasher is fully loaded to achieve water-saving results. Furthermore, a Miele dishwasher makes it easy for you to wash your dishes with the environment in mind every day. When you select a programme, the EcoFeedback function displays the estimated water and electricity consumption. This allows you to select the option which is best for the environment. You can view the actual consumption values in the display at the end of the programme.”
Dishwashers that have an A+++ rating boast the highest levels of economy, explains Liam: “The estimated annual water consumption for an A+++-rated Miele dishwasher for example, equates to 2 772 litres per annum, which works out to around 7,7 litres per day per household of four people (1,925 litres per person) – well within the daily water-usage restrictions.”
Released on behalf of Miele (www.miele.co.za)