A washing machine is one of the inevitable devices that every home must have. It is also a device that is often used to keep our clothes and shoes fresh and clean. But the question is, how much electricity does a washing machine actually consume? It primarily depends on the type of washing machine, how it is used, and at what time.
Therefore, here we’ll talk about the power consumption of this device, how to calculate your monthly cost, and how much a washing machine affects your electricity bill. So, let’s start!
So How Much Power Does a Washing Machine Use? A washing machine usually consumes between 500 watts to 1,500 watts of power. If a washing machine is used 2 times per week for the entire year, it will consume around 72.8 kWh of power, which will cost you $9.4 per year. The average electricity price in the U.S. is around 13 cents per kWh.
Each washing machine consists of two main components that affect its power consumption. The electric motor is the first one that spins the drum, and the other is the heating component that heats the water used for cleaning. The heating component consumes much more power (around 70%) of the washing machine, while the rest of the consumption goes to the motor and pump, which consumes much less power (around 30%).
Washing machine example:
- Average run: around 30 minutes
- Power: 500 watts
- Power per use: 0.25 kWh
- Weekly cost: 0.25 kWh x $0.13 x 52 = $1.69
- Daily cost: 0.25 kWh x $0.13 x 365 = $11.85
A typical washing machine with 15 pounds requires between 2,000 to 2,500 watts when they run at full speed in combination with hot water. However, when water is not heated, the power consumption will be much less, consuming about 500 watts.
Also, this might also interest you – How Much Power (Electricity) Does a Water Heater Use?
For example, if you use hot water to clean your laundry, the power for 1 hour of use will be around 2 kWh. On the other hand, if the water is not heated, then the power consumption for 1 hour of use will be around 0.5 kWh.
How Many Watts Does a Washing Machine Use Per Hour?
As with all other household appliances, the wattage can give you a pretty accurate energy consumption of the device. However, it’s not quite so simple when it comes to washing machines, and we’ll explain why.
Washing machines come in a wide range of power, from 400 watts, up to 1,500 watts for large, powerful models. Another thing that is very important is the washing machine’s age. This is because the new models are much more energy-efficient than the older ones. However, washing machine energy efficiency standards change every couple of years.
The best way to find out how many watts your washing machine consumes is to look for a label. This is usually a sticker or a metal plate that is placed behind the machine. Therefore, you will most likely need to move the device a little further away from the wall to read the wattage. Another way you can find out the washing machine wattage is to read the model number located on the front and look for specifications on Google.
Once you find out how many watts your device consumes, you can calculate the power consumption and how much it will cost you to run the washing machine by converting the watts into kilowatts. This is done because the electricity consumption is expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh). To convert watts to kilowatt hours, just divide the washing machine watts by 1,000.
Then you will get the amount of energy that your washing machine consumes each hour. You also need to know the average price of electricity per 1 kWh in your state. Check your electricity bill to find out what’s your kWh rate and multiply it by the kW. In the U.S., the average electricity price per 1 kWh is around 13 cents.
In the table below you can see how much power each washing machine consumes:
|Washing Machine Wattage
|Number of Uses Per Week
|Power Consumption per Year
|Cost Per Year
Washing Machine Rated Power
Before we start with the calculation of a washing machine, first we need to know what is its rated power. Rated power is the maximum power that a device can consume. This includes the entire washing machine and the electric motor. You can find these specifications on the silver label, which is usually located on the back of the machine. If you do not have a label on your device, then go to the washing machine manufacturer’s website and look for the model you have to see the technical specifications. You can also search for it on Google.
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Calculate the Power Consumption Of A Washing Machine
Washing machine power consumption can be divided into a heating tool that is used to heat the water in the machine and a second is for an electric motor that is used for drum rotation that is used for cleaning. Other components that consume power are automatic valves, pumps, and a control panel. However, their power consumption is very small.
Usually, a washing machine that has 15 lbs has a rated power of 2 kW. So much power is needed for the machine to heat the water for washing clothes at full operation.
When that same washing machine operates with only cold water, it has a rated power of 0.5 kW (this is without heating). Now that we’ve been through that, we can use a simple calculation to get the washing machine’s power consumption.
Total Power Consumption (kWh) = Device Power (kW) x Operational Hours (h)
- Example 1: We have a washing machine that uses hot water for cleaning with a rated power of 2 kW and it runs for 1 hour. This will give us that the machine will consume 2 kWh of energy.
- Example 2: We have a washing machine that uses cold water for cleaning with a rated power of 0.5 kW and it runs for 1 hour. This will give us that the machine will consume 0.5 kWh of energy.
The examples above show that when you are using a machine with hot water for washing, you’ll consume 2 kW of energy per hour, while washing a clothe with normal water will only consume around 0.5 kW of energy.
How To Calculate Electricity Bill For Using Washing Machine?
Calculating the electricity bill for using a washing machine you need to multiply the total power consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh) by the average electricity rate for your state. Here is the simple equation that you can use:
Electricity bill ($) = Power consumption (kWh) x Electricity rate ($/kWh)
For example, if you are using a washing machine that consumes 500 watts of power per 1 hour, and the electricity rate in your state is around 13 cents, then for each use you’ll pay the following:
Power consumption (0.5 kWh) x Electricity rate (0.13 $/kWh) = $0.065
How Water Temperature Affects Power Consumption of a Washing Machine?
Each washing machine needs to have data that shows how much power they consume with different modes (fabric, speed, water temperature, machine load, etc.). In the table below there are examples of how much power each mode consumes:
|Washing Machine Temperature Mode
|Power Consumption [kWh]
|Power at 30°C delicates (kWh)
|Power at 30°C woollens (kWh)
|Power at 40°C colour (kWh)
|Power at 40°C easy care (kWh)
|Power at 95°C cotton (kWh)
As you can see in this table, each washing machine mode consumes a different amount of power. The hot water notably increases the power consumption of the device. Therefore, if you want to consume less power, avoid high temperatures to save money.
However, for those people who want to avoid calculations, we have a solution for that. You can use a Kill A Watt meter that measures the device’s power consumption. This is also a more precise way to see how much electricity your washing machine consumes.
Measure The Power Consumption By Using Kill A Watt Meter
One of the devices that are often used to measure the power consumption of some appliances is the Kill A Watt Meter. This is a simple device that calculates power consumption. If you don’t have it, you can buy it in almost every electric shop or order it online.
To use it, simply plug it into the power outlet and connect the washing machine to a Kill A Watt meter. After each use, the device will read how much electricity (kWh) was consumed and calculate its price. Also, you can read in real-time how much kWh the washing machine consumed. It would be best to monitor the consumption of your machine for around 10 days to get the exact number of how much power it consumes on average.
Ways to Reduce Power Consumption
If you are one of those people who would like to keep electricity consumption to a minimum, then be sure to follow these methods to reduce the power of your washing machine.
- Use cool water for washing clothes
- Pre-soak stains
- Wash full load
- Use “Eco mode” on your washing machine
- Wash clothes at a low electricity rate (between 10 pm and 8 am)
- Turn off the power when you are not using the machine
If you want to learn more about the power consumption of your household appliances, then be sure to read – How To Calculate Power Consumption Of Any Appliance.
Front Load Vs Top Load Washing Machine
If you need to buy a new washing machine and you don’t know which type to choose between a top load or front load model, we will tell you the following. When it comes to energy consumption, a front-load washing machine consumes much less power and water compared to a top-load washing machine. However, the cost of a front-load machine is much higher.
Below you can see the main differences between front load and top load washing machines.
Front load washing machine advantages:
- Much better washing clothes
- Less noise and vibrations
- Better energy efficiency
- Have a lot of features
- They are more expensive
Top Load washing machine advantages:
- Requires more maintenance
- Have fewer features
- Harsher on clothes
- They are less expensive
As you can see, washing machines are household appliances that also consume a lot of electricity (of course, depending on the model you have). We mentioned in this article that a lot of energy goes into water heating (around 70%), while the rest goes into electric motors, pumps, and control valves (around 30%). What is important is that you know how many watts (or kWh) your washing machine has, and with that, you can easily calculate how much it will cost you to use it.
Also, note that hot water increases power consumption by 3 times. Therefore, we recommend that you use “eco mode” whenever possible. I hope we have given you all the necessary answers that you want to know about the power consumption of washing machines in this article. If you have additional questions feel free to leave a comment below.