In this article we will see how to calculate monthly power consumption of your washing machine and the resulting electricity bill you will get for using it. Also we will do comparison between front load washing machine and top load washing machine.
Washing machine power consumption depends on two major components one is the electric motor that spins the drum and second is the heating equipment that provides hot water mix for cleaning.
Out of these the heating equipment consumes a large chunk of power (70%) and the rest motor, pump, display consumes significantly less power (30%).
A normal 7 kg washing machine requires maximum power of 2000 watt – 2500 watt if used at full power with hot water mix to wash clothes. But if you don’t heat the water then major electric consumption comes from electric motor which is normally 500 watt.
Hence if you heat water in your washing machine to clean the clothes it’s power consumption for one hour of operation will be 2 kWh or 2 unit of electricity.
But if you don’t heat the water then it’s power consumption for one hour of operation will be just 0.5 kWh or unit of electricity.
Rated Power of Washing Machine:
Before we start with calculating power consumption of your washing machine, first we need to know the overall rated power of your entire washing machine and the electric motor, both can be found from the silver label most probably on the back of your washing machine.
If you can’t find it then check your washing machine manufacturer’s website, there you will find your washing machine’s technical specification or go to amazon and find your washing machine or one similar to yours and check it’s rated power in the product description.
How to calculate power consumption of a washing machine:
Now that you know your washing machine rated power let’s see how to calculate it’s power consumption.
Power consumption of washing machine comes from two major equipment’s one is heating equipment that provides hot water mix to the machine and second is electric motor that rotates the drum that cleans the clothes, other auxiliary electrical components like pumps, automatic valves and digital control panels consume only a fraction of energy.
On an average a 7 kg washing machine has rated power of 2000 watt, this includes power to run washing machine at full load and use hot water mix to clean the clothes. (Use hot water)
A 7 kg washing machine when operated with cold water (regular) has rated power of 500 watt, this includes power to run everything in the machine, except heating equipment. (Use regular cold water)
Before we start with the calculation here’s a simple equation to calculate power consumption of any device.
Power consumed (kWh) = Rated power (kW) x Operational hours (hours)
- Case 1: A 7 kg washing machine which provides hot water for cleaning has rated power of 2000 watt (2 kW) and if it is used for 1 hour it will consume 2 kW X 1 hour = 2 kWh (2 Unit) of electricity.
- Case 2: A 7 kg washing machine used with normal water (without heating) has rated power of 500 watt (0.5 kW) and if it is used for 1 hour it will consume 0.5 kW X 1 hour = 0.5 kWh (0.5 Unit) of electricity.
You can see from the above calculation that if we use washing machine to heat the water before washing then it consumes 2 units of electricity in an hour, whereas the same washing machine operated with normal cold water (without heating) only consumes 0.5 units of electricity in an hour.
General electric has a great article on why you should use cold water for washing machine. check here
Electricity bill for using washing machine:
To calculate amount of electricity bill you will get for using your washing machine you can use this simple equation,
Amount of electricity bill (Rs, $) = Power consumed (KWH) (units) x electricity tariff (Rs, $ / unit)
So if your washing machine uses 2 units of electricity in an hour and your electricity tariff is Rs 10/unit then,
Amount of electricity bill (Rs) = 2 X 10 = Rs 20.
You can use the below calculator to calculate power consumption of your washing machine.
Impact of water heating on Washing Machine electricity Consumption:
Every manufacturer list down the power consumption of their washing machine with different fabric, speed, temperature of water, load on the machine, you can check this on the manufacturer’s website. Below you can see specification for my BOSCH washing machine.
From this data it is evident that using your washing machine with hot water significantly increases it’s power consumption. Hence the best thing is to avoid using the heating feature to heat water as much as possible, this wall save you lot of money for sure.
If you are obsessed with exact numbers and want to know precisely how much power does your washing machine consume, then there is a way for that too, however it will cost you some money.
Calculate Power Consumption Of a washing machine Using Kill A Watt Meter:
Kill a watt meter is a simple device used to calculate power consumption of any device.
You can buy it from amazon using this link. Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
To use the Kill A Watt meter first you have to connect your washing machine plug to the Kill A Watt meter and then plug the Kill A Watt meter in your wall socket.
Then start using the washing machine and you can see in real time how many kWh (units) of electricity your washing machine is consuming.
It is advisable to take the reading for 3-7 days to get exact power consumption.
Check out this tutorial video from altE to understand how to use a kill A Watt Meter to track your appliance energy consumption.
Tips to reduce washing machine power consumption:
After calculating your washing machine power consumption you found it is very high then follow the tips to reduce your washing machine power consumption and save some electricity bill.
- Wash your clothes in cool water as often as possible.
- Pre-soak stains.
- Wait for a full load (Tri weekly washing).
- Run your machine on the shortest cycle (Eco mode or fast mode).
- Switch off the power at the wall (No stand by mode).
You can check out this article to know more – Tips to reduce washing machine power consumption.
Top load Vs Front load washing machine:
While buying washing machine every one of us goes through the dilemma of whether to buy top load or front load washing machine. As far as energy consumption goes front load washing machine consumes much less electricity and water for cleaning the same amount of clothes than top load washing machine, but the initial cost of the front load machine is quite high in comparison to top load.
Here is a small comparison between top load and front load washing machine
Top load washing machine features:
- less expensive
- fewer features
- higher maintenance
- harsher on clothes
Front load washing machine features:
- more expensive
- more luxury features
- more energy & water efficient
- gentler on clothes
- cleans better
- less vibrations and noise.
Check out this article to know more detailed difference between top load and front load washing machine and when to use which one.
Conclusion on power consumption of a washing machine:
In washing machine major electricity consumption comes from heating device that heats the water (70%) and the rest is from electric motor, pumps, control valves, digital display (30%).
To calculate your washing machine power consumption you have to first know the rated power of your entire washing machine and the electric motor.
Power consumption of a washing machine = Rated power of entire washing machine x operational hours.
Using hot water in washing machine increases the power consumption by almost 3 times, therefore it is always advisable to use regular waster and avoid the water heating feature as much as possible.
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