I still don't think you can beat the price of a laundry mat, at $150 per year in quarters (less then $3 a week), I can get everything clean while I read the news paper, in the summer they have A/C, in the winter it's nice and warm.
Ok, here's some new math to add to my previous post.
We found a front loader that interest us for $629. Energy Trust of Oregon offers a $100 cash rebate on one of it's efficiency, plus we could use a $180 tax credit. This drops our investment to $349. That's not a large savings over the $400 cited before, but our current washer can probably be sold for somewhere between $50-$100, so that brings us down to $250-$300 end cost to get the new washer. That reduces our payback period to around 1000 loads using my earlier data.
1000 loads is actually starting to make sense for us since we probably average 5 loads per week, that would make it pay for itself in 3.8 years. But there is one other thing that I left out of my previous calculation that improves the payback: Detergent.
The HE compatible detergent we have found runs roughly 1/2 the cost of a standard powder like Tide. We can buy enough of the HE detergent to do 1000 loads at a cost savings of $75, so that effectively shortens the payback period on a front loader even more, likely giving a positive return on the investment in around 2-3 years depending on our use.
We... (who am I kidding?)...
SHE washes our clothes. We use only cold, the hot isn't even connected. We get water from a private well and discharge into a private septic leach field. Our water costs are what is needed to run the well pump. Our per wash costs couldn't be much lower so savings potential here are negligible.
She chose a front load when the fleamarket top load was taken off life support (I did save the bungee used to assure oscillation during the agitation sequence). It has a delay start timer to allow washing at night when the off-peak electric rate kicks in. It spins so much more water out that hang dry time is no longer than an electric drier cycle so the dryer is frequently unused for months on end.
Less detergent, less softener, quieter operation, doesn't walk across the floor to the end of its water supply 'leash'...
It wasn't as cheap as a used appliance orphan, but I paid for it once. I don't get reminded how cheap I was each time another seal let loose or the gear case leaked lube all over the floor, or another solenoid failed and flodded the basement.
Will it last 20 years? 15 more to go...
We have a Maytag wringer washer that we bought used over 30 years ago. Only use it in summer now, but it washes as many loads as you care wash in the same water, and is really a low energy lilfetime applieance.
Sounds something like the twin-tub my parents had, washer one side, spinner the other, and a wringer mounted one end. Think it had a paddle wheel type thing the size of a serving plate for an agitator.
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
We just bought a new washer and dryer from Sears the other day. Our current dryer is working just fine, but the washer is starting to show its age. Not bad though for a 13 year old washer and even older dryer.
We got another Kenmore set that are "energy star". Apparently they use 11-13gallons whereas normal use ~45gallons. You can also turn energy star in on your taxes...
We finally got our tax refund on thursday and promptly put down some money on a Maytag MHWZ600TW to be delivered next week. We chose it because of it's very high spin speed of 1250 rpm and MEF of 2.42.
Home Depot seems to have the best deals on most brands right now, particularly if you want to extend the warranty. $99 for 4 years is pretty stellar on that count. Hopefully we won't need to use it.
Anyway, our net cost on it ends up being just over $400 after all credits and rebates, and $75 from the sale of our existing washer.
But if it sucks butt in any way, I'll be sure to report it here.