Dave Smith Appliance Service

Locally Owned, Family Business

Mon-Fri: 8am - 5pm | Sat: 8am - 12pm | Sun: Closed

What’s the Difference Between High Efficiency and Regular Washers?

are HE washing machines better

High-efficiency washers arrived in the 1990s, bringing new technology, energy-saving, and money-saving capabilities compared to regular washers. Yet, after all this time, not many of us really know the difference between high efficiency and regular washer in more detail.

Difference Between High Efficiency and Regular Washer

Are HE washing machines better than their regular counterparts? We’ll compare the main differences between the two so you can make the decision that’s best for your household.

How They Clean

HE Washer: An HE washer washes clothes inside a rotating tub that tumbles the clothes during a wash cycle. This frequent tumbling leads to a deep cleaning of clothing.

The tumbling motion in a high-efficiency washer vs. agitator in a regular washer is also gentler on clothes, leading to less wear and tear. Typically, people think of HE front load washers instead of top-loading machines, but many HE top-load washers are available on the market.

Regular Washer: Many regular washers use an agitator to move clothes through soapy water in a constant clockwise and counterclockwise motion. While some say that an agitator results in cleaner clothes, its less gentle cleaning style can be too rough for some clothing.

High Efficiency vs Regular Washer Detergent

HE Washer: Another important difference between high efficiency and regular washer is the detergent they use. HE detergent is the only detergent that should be used with an HE washer.

These detergents are specially formulated for an HE machine with more concentrated cleaning capabilities. Therefore, less is required. HE detergents also create fewer suds, as suds can hinder the tumbling motion of an HE washer and result in clothes that aren’t clean.

Regular Washer: Any type of detergent will work in a regular washer without impeding the machine or the cleanliness of the clothes. The higher suds factor of traditional detergents is actually a helpful part of the cleaning process.

difference between high efficiency and regular washer
Image Credit: Whirlpool

Water and Energy Usage

HE Washer: An HE washer uses less water than a regular washer to wash clothes, resulting in a longer cleaning cycle compared to a regular washer. However, less water means that less electricity or gas is used to heat the water, saving valuable resources.

Regular Washer: A significant difference between high efficiency and regular washers is that a regular washer uses more water, though the wash cycle is shorter. However, ultimately more water and energy is used per load in comparison.

High Efficiency and Regular Washer Costs

HE Washer: HE vs. traditional washers still cost more upfront to purchase. However, they result in saving money over the course of their lifetime due to the smaller amounts of water and energy they require.

Regular Washer: A regular washer is cheaper to purchase upfront. However, your utility payments for water and energy will be higher over the life of the machine, costing you more.

Now that we’ve shed light on the difference between high efficiency and regular washers, we hope you can make the best choice for your family. And if you’re ever in need of a repair, look no further than the washer repair experts at Dave Smith Appliance Services!

$15 Off appliance repair

Sign up for our newsletter and receive monthly tips from our industry experts.