Do Washing Machines Use a Lot of Electricity?

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It depends on how much is viewed as a lot of electricity.

When compared with smaller household appliances, a washing machine uses more electricity. But when compared with white appliances its size, a washer’s power consumption is right for it’s size and function.

To determine whether an appliance uses a lot of energy, you will have to consider 

  1. Its size
  2. Function

And compare it with similar appliance. 

Based on this comparison method, a washing machines uses just enough energy for the work it performs

But to put things in proper perspective, we’ll address how much electric  power a washing machine consumes, and compare it with other appliances.

By default most appliance have a data sheet attached to the body or the carton packaging. 

  1. On it you will see a number with “v” attached to it. This is the voltage needed to power the appliance. 
  • Most UK appliance have a rating of 220 240v.
  • Appliances in the U.S run on 110v.

For the sake of this article, we’ll be working with 220v.

  1. Next is another number with “A” attached. This is the current use that runs through the device for it to function.
  1. And finally a number with W. thisi is the our point of interest.

The W stands for watt. For simplicity, a watt is the electric power consumed by an appliance in one hour.

It is the gotten by multiplying voltage by current.

So, W=V*A

In my case, the washing machine is rated 2000W. 

This means on average, it uses 2000W of electric power in one hour.

To put that into perspective, An average laptop computer, uses 65W.

So the amount of electric energy used by my washing machine is equal to 2000/65 = 30.8

One 1 hour wash of washing machine is equavalent to runnng 31 laptops at the same time for one hour.

The table below shows the amount of power consumped by different house gadget and appliances and how they compare to a washing machine.

AppliancePower Consumed (Watt)Washing Machine Comparism (1:?)
Washing Machine20001
LAPTOP6531
Mobile phone11.6172
55 INCHES TV
LED Light bulb9222
Solar Security light10020
Electric hair clipper15133
Microwave10002
Electric cooker
AC15001.5
Fridge
Ceiling fan

How Much Electricity Does a Washing Machine Use?

An average 7kg washing machine uses 2000 Watt per hour. 

If you run a regular wash of 45 minutes, you would have uses 45/60 * 2000 = 1500 watt.

How to Determine Your Washing Machine Wattage

There is a relationship between the current used by your washing machine, its volt and the wattage consumed.

Most electricity bill is called in watt per hour (wph)

To determine how much electricity your washing machine uses,

  1. Check the data sheet
  2. Multiply the volt and current

Check Datasheet

Every washer comes with a datasheet that gives the electrical specifications.

Here is mine. Sorry about the lighting.

My washer runs on 220 – 240  volts. But our focus is on the wattage. 

It reads 2000W. This means the washer uses 2000 watts of electricity if it runs for one hour.

So we can read that sheet as 2kWh (kilowatt per hour).

In the UK, a kilowatt per hour costs 14.37p

2kWh is 28.74p 

That means if a UK resident runs my Bosch Avantixx 7 for 45 minutes, it will cost him (45/60)*28.74p = 21.56p

That is 21.6 pence

In 2021,  electricity in the US costs 11.18 cents for a kWh. 

2kWh is 22.36 cents

So a resident will spend (45/60)*22.26 = 16.16 cents using the washer model above

That is 16.16 cents to run my washing machine model for 45 minutes.

(please note that the example above was done using a 2000watt UK model. So it’s not applicable in the U.S)

Washing Machine Electricity Consumption Table

Wash DurationUS Energy Saver 500WUS 1000WUS 1500 WUK 2000W
1 hour5.59 cents11.18 cents16.77 cents28.74 pence
45 min4.2 cents8.39 cents12.59 cents21.56 pence
30 min2.80 cents5.59 cents8.39 cents14.37 pence
15 min1.4 cents2.80 cents4.20 cents7.19 pence

Use the Watt Formula

There is a simple formula, that dictates the relationship between volts, current and wattage:

W=VA

meaning 

watt = volt * Ampere

(Ampere is the unit of electric current)

So by this formula, we can see that once we know the volts that that our country runs on, and the current needed to power our system, we can determine how much watt or electric power it consumes in one hour.

So you simply multiply the volts by the current, the result is how much electricity your washing machine consumes in one hour.

If you run your washer for less than one hour, simple divide that number by 60 (60 minutes = 1 hour), then multiply the result by your washer’s rated wattage.

In case, my 7kg washing machines, consumes 2000 watts in one hour.

If I do a quick wash of 15 minutes, I would have used 15/60 * 2000 = 500W

So, my washing machine will use 500W to wash my clothes for 15 minutes.

In my country, we’re billed a flat fee of 7.6 cents/kWh (at present conversion rate). 

At the above rate, and assuming there’s no change in dollar conversion at your time of reading, it will costs me 3.8 cents to do this quick 15 minute wash. 

Conclusion

Washing machines performs task that a high electric power to operate. 

Although it uses more electricity than smaller devices, when compared with other white appliances, it does not overwhelmingly exceed their power consumption.

As such we can say that a washing machine uses a good amount of electricity, but not enough to be classified as “a lot of energy”.

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