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Study: Consumers Remain Uneducated About HE Laundry
May 4, 2009
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Green is the new black when it comes to the laundry room, yet many consumers do not realize they have a choice when it comes to high-efficiency (HE), eco-friendly laundry appliances. A survey commissioned by Whirlpool revealed that while nearly 60% understand what HE means in regards to laundry appliances, almost 40% believe that top-load washers use more energy than front-loading machines - a common misconception in today's marketplace, Whirlpool says.

Traditionally, consumers seeking high efficiency laundry turn to front-loading machines, yet according to previous Whirlpool research nearly three quarters of American households still own top-load washing machines. In fact, the study said, 44% of consumers in the most recent survey said they did not know if top-load washers use more energy than front-loaders and 38% believe that they do, indicating a need for clarity when it comes to communicating the benefits of HE machines to appliance shoppers.

"Historically, front-load laundry pairs have led the industry in capacity and efficiency," said Mary Zeitler, home economist, Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science, "but manufacturers like Whirlpool Corporation are working to offer superior energy and water savings in models to suit consumers' needs and preferences. As more families look to save on energy, water and utility costs, it is important to understand that HE washers, whether in a top-load or front-load configuration, can deliver unmatched efficiency, saving time and money in the laundry room."

And while overall consumer demand for eco-friendly products is generally high, understanding HE in terms of laundry and the configurations in which it is available varies, the study said. For example, consumers aged 18-44 said an HE washer would be a "must have" in their dream laundry room, while consumers aged 45+ said their "must have" would be a washer and dryer that are more ergonomically friendly.

Additionally, Whirlpool said, consumers who are married or were married appear to understand eco-efficient products, more so than their single/never married counterparts. In fact, 61% of married and 64% of previously married consumers said they understand what HE means in terms of laundry appliances - while only 51% of single/never married consumers said the same.

To learn more about Whirlpool Corporation's portfolio of brands, please visit www.whirlpoolcorp.com.

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