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Appliance Makers Will Use DOE Measurement for Washer Capacity
Feb 3, 2011
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Manufacturers of clothes washers have independently determined that, by Apr. 30, 2011, they will voluntarily communicate capacity to consumers using only the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) clothes washer test procedure for drum volume calculations, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). The test procedures used will include the most recent guidance on measuring drum volume, released by DOE in the summer of 2010.

The appliance producers are:
• Alliance Laundry Systems, LLC
• ASKO Appliances, Inc.
• Blomberg – Arcelik A.S.
• BSH Home Appliances Corp.
• Electrolux Home Products, Inc.
• GE Appliances & Lighting
• Indesit Company SpA
• LG Electronics, U.S.A., Inc.
• Miele, Inc.
• Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
• Whirlpool Corp.

AHAM said that the appliance producers who choose to communicate drum volume for non‐energy purposes solely based on the DOE procedure will not reference an “IEC equivalent” volume. This change will be applicable to all clothes washers sold as of that date regardless of when manufactured.

On or before Apr. 30, 2011, each of the manufacturers intend to revise their website information to reflect only washer capacity determined in accord with the DOE test procedure. Additionally, AHAM said, all print material, including product catalogues, published by these manufacturers after April 30, 2011 will include only washer capacities based on the DOE procedure. These manufacturers will communicate these capacities to retailers of washers and will encourage retailers to communicate washer capacities calculated in accord with the DOE test procedure.

The DOE procedure is currently used by all manufacturers to report energy and water consumption to DOE, and will be used in AHAM’s new energy verification program for clothes washers. AHAM said the DOE procedure provides an accurate, uniform and repeatable measurement of drum volume for the purpose of calculating energy and water consumption for all clothes washer types.

Because of advances in clothes washer design, technology, and efficiency, AHAM is also continuing development of a test procedure that may enhance the communication of useable washer capacity information, beyond volume, to the consumer when making a purchase decision among a wide variety of product choices. The enhanced test procedure would provide more information to consumers regarding the quantity of clothes that can be effectively washed and rinsed in a single load. When completed, the test procedure would be voluntary; however, AHAM may present the test procedure to the Department of Energy (DOE) for proposed incorporation into the DOE’s test procedure for clothes washers.

AHAM’s effort of developing an enhanced, uniform washer capacity test procedure will harmonize with international washer capacity procedures where appropriate. This is a complex area and will require significant investigation into consumer‐relevant washing and rinsing performance characteristics.

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