GE Appliances designed its newest high-efficiency (HE) topload washer to have the industry's largest toploading capacity - five cubic feet - while using less energy and water than a traditional washer.
GE said that, according to Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers data, the HE topload market has expanded 34% in the last 2 years.
"While awareness for high-efficiency topload washers is still relatively low, when consumers learn about the benefits, they are jazzed about them," said Heather Koyama, topload laundry product manager for GE Appliances. "It's the best of both worlds...a completely redesigned washer with huge capacity that uses less energy and water and yet looks familiar and easy to use."
To be categorized as an HE washer, the appliance must meet certain standards for water, electricity, and detergent use. Koyama said the new GE appliance is about 60% more water efficient than a traditional topload washer. Because it does not have an agitator, like many HE washers, more space is freed up for the laundry load.
The unit provides higher spin speeds, so more moisture can be removed from the clothes, and therefore saving energy in the dryer.
The appliance also has the SmartDispense function, which stores up to a gallon each of detergent and fabric softener and dispenses them automatically. The amount of detergent dispensed is based on each load's soil level and fabric or cycle type. This feature can be turned off or adjusted to accommodate special loads.
A communication cable, sold with a matching dryer, enables the washer and dryer to communicate, so the dryer can be automatically programmed based on the washer setting.
The new washer is an Energy Star appliance that meets CEE Tier 3 requirements for energy and water efficiency.
E-wash and E-dry Settings offer up to 10% reduction in water and energy consumption per load to cut down on the water and electricity bills. The models also are Smart-Grid enabled.
A mobile app showing the status of your laundry will be available in 2013. It will function in combination with a GE Nucleus and an Appliance Communication Module.
Four available washer models will have a manufacturer's suggest retail price of $799-$1,399. Three dryer models has an MSRP of $899-1,199.
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