With their big and bulky size, you may surmise that washing machines are expensive to operate. However, did you know that a washing machine typically has a lower wattage compare to refrigerators and air conditioners. How much so?
Using data that I’ve collated and analyzed, the average wattage of washing machines across all types (Front Load to Top Load; Inverter and non-inverter) is 0.43 kWh. This means that if the power rate is at ₱9.744/kWh, then it is estimated that the cost per wash is ₱4.20, assuming that you used it for one hour.
In this article, we will give you the average wattage of each capacity of washing machine, and how to calculate its power consumption per month. Read on for our deep dive into this topic!
Where did this data come from?
Unlike refrigerators and window air conditioners, washing machines are not required to have the energy guide label. Hence, there is not a single data set from the DOE where all of the washing machine models are listed with their respective power consumption figures.
Instead, we are going to rely on the data set supplied by Meralco’s orange tag project. If the energy guide label tells us the energy efficiency ratio of a particular model, the orange tag shows consumers the average cost of operating an appliance for an hour.
Granted, this data set is a lot smaller compared to the DOE’s; there are fewer models in this list as this project is purely voluntary and not mandatory compared to the energy guide label. However, this data is still useful for us to at least have a benchmark for the average wattage of the washing machine category.
Washing Machine Wattage (by type)
I’ve parsed the data for you to make it easier to understand. I also used Meralco’s power rate of ₱9.744 per kWh, which is the average rate of all residential Meralco customers. The cost per wash is calculated like so:
Cost Per Wash = Average Wattage x Hours of Use x Power Rate
In Meralco’s data set, it seems that they only used the washing machine for 1 hour.
|Average Cost Per Wash
|Fully Automatic Top Load (Non-inverter)
|Fully Automatic Top Load (Inverter)
|Fully Automatic Front Load (Non-inverter)
|Fully Automatic Front Load (Inverter)
As you may have surmised, the basic twin tub and spin dryer categories have a low average wattage compared to the other categories. What surprised me is the average wattage of fully automatic top load inverter category is lower than that of the twin tub category.
You can also clearly see the difference between an inverter and a non-inverter washing machine in this data set. In general inverter models will have a lower wattage compared to non-inverter models.
The outlier in this data set are the Washer-Dryer models. Even though almost all washer-dryers are already equipped with inverter motors, the energy cost of running their built-in heaters are too high which explains the high cost per wash of this category.
How to compute the power consumption of a washing machine
If the model of your choice does not have a Meralco Orange Tag, you can estimate how much it will cost per month using this formula:
(Wattage/1000) x Hours of use x Power Rate = Daily Electricity Cost
The wattage can be seen on the washing machine’s rating label. This label is normally located at the back of the unit. If you have a front load model, this sticker can be located on the inside of the washer door.
Now that you know how to determine the wattage of a washing machine and estimate its power consumption, you can now make a better choice when deciding the best washing machine model for you.
However, keep in mind that these are just estimations. Proper usage habits and regular maintenance will determine whether your electricity bill will be high or low.
- Meralco. (2020, June). Category: Washers & Dryers (Tested units as of June 2020) [Dataset]. Manila Electric Company. https://meralcomain.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/images/ckeditor-documents/Washers%20%26%20Dryers%20June%202020%281%29.pdf?null
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.