June 4, 2008 Hot water use in washing machines in a big component of household energy use. One solution is to simply wash in cold water, but a new new front loader from Electrolux caters for another option by facilitating the use of water heated by solar energy so you can wash in hot water without turning on the heating element.
Currently available only in Italy, the Sunny needs to be installed in a home already equipped with either a solar hot water system, but can also work with boilers fueled by methane gas, pellets or any other source of heating (as long as they have a second hot water tap available). The washing machine operates on both hot and cold water, but has special programs that use water from the hot water circuit without turning on the heating element thanks to a double input supply hose. If the second hot water tap is not available, the machine works in the conventional way by warming cold water with the heater.*
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Electrolux estimates that this innovative washing system can reduce energy consumption by up to 40%.
Related reading: Electrolux Water Aid Top Loader.
* Note: Many European machines now only have a cold water connection (i.e. cold fill) and rely on electric heaters to raise the water temperature.