Look for a washer that has the Energy Star qualification on it. These appliances will use roughly 30% less energy than conventional washers, as well as 50% less water. They exceed the minimum standards of conventional washers by far.
Unfortunately energy star certification does not mean as much as we were lead to believe. They approved items like a gas-powered alarm clock, and air filtration unit, which was actually a space heater with a feather duster taped to it, as energy star appliances.
Keeping the this in mind, you should be able to select a good washer for your needs. If you have the time, take a trip to a store like home depot or sears and spend some time asking the sales people about the different specificatios. You might be limited by the space you have, if you want a front or top loading machine and your budget (remember that the more energy and water you save, the quicker the investment will pay off) but they should also be able to guide you to the right machine for you.
Here is one recommendation from ConsumerResearch.com. The samsung WF218ANW earned their overall best washer award for both efficiency, reviews and versatility.
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