Are Hot & Cold Fill Washing Machines Cheaper To Run?

If you were to go back a few years, all washing machines had both a hot and cold water supply connected to the appliance. However, most modern washers are cold feed only.

In answer to the question is it more economical to have a hot & cold feed washing machine the answer is no, it would cost more. To find out why, keep reading.

Why Do Modern Washing Machines Only Need A Cold Water Feed?

person looking at washing machine

There are a few reasons why modern washing machines only have a cold water feed. Let’s take a look at why that is;

They’re Cheaper To Make

Manufacturers are always looking at ways to cut costs and maximise their profit margins. Making washers with both a hot and cold feed means they will need a hot water valve, a hot fill hose as well as extra wiring and electronic circuits etc to tell the machine when to use the hot supply and when to use the cold supply.

All of these extra components add to the costs of manufacture. Obviously the manufacturer doesn’t want to spend more than is necessary to make their appliances.

They want to not only make a profit, but also not price themselves out of the market. 

They’re Energy Efficient

If your washing machine relied on your home’s hot water supply for hot water, it would inevitably waste a considerable amount of energy. You see, depending on how far away from the washer the hot water tank or boiler is located, the water would cool on its journey through the pipes.

Which would mean the water would need to be reheated before it could be used for the particular cycle you selected. Plus if it’s anything like the hot water supply in my home, the hot water tap needs to be left running for a considerable amount of time before the water becomes hot.

All of which wastes energy and that’s not considered a good thing in this day and age.

They’re More Economical To Use

By just drawing cold water from the cold supply, your washer can heat the water to precisely the right temperature much faster than is possible after allowing that hot water to run through the pipes in your home from the boiler.

This means it will save you energy which translates to cheaper energy bills overall. Plus many modern wash cycles are designed to use cooler water.

Is It More Economical To Use A Hot & Cold Fill Washing Machine?

open washing machine door

If your washing machine is positioned close to your water heater or boiler, there’s a small chance that it could work out more economical to use a hot feed washer. However, the majority of us have boilers or water heaters positioned some distance from our washing machines.

Modern washers use far less water than their older counterparts. This means that if your washer was linked to a hot feed, it’s more than likely that the water would only be lukewarm at best once it got to the washer.

This would either mean the washer would then need to reheat that water or run a hot wash using cold water. Neither of those options would be great.

Reheating the water would entail more costs and using cool water for a hot wash wouldn’t get the laundry clean and germ free.

From an economical point of view, it would cost more overall to use a hot water supply unless the water heater is close to the washer. Plus there’s no way of regulating the water temperature using a hot feed.

Whereas, a cold feed with an onboard water heater ensures the correct temperature is achieved for every wash load. So although it might seem like a good idea to run a washing machine using a hot feed system, it would definitely cost more to run. Making it less economical than using a cold water feed system. 

Regularly Use A Cool Wash?

laundry room with pile of clothes

If you regularly use a cool wash cycle (many washers now feature 30o C or even 20o C washes). There’s absolutely no point having a washing machine that has a hot fill.

Using these cooler temperature washes are more environmentally friendly, save you money and with modern cool wash detergents get your laundry just as clean as a hot wash could. 

Plus they are kinder to your fabrics which means your clothes last longer. Which is another way to save money as you don’t need to buy clothes quite as often.

Hot water washes can cause fabrics to shrink, the colours to fade and in some cases, the fabric can become damaged due to the extreme temperatures.

Extra Hidden Costs Of A Cold Feed Only Washing Machine

A person putting clothes into a washing machine

However, there is a flip side to this argument, which is the extra costs that can be involved with cold feed only washers. Obviously if the system is cold feed only, there needs to be some way of heating the water to the correct temperature.

This is done using a heating element, thermal sensors and other components that can and do develop faults over time. This means there are likely to be maintenance and repair costs associated with cold fill only washing machines.

Of course these costs will not be apparent for the first few years of owning the appliance (hopefully), but they do exist.

However, even with possible repair costs, it still works out more economical to have a cold fill only washer compared to a hot & cold feed appliance.

SEE ALSO: Do I Need To Run A New Washing Machine Empty First?

Frequently Asked Questions

Are hot fill washing machines more efficient?

While hot fill washing machines appear to be more efficient on paper, in reality this is only the case if your washing machine is positioned close to your water heater or boiler. Otherwise, the water will not be at the correct temperature for the cycle you’re using and the machine will have to reheat the water.

Is it better to have a hot or cold fill washing machine?

It is better to have a cold fill washing machine because it is more eco friendly and the purchase price is cheaper as less components are needed to run the appliance. Plus if you regularly use cool washes, there’s no point paying extra for a hot fill washer.

Does using a hot wash on the washing machine cause damage to clothes?

In many cases, using a hot wash on the washing machine can cause damage to clothes. Your clothes could shrink, the colours could run and in some cases the extremely hot water temperatures could cause damage to the fabric which is why you should always consult the wash care label on the garments before washing.

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