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Cash for Clunkers for Appliances Buyer's Guide: Washing machines

Consumer Reports News: January 12, 2010 01:09 PM

If you're planning to take advantage of the $300 million State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, or cash for clunkers for appliances, and buy a new washing machine, use the advice below:

States offering rebates for washing machines:
Rebates are available in every state and territory except for Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Use our interactive map to find a link to the program Web site in your state.

Rebate amounts: As with every appliance that's part of the cash for clunkers program, rebates vary by state. In Georgia, residents will get back $50 to $100 on a new washer, while in Kansas consumers will receive $800, though only if their household's adjusted gross income does not exceed 75 percent of the state's median income.


Repair-or-replace advice: If your washing machine is more than a decade old, a new, efficient model could save you $135 each year on your electric and water bills, not to mention the initial rebate. Plus, it probably doesn't pay to repair a machine that old, according to our "Repair or Replace It?" data.

Buying advice: The biggest decision is choosing between a top- or a front-loader. Top-loaders with a center-post agitator are the least expensive but aren't the best at washing and use the most water and energy. Front-loaders generally use less water and energy but tend to cost more and are prone to vibration when placed on wood-framed floors. See our free buyer's guide for more details.

Models to consider: The following Energy Star-qualified models (listed in alphabetical order) stood out in our tests and should be eligible for a rebate in your state. (Some states are requiring that machines exceed even Energy Star criteria.) Check out our complete ratings of and brand-reliability data for washing machines (available to subscribers).

Front-loaders

Frigidaire Gallery GLTF2940F[S], GE WBVH5300K[WW], GE WCVH6800J[WW], LG WM2016C[W], LG WM2301H[W], Samsung WF218AN[W] (shown), Whirlpool Duet Steam WFW9500T[W]

Top-loaders
GE WJRE5500G[WW], WTW6200V[W], MVWB800V[Q], WTW6800W[W]

Daniel DiClerico

Essential information: Check out our cash for clunkers for appliances hub for the latest news on the program.
   

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