We’ve finally gotten some badly needed rain around here the last few days. Everything is growing nicely for the most part. Unfortunately the weeds are taking over and the grass desperately needs cutting. The veggies are growing well, but it’s the same story back there….lots of weeds. The service berry bushes do not look well so add to my “to do” list, look up what might be wrong with those. The rose-bush I sprayed looks horrible as well. And don’t even get me started on the apple trees. Long story short, not working in the yard for several days means everything goes to hell in a hand basket out there. Well there’s nothing I can do about that.
This weekend was consumed with an art show, which was probably Christine’s best ever. But that just means she’s out of commission, in terms of helping with anything other than her boys and art, as she needs to restock her inventory. Meanwhile I’ve been busy with regular work, and I need to get in the studio as well to prepare for an upcoming show too. The yard is just going to have to fend for itself until the weekend, other than maybe cutting the grass one evening if the rain ever stops.
One thing that did happen last week was our new washer and dryer were delivered. We replaced our 14-year-old top load washer, and dryer with a Whirlpool set featuring a high-efficiency front load washing machine and dryer. The old units were showing signs of age, but more importantly the new units are more congruent with the new house’s mechanical systems. The new washer for example uses around 15-18 gallons a load vs. 40 gallons a load in the old unit. The average family does 300 loads a year, so this saves us 6,600-7,500 gallons of water annually. This is great because we’re on a finite water source in between rain storms. Also less water for laundry means less water going in the septic system. Top loading washers can easily overpower a septic system. It’s recommended we only do 1-2 loads a day max with the top loader, which means we’d do laundry every day with our family. Another plus is the front loader, or horizontal axis, washer uses less soap. This is another plus for the septic. On a recent inspection of our septic tank we were reprimanded for the amount of phosphorus that was in our septic tank, much of which was probably coming from laundry detergent. The new high-efficiency (HE) detergent, used in lower quantities should provide some relief to our septic system.
Electricity wise, both of the new units should lower our electric bill every month as well. I have to look but there may even be a rebate from our electric company for buying more energy-efficient models. Other pluses include the fact that the washer squeezes more water out of the clothes which reduces drying times, which in turn saves energy and money. The units are also gentler on clothes so they’ll last longer. The Energy Star website states “It’s estimated that there are 76 million top-loading washers with agitators, 25 million of which are at least 10 years old, still in use across the country. Washers manufactured before 1998 are significantly less efficient than newer models. Together, these inefficient washers cost consumers $2.8 billion each year in energy and water.” One last comment, dryers are all generally the same efficiency and haven’t improved much, where you save energy is through the reduced drying times. We also air dry a lot of our clothes as well.
The guys at Lowes delivered and installed the our shiny new white units, and even hauled our old ones away to the garage. I’m holding on to the old ones and going to try to donate them to charity as they still have some life in them, and something is better than nothing. I had them hook up all the water lines, electrical and the dryer vent. It’s interesting that dryers do not come with electrical cords. We had to buy one and have it installed. Granted installation was free, but if you’re doing it yourself you may want to keep it in mind. Also our dryer required a water line for the steam function, so keep in mind you need to “Y” that off of the cold water line going to the washing machine.
For the dryer I was going to convert it to side vent, myself, but now that the unit is installed, it is actually 33″ from the wall to the front of the unit, which is what my design had planned for. So I could side vent it and try to squish the washer and dryer back 2″-4″ more but I’m not sure it’s worth it. I think I’ll return the Whirlpool 4-way vent conversion kit and leave the vent coming out of the back of the dryer. This will save me $50 for the vent kit and save the hassle of converting it (either by myself or paying the appliance guy $100). The finished location of the washer and dryer should suffice for our design, as is.
The wife’s been reading the manuals to figure out how to work her new toys. It’s Monday and we’ve yet to do a load in the new units but that should change tomorrow. Regardless, the yard and cluttered house…and even the laundry will have to wait as best they can as we’re up to our eyeballs in stuff to do. Never a dull moment.