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Pros / Steam options are nice for deep cleaning.

Cons / Estimated yearly operation costs are above average.

 Verdict / There are machines that are more efficient, but this unit has a large capacity and a convenient feature set that’s a good fit for families.

The Kenmore 41302 is not the best for energy efficiency, but it has a large capacity and a host of other convenient features. Steam cleaning is one of the standout features. Not everyone considers this a must-have, but it is nice. Steam can be great for getting tough stains out. This is also one of the machines that offers NSF-certified cycles, so you can be confident that you are removing 99.9% of bacteria.

Other convenient features include the wide variety of wash motions and cycle types. This machine's tub moves in 6 different ways, depending on the cycle, to get the most efficient clean possible for each load. Cycle types include Express Wash for when you are in a hurry, Whitest Whites for cotton and Kids Wear, specifically designed to clean children's clothing.

Even though other popular front-load washers are more energy efficient, it is still very likely more efficient than the machine you are replacing. And, it has Energy Star certification, so it at least reaches the EPA's standards for efficient products. Its matching dryer, the Kenmore 81382, also has an Energy Star certification, and a large capacity that can accommodate even bulky bedding.

It is above average when you consider estimated yearly operation cost, power cost and water cost. It is also above average when you look at water used per wash and for estimated annual water usage. Yet, it still ranked higher for energy efficiency than one out of the two other machines of the same capacity that we compared. If you would like a machine that scored better for efficiency, though, consider the Maytag MHW3505FW.

This is not the best machine for efficiency, but it has some great features, including a specific cycle for kids' clothing and NSF certification for sanitization, that make it a good fit for busy households with kids. The quick wash and large capacity will make it possible to do a lot of laundry quickly when you need to.

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