Our homes are full of appliances they all use electricity to some degree, even your gas cooker, but does a washing machine use gas? Is gas power for washing machines a new invention, and what would be the advantage of such an appliance?
A hundred years ago, there were washing machines that ran on gas and petrol, as well as electricity. Some industrial washing machines still use gas power. But what about washing machines for the home?
Gas-Powered Washing Machines Today
In the USA off-grid living is a popular way of life. It is where a home produces its own power and is independent of major suppliers. Wilderness living in Alaska, or the mountains of Montana makes alternative methods of power production essential for some people.
As a result, there is a demand in the States for propane gas-powered appliances such as washers and dryers. If your home is a long way from a grid connection it can be a viable alternative to generating electricity.
The First Washing Machines
The early twentieth century was an era of remarkable innovation as new power sources such as petrol, gas and electricity were developed. Electric motor vehicles initially outsold petrol vehicles!
An American company called Maytag produced the first gas-powered washing machines. Some of its first machines are still in use, due to their low number of moving parts and robust design.
The trouble with older machines is that they use twice as much water as the least efficient electric washing machine on the market today.
The advice is that these old machines should be upgraded, and Maytag is still in the home appliance business today.
Where Else Can You Buy New Gas-Powered Washing Machines?
A company in America called Staber has been making and supplying gas-powered appliances for a while now. They have a wide range of dryers as well as a selection of washing machines.
However, they are an expensive option. If you are keen to go off-grid there are likely to be better alternatives to gas power!
How Does a Washing Machine Use Gas?
Just like your petrol car, a gas-powered washing machine motor is essentially an internal combustion engine. One of the benefits of gas over petrol is that it produces fewer emissions and is more efficient.
Gas and petrol engines need a safe exhaust, while gas-powered washing machines require venting, and sometimes the early domestic models caught fire.
In the early days of commercial appliance design, the cost to run was a major contributor to sales. Eventually, as the electric power grid grew and became more reliable, cleaner, less smelly electric models became much more desirable.
Human-Powered Washing Machines
For a truly off-grid experience that combines an efficient wash cycle with a bit of a workout, this Portable Foot Powered Washing Machine should do the trick.
It can take small loads and is ideal for single living, for use in a camper van, and doesn’t require any external power other than what you can give it as part of your exercise regime.