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Whirlpool Updates Laundry Line

10/18/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

BENTON HARBOR, MICH. — Whirlpool
unveiled a host of new laundry pairs last
week, including an updated Duet platform
and a new Maxima front-load line for Maytag.

Duet, which helped usher in the front-load
washer category within the U.S. nearly a decade
ago, has been retooled for even great
energy and water efficiency in advance of
anticipated higher federal standards.

Designed in conjunction with the Institute
of Fabric Science, the revamped washer
now uses as little as 11.5 gallons of water
per load and exceeds current federal energy
standards by more than 160 percent
on average, Whirlpool said. The greater efficiency
is achieved with an EcoBoost option
that reduces water temperature while
increasing agitation duration, resulting in
the same cleaning effectiveness as previous
iterations while using less water and energy.

Whirlpool estimates that the laundry pair
can save consumers 12,857 gallons of water a year and
as much as $3,300 in lifetime energy costs.

Whirlpool is targeting national retail chains for the
launch, which is expected to begin in time for the holiday
selling season. Suggest retail prices will start at
$1,100 for both the washer and dryer.

Meanwhile, Whirlpool’s Maytag brand will roll out an
entirely new front-load laundry platform in the Maxima,
which offers increased capacity and a power-wash cycle
that promises extra cleaning action by loosening
stains and ground-in dirt.

The power-wash cycle is complimented by an internal
water heater that boosts water temperatures to release
difficult stains, and is followed by a thorough rinse to
flush out any remaining detergent or lingering soils,
Whirlpool said. Together, the functions can remove
tough stains that weren’t pre-treated.

The 5-cubic-foot washer, available in two models,
also has a 10-year limited parts warranty on the motor
and stainless-steel wash basket.

Its companion 7.4-cubic-foot capacity dryer features
“Quad” baffles and advanced moisture sensors for
consistent load drying, while steam cycles help remove
odors and wrinkles.

The Maxima series will carry an opening price
point of $1,000 and is slated to ship this fall to retailers
nationwide.