AHAM's history dates back to 1915, when 60 clothes washer manufacturers formed the American Washing Machine Manufacturers Association (AWMMA). In the mid-1920s, manufacturers of other home appliances formed the consumer products section of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
In 1938, AWMMA became the American Washer and Ironer Manufacturers Association. The organization became the American Home Laundry Manufacturers' Association (AHLMA) in 1954 and grew to include the majority of manufacturers in the laundry equipment industry. AHLMA formed a statistics department, launched an educational conference and promotional programs and developed voluntary standard test methods for measuring appliance performance characteristics.
In 1967, companies with mutual membership in both AHLMA and NEMA's Consumer Products Division merged to form a new trade association, AHAM, to bring together manufacturers with like technical, manufacturing, and marketing characteristics. The association set up headquarters in Chicago and later opened a Washington office to become more deeply involved in federal legislative and regulatory issues.
In 1999, AHAM moved its headquarters to Washington, DC to gain better proximity to the federal government and other stakeholders.
The Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturers Association (VCMA) became a part of AHAM in 2003. VCMA was assimilated into AHAM’s Floor Care Division to reflect increased interest by VCMA members in the services offered by AHAM.
AHAM established a permanent presence outside of U.S. borders in July 2012 with the opening of its Canada office. The move was in response to the desire of AHAM members for better integration of industry representation in Canada and the U.S. AHAM opened an office in Canada, broadening its membership to include appliance manufacturers in Canada and offering a single, dedicated appliance industry association representing members in in both countries.