How to conserve energy in the laundry room

conserve energy in the laundry room

The laundry room is yet another place to save energy in any home. The laundry room can really give the environment and your wallet a true beating. About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water, which is definitely bad news for your pockets and for the environment. Here are some handy-dandy tips to help you save a bundle in this area – not only reducing your impact on the environment, but also cutting down your energy and your water bills. Image Credit

1. Make use of cold water
According to Michael Bluejay, also called Mr. Electricity, who specializes in electricity savings, one can save up to $215 per year off your electric bill by using cold water. Heating utilizes 90% of the washing machine’s power consumption. The best way to save money when you are doing the laundry is to wash clothes in cold water. When used with cold-water detergent, washing in cold water is actually better for your clothes. Oily stains that require hot water for removal can be switched from hot to warm still saving energy and doing a good job of cleaning your laundry.

2. Go for an Energy Star-certified washer
Clothes washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR use at least 40% less energy and up to 65% less water than a standard washer for washing and drying, for annual household savings of about $70. The Energy Star program is a government-sponsored program designed to encourage manufacturers to produce appliances and other electronic products that use less electricity than standard models of the same product. Energy Star models also spin the water from the clothes better, resulting in less drying time.

3. Full load washing
The best way to save money on laundry is by only washing full loads, as you’ll be using less water per item. This will maximize energy efficiency and conserve water. Washing a couple of small loads of laundry requires more water and electricity than running one full load.

4. Go for the shortest wash cycle
Choose the shortest wash cycle that will get the job done. Longer wash cycles require more energy, and the extra wash time usually isn’t necessary, unless you’re washing very dirty clothes. There are ample washing machines available with the high-speed washer spin cycles can cut dry times by as much as half compared with older models.

5. Plan the drying time
Choose the shortest drying time required so that you can dry multiple loads during each session. Many dryers include a moisture-sensing feature that automatically cuts off the dryer when it senses that your clothes are dry–a great feature to use if you’ve got it. You’ll also save energy by using an already heated dryer that doesn’t have to be brought up to temperature each time it is used.

6. Fold clothes to avoid wrinkles
Remove items from the dryer as soon as tumbling stops. If clothes become wrinkled from lying in the dryer, extra energy gets used to iron or re-dry them, meaning more energy use.

7. Make use of natural dryer
Drying clothes without using a dryer also saves a lot of money. The best way to dry your clothes to save energy and lower your carbon footprint is to hang dry clothes outside. Hanging clothes in sunshine is also a great way to brighten clothes and remove germs.

If we follow all the above steps then not only will the practice reduce utility bills, it will help extend the life of both the clothes and the appliance.

Tips to remember

• Make sure that you the consult your owner’s manual for your washer and dryer for unit-specific tips on how to maximize efficiency.

• While full loads are a good idea, it is not a good idea to overload your machine. This can warp the drum, and greatly reduce the lifespan of your washer.

• Your clothes like T-shirts and blouses dry much quicker than heavy items like towels and blankets. Therefore, try saving energy by hanging them in air, because when these items are combined in the same load, some of the clothes continue to tumble long after they’re dry.

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