If you have a houseful of kids, you have a washing machine that’s running constantly. Whether it’s for baby clothes and bibs or a teenager’s smelly gym clothes, using your washer and dryer on a daily basis can be a huge energy hog. Here are three easy ways to cut down on your electricity bill while doing laundry. Even better you will reduce your carbon footprint in the process.
1. Lower the Water Temperature
You may think hot water is the way to go for all of your laundry needs, it’s all super dirty right? That’s just not the case. Unless the stains are oil-based, your laundry will get just as clean with a warm or even cold-water wash. Dropping the water temperature to warm or cold can lower your energy consumption in half. To help things along, pre-treat stains and let the load soak in warm water for an hour or so before starting the wash cycle to loosen stubborn oil and dirt. Also, try using a detergent designed for cold water or use my favourite detergent for laundry that is clean and smells great.
It might be convenient to throw a couple of towels or your daughter’s favorite pair of jeans in the wash when you want them now. Unfortunately, washing items separately is a huge energy waste, not to mention water and detergent. It’s best to always wash a full load to get the full benefit for your energy and water consumption.
2. Reduce the Drying Time
Running the dryer every day can make you dread opening your energy bill every month. Get the biggest bang for your energy buck by lowering the heat on your drying cycle, or even better, stop using it all together! Using a dryer can cost up to $3 per cycle and by using a clothes line you can save 100% on your energy bill, now that’s a saving.
Routine dryer maintenance is an easy way to reduce energy costs. Make sure to clean the lint screen after each use, and periodically use a vacuum attachment to clean lint from hard to reach nooks and crannies inside the dryer near the screen. Also, make sure your vents are unclogged and that no kinks in the ductwork are cutting down on your dryer’s efficiency. If you have the space, consider hanging clothes on an outside clothesline or using an indoor drying rack.
3. Look for Energy Star Appliances
Maybe you’re in the market for a new washer and dryer because yours is on the fritz or the set isn’t big enough to accommodate your growing family. In that case, consider looking for models with the Energy Star seal. These appliances are a big energy saver by using 20 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than traditional washers. These “smart” machines clean and dry your laundry more effectively than old-fashioned units and not only save tons of energy, they prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your clothes.
Looking to save energy across the entire home? This simple, interactive guide from Switchwise will show you how.