You might not realize it, but laundry is an expensive household chore. Your washer and dryer consume more power than nearly everything else in your house. Only your refrigerator is more costly and that’s because it runs day and night. So, if you don’t want to spend a fortune cleaning your clothes, what can you do to save money? Check out some of these energy-saving tips!
Wash with Cold Water
Heating water requires so much power that washing clothes in warm (or hot) water is almost 20 times more expensive than washing them in cold. What’s more, it’s not even the best way to clean them! Hot water causes your clothing to shrink, wrinkle, and fade. It may be better at killing germs, but not so good at removing dirt and stains. High-efficiency detergents are formulated to work better in cold water, so saving energy makes your clothes cleaner and fresher.
Wash Full Loads
Your washing machine uses the same energy whether it’s empty or full. Therefore, running it with an appropriately sized load according to your washer’s capacity is more efficient and can help you save money in the laundry room. Overloading your washing machine can damage your machine’s drum and decrease your washer’s efficiency resulting in increased electrical consumption and higher energy bills
Air Dry When Possible
A drying rack or clothesline lets you air out your laundry without heating your dryer. Though not always feasible, on hot days it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to dry your clothes.
Take Advantage of a Hot Dryer
Washing multiple loads back to back? Load your wet laundry into the dryer as soon as you take the dry laundry out. The latent heat will dry your clothes even faster, saving energy in the long run.
Use Dryer Balls
Dryer balls, made from rubber or wool, prevent clothes and linens from clumping together. By separating your laundry, more hot air is added to the mix, which cuts down the drying time, not to mention the amount of static electricity generated by the dryer cycle.
Fill Your Dryer
Dryers use the same amount of energy whether they’re full or empty. However, just like your washer, overloading your dryer makes it less effective. In order to ensure you don’t have to run an extra cycle, fill the drum until it’s three-quarters full, so the hot air has room to circulate and efficiently dry your clothing.
Separate Your Towels
Heavier fabrics take longer to dry than lighter ones. Bedsheets, for instance, only need about thirty minutes while towels need about an hour. Combining them in the dryer means you wind up spending more energy than you otherwise would have on items that don’t need it.
Invest in Energy Star Appliances
Washers and dryers don’t have to eat up as much energy as they do. In fact, a new generation is being introduced that uses significantly less energy than conventional appliances produced in the past. Find them by looking for the Energy Star logo. It’s only put on appliances that use significantly less energy than other appliances on the market.