Smart Laundry: Loads of Tips For Saving Energy
Did you know Americans used 8 BILLION kilowatts of energy washing laundry and 61 BILLION kilowatts of energy drying their laundry? That is A LOT of dirty clothes.
An average of 10 percent of your home’s total electrical usage comes from washing and drying clothing, according the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Washers have dramatically reduced their power and water consumption over the last 20 years. Dryers have increased efficiency as well, but they still use more energy than your refrigerator, clothes washer, and dishwasher combined. Following even a couple of these tips can lead to a lighter electric bill and more energy saved.
- Setting your water heater to 120°F instead of 140°F can help save energy and still clean your clothes properly.
- Do full loads when doing laundry. Try to wash similar items together and use cold water when possible. Using the full capacity will maximize the efficiency of every wash cycle.
- Try using HE (high efficiency) detergent. If you have a high efficiency washer you should always try to use an HE detergent, but you can still use it even if you don’t have an HE washing machine.
- Turn up the spin speed. Turning up the spin speed cuts down on your drying time by getting more of the water out while in the washer. Why dry longer than you have to?
- Use a clothesline. Using a clothesline can eliminate the need for a dryer altogether. It will take some getting used to, but it can save energy in the process.
- Check and clean the lint out of your dryer every cycle. Cleaning the lint out of your dryer before each cycle improves drying time, air circulation, and helps prevent dangerous fires caused from overheating.
- Use the automatic cycle. Using a timed drying cycle is not as efficient as using the automatic cycle. Most modern dryers have a sensor that detects when the laundry is dry and stops when complete.