You may not use your laundry room every day, but it can add a significant amount of money to your monthly utility bill. The following tips will help you to reduce the amount of energy you use when doing laundry. Implementing these steps will also help to save water and protect the environment. The first tip is to only do laundry when you have a full load.
Running the washer and dryer for small loads is inefficient and uses a lot of energy. Combining small loads will also help to save you time that could be spent on something more enjoyable than laundry!
If you are looking to buy your first washing machine or upgrade an older model, you should buy a high-efficiency washing machine. The Energy Star program is a joint effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The program rates energy efficient appliances that will save you money and protect the environment. Several models of washing machines are available that can save you $550 in utility bills over the life of the washer. There are also tax credits available for purchasing these products, which help to defray slightly higher upfront costs. These machines are also gentler, and will extend the life of your closing, thus saving you even more.
When washing clothes, use the cold/cold setting on your washing machine to cut down on energy used to heat water. A large percentage of energy costs for washing clothes come from heating water. Washing and rinsing your clothes in cold water eliminates the usage of hot water, and the energy used to heat it. Using cold water also allows you to combine more colors, thus increasing the size of loads. Cold water will also help to extend the life of your clothing.
The majority of energy used on laundry day comes from drying your clothes. Currently, there are no Energy Star rated dryers as they all use about the same amount of energy. This does not mean that you cannot save energy when drying your clothes. To save electricity, set your dryer to low heat or no heat. The dryer does not need to be as hot as a furnace to get your clothes dry!
Separate towels and jeans from the rest of your clothing when drying to reduce drying time. Heavy cottons hold a lot of water and take longer to dry. Drying these separately will reduce the time you must dry the majority of your laundry. Additionally, you should purchase and utilize wooden drying racks to save on electricity. Wooden drying racks are small, light weight, and can be folded and stored in a small space. These are perfect for delicates and underwear that do not need to be ironed. Wooden drying racks are also great for those clothes that refuse to dry completely in your dryer.
Once you have finished drying, remove clothing from the dryer and hang immediately at the end of the cycle to reduce wrinkles and energy used for ironing. Many clothes do not need to be ironed if you simply take them out of the dryer as soon as the cycle is finished. Dry clothes when you are in the house so you can be there to take them out at the end of the cycle.
The last tip is a small one, but will save you a little bit of money over the long run. Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs use 75% less energy than standard bulbs and last for years according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The upfront cost may be higher, but you will save money over time.