Laundry: Reduce Your Energy Load

The average American household washes 300 loads of laundry per year, using about 40 gallons of water for a single load. Washing and drying your clothes more efficiently can reduce your water and energy use significantly.

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Eight ways to save

Clean up with cost-saving laundry strategies:

  1. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible.
  2. Unless you are dealing with oily stains, the warm temperature setting will clean most fabrics. By switching from hot to warm, you can cut energy use in half.
  3. Wash full loads whenever possible. If you must wash a small load, use the appropriate water level setting.
  4. Clean the lint filter after each dryer load; this will increase air circulation and improve dryer efficiency.
  5. Avoid drying towels and heavy cotton materials with lightweight clothing.
  6. If your dryer is equipped with a moisture sensor, use it to prevent over drying.
  7. Consider air drying clothes in your laundry room or outdoors, if possible.
  8. Inspect your dryer vent periodically to ensure that it is not blocked. Consider having your unit cleaned professionally.

Long-term savings

If you have an older washing machine, consider replacing it with a new, ENERGY STAR rated model. ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers use about 37 percent less energy and more than 50 percent less water than standard models.

When purchasing a new dryer, consider buying a model with a moisture sensor that will shut the machine off automatically when your clothes are dry. This will save energy and prevent unnecessary wear and tear from over drying.