Energy and water usage in your laundry room can impact your budget. Follow these tips to save energy – and thus money – in your laundry room.
Use cold water
Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. Hot water heating accounts for about 90 percent of the energy your machine uses to wash clothes — only 10 percent goes to electricity used by the washer motor. Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $40 annually (with an electric water heater) and more than $30 annually (with a gas water heater).
Wash full loads
To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately.Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.
Don’t over dry
If your dryer has a moisture sensor that will automatically turn the machine off when clothes are done, use it to avoid over drying. Remember to clean the lint trap before every load. Dry full loads, or reduce drying time for partial loads.
It’s easy to over dry your clothes, if one setting is used for various fabric types. Try to dry loads made up of similar fabrics, so the entire load dries just as the cycle ends. Many dryers come with energy-saving moisture or humidity sensors that shut off the heat when the clothes are dry. If you don’t have this feature, try to match the cycle length to the size and weight of the load. A dryer operating an extra 15 minutes per load can cost you up to $34, every year.
Clean the lint trap
The lint trap is an important energy saver. Dryers work by moving heated air through wet clothes, evaporating and then venting water vapor outside. If the dryer cannot provide enough heat, or move air sufficiently through the clothes, they will take longer to dry, and may not dry at all. One of the easiest things you can do to increase drying efficiency is to clean the lint trap before each and every load. This step also can save you up to $34 each year.
Check your water heater settings
Make sure your water heater is set at the lowest comfortable setting. If you’ve ever experienced scalding hot water, it’s possible it’s set too high and is wasting energy. If the tank is old, it’s probably an uninsulated unit, which can be easily remedied by covering it with an insulating jacket.