As much as we wish we could wave a magic wand and all of our dirty laundry would be washed, dried, and hung up we can’t. Doing laundry is practically unavoidable. No matter where life takes you, you will always find yourself back in your laundry room at some point. So, it’s important to know that washers and dryers are among the most expensive appliances to run in your home. And this cost can add up quickly especially when you consider that the average family does about 8 to 10 loads of laundry every week.
While you can’t stop doing laundry, you can make sure your laundry room isn’t costing you an arm and a leg with these tips:
Energy Star-certified laundry models
One of the quickest ways to reduce the amount of energy you use while doing laundry is investing in Energy Star-certified appliances.
According to Energy.gov, Energy Star washers use 35 percent less water and 20 percent less energy than traditional washing machines. As for dryers, models with the Energy Star certification consume 20 percent less energy than other models.
So, how much could an Energy Star washer and dryer save you? On average, Energy Star-certified washing machines could cost about $35 less on your utility bills each year than a standard model. And an Energy Star dryer would save you $215 over the span of the dryer’s lifetime.
The size of your laundry loads
When you decide to run your washer and dryer could determine how much energy you consume doing laundry. On laundry day, consider the size of your loads of clothes. Only run your washer when you have a full load of laundry. Because your washer will use the same amount of energy for a full load as it would for a single sock, you don’t want to waste electricity when you don’t need to.
You should also think about how many clothes you stuff into your dryer before running it. If your dryer is too full, then it will take longer to fully dry your clothes. Weirdly enough, even loads that are too small can take longer to dry. Remember to avoid overfilling or under-filling your dryer.
One final way to reduce your laundry day energy consumption is by switching your loads of laundry while the dryer is still warm. We know this can be tricky – it’s easy to leave those athletic clothes in the dryer for a few days, right? But if you flip the laundry while the dryer is still warm, your dryer won’t have to work as hard to reheat itself for the next load.
Did you know that heating water makes up about 18 percent of the average home’s energy usage? As for your washing machine, about 90 percent of its electricity goes toward heating up water. By washing your clothes in cold water, you can cut the amount of energy you spend on laundry in half.
By some estimates, running your washing machine on a hot or warm cycle will cost about $0.68 per load. But running it on a cold cycle will cost only $0.04 for each load. If you factor in how many loads the average household runs each week, these savings can add up quickly.
Clean the lint filter
Keeping your dryer’s lint filter clean will not only prevent a fire hazard, but can also ensure your dryer is running as efficiently as possible. Depending on the level of lint buildup, forgetting to clean the filter could cut your dryer’s efficiency by 75 percent.
Letting the lint take over your dryer filter can also cut down on the device’s lifespan. Remember to clean the lint filter before or after every load of laundry you run to ensure your dryer is running as best as it can.
Use your dryer’s moisture sensor
Most current dryer models come with a moisture sensor setting, which will automatically shut the machine off when it senses that the clothes are dry. When you run your dryer on a timer, you can expose your clothes to too much heat and use more energy than necessary.
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