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10 Ways to Save Energy in Your Laundry Room

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The laundry room is one of largest energy-consuming rooms in any home. We are all interested in saving money, saving water and energy and being green for the environment.

Specific questions? Just ask here.

1. Load capacity

Load Capacity of Washers

Choose a washing machine that meets your household needs. Washing machines range in capacity from 1.6 to 5.8 cubic feet. If your normal laundry loads are small, choose a smaller model that uses less water and use a public laundromat for large items like comforters.

Front load washers and high-efficiency top load washers that do not have a center post agitator will hold larger loads of laundry.

2. Energy Star

Buy Energy Star Washer
US Department of Energy

Purchase an Energy Star-certified washer, which will use at least 40% less energy and up to 65% less water than a standard washer. Most full-sized Energy Star washers use 18-25 gallons of water per load, compared to the 40 gallons used by a standard machine. Energy Star models also spin the water from the clothes better, resulting in less drying time.

3. Water temperature

Correct Water Temperature for Washing Clothes

About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. Unless you're dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load's energy use in half.

You can learn more about selecting the correct water temperature for washing clothes but the rinse cycle should always use cold water. There is no need for heated water during the rinse cycle.

4. Sort fabrics

How to Sort Clothes

We all know that throwing everything together in the washer is a bad idea. Sort your laundry for best results. It is also a bad idea to dry everything together. Separate your clothes and dry similar types of clothes together. Lightweight synthetics, for example, dry much more quickly than bath towels and natural fiber clothes.

5. Dryer features

How to Select a Clothes Dryer
While there are no Energy Star rated dryers (they all use approximately the same amount of energy), choose a dryer with a moisture sensor which will shut off your machine when clothes are dry. An air-dry feature, which dries clothes with cold air, reduces energy use and wrinkles.

6. Natural gas dryers

Gas or Electric Dryer
Most dryers consume a similar amount of energy to dry one load of clothes. However, a dryer powered by natural gas will dry a load of clothes three times faster than an electric dryer. Learn more about the differences in a natural gas and electric dryer.

7. Residual heat

Save energy when drying clothes.
Plan your laundry duty so that you can dry multiple loads during each session. You’ll save energy by using an already heated dryer that doesn’t have to be brought up to temperature each time it is used.

8. De-lint Dryer Completely

Clean away dryer lint
Lint makes your dryer work harder. Clean the dryer lint filter after every use. Check the outside dryer exhaust frequently to make sure it’s clean and that the flapper opens and closes freely. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting materials, not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.

9. Fresh air

Use a Clothesline to Save Money
Line drying is, of course, the most energy-efficient alternative for drying clothes. Learn how to hang clothes properly to prevent wrinkling and how to select a great outdoor clothesline.

If you don’t have adequate outdoor space or live in an apartment, place a dryer rack (how to select a great one) by an open, sunny window. Or, you can install a clothesline in the laundry room.

10. Do Less Ironing

Save energy when ironing
Irons can consume up to 1,800 watts of energy; and if used for two hours, one iron emits 4.8 pounds of carbon dioxide. Learn how to reduce wrinkling by line drying clothes, drying with cold air or removing them promptly from the dryer will keep wrinkles to a minimum.
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