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10 Ways to Save Energy in the Laundry Room

 

The laundry room is one of largest water and energy-consuming rooms in any home. We are all interested in saving money and any reduction in water and energy use helps everyone by protecting the environment.

10 Ways To Make Your Laundry Room More Energy Efficient

1. Choose An Energy Efficient Washer

Purchase a high efficiency top load or front load Energy Star-certified washer. These models will use at least 40 percent less energy and up to 65 percent less water than a standard top load washer. Most full-sized Energy Star washers use only 8-25 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 at a higher rate reducing residual moisture, resulting in less drying time.


2. Choose The Best Size Washer For Your Family

Choose the correctly sized washing machine that will meet your household’s needs. Washing machines range in capacity from 1.6 to 5.3 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 that are only washed once or twice a season.


3. Use The Correct Water Temperature

About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is spent on heating the water. Unless you are dealing with clothes that heavily stained with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do just as good a job in cleaning your clothes. Plus, lower water temperatures are more gentle on fabrics and will help your clothes stay looking their best. Switching your wash water temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy costs for each load of clothes in half.


4. Select An Energy Efficient Dryer

Choose a EnergyStar 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. Always choose the correct dryer cycle for each load.


5. Compare Electric and Natural Gas Dryers

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. Compare the operating costs of electric and gas-powered clothes dryers. In many areas, natural gas is less expensive. You must consider the cost of installation since a professional technician is required to install a gas line and dryer.


6. Plan Your Laundry Routine

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. You will also save energy if your dryer is in a conditioned space that is not excessively cold.


7. Separate And Conquer Drying Times

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. Never overload the dryer. The clothes need room to tumble so that air can reach each surface.


8. Clean Your Dryer Vents

An unobstructed flow of air makes a dryer work more efficiently and can prevent fires. 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. Get Outside

Line drying is, of course, the most energy-efficient alternative for drying clothes. If you don’t have adequate outdoor space or live in an apartment, place a dryer rack by an open, sunny window.


10. Skip The Iron

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. Line drying clothes or drying on lower temperature settings and removing them promptly from the dryer while still slightly damp will keep wrinkles to a minimum.



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