A guide to energy savings: Laundry room edition

February 11, 2021   By Caitlin Cosper

A guide to energy savings: Laundry room edition

Laundry is inescapable. 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. And this cost can add up quickly – the average family does about 8 to 10 loads of laundry every week.

You can’t stop doing laundry, so how can you make sure your laundry room isn’t costing you too much each month? SaveOnEnergy® is here with tips and tricks to help your laundry room run efficiently while still keeping your clothes fresh and clean.

Energy Star-certified laundry models

As is the case with most of the other appliances in your home, 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. Your washer will use the same amount of energy for a full load as it would for a single sock, so don’t waste your 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, it will take longer to fully dry your clothes. What’s more, loads that are too small also take longer to dry. Remember to avoid overfilling or underfilling 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.

Water temperature

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.

Curious about how to save energy in other rooms of your home? Here are our previous installments of this SaveOnEnergy series:

 

Caitlin Cosper is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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