Save money in the laundry room

The average American family does about 300 loads of laundry a year, according to ENERGY STAR. Make the most of your laundry room’s energy use!

Posted by Lauren Dublin on February 6, 2023

The average American family does about 300 loads of laundry a year, according to ENERGY STAR. Make the most of your laundry room’s energy use! There are several easy ways you can save energy (and money) in the laundry room. Try the following tips next time you’ve got clothes to clean:

  1. Wash with cold water. Switching from warm water to cold water can cut one load’s energy use by more than half, as almost 90% of the energy that goes into a wash machine goes into heating the water. By using a cold-water detergent, you can still achieve the same clean you get from hot or warm water.
  2. Wash full loads when possible. Your washing machine will use the same amount of energy no matter the size of the clothes load, so fill it up. Don’t quite have a full load? Add some towels from around the house to help take up space. 
  3. Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle in the washer. This setting will remove more water from the clothes at the end of the wash cycle, reducing your drying time.
  4. Switch loads from the wash machine to the dryer while the dryer is warm. This allows you to take advantage of the remaining heat from the previous drying cycle. 
  5. Looking into a foldable drying rack and letting your clothes air dry. Sure, it takes a bit longer, but also eliminates the need for the electricity from your dryer altogether, and helps cut down on static.
  6. Dry heavier cottons separately. Loads will dry faster and more evenly if you separate heavier cottons like linens and towels from your lightweight clothing.
  7. Use dryer balls. Dryer balls, usually made of wool or rubber, help keep clothes from bunching together, allowing for faster drying. They also help reduce static, so you can eliminate or reduce use of dryer sheets.
  8. Make use of the auto dry or “cool down” cycles. Auto dry cycles can detect when clothes are dry, and will end the drying cycle early, saving you money. If your dryer has a cool down cycle option, clothes will finish drying with the remaining heat in the dryer, saving you money.
  9. Clean the lint filter after every drying cycle. Not only does it reduce fire risks, but it increases air flow so your dryer can dry more efficiently, meaning less run time and more energy savings!
  10. Purchase ENERGY STAR®-rated washers and dryers. Washers and dryers that receive the ENERGY STAR® rating save about $360 on electricity costs over the appliance’s lifetime.

To learn about additional ways to save energy at home, visit the Department of Energy’s energy efficiency page.

Lauren Dublin

Lauren Dublin

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