Doing laundry is a tedious chore, and the high cost of running your washer and dryer doesn’t help. You probably wash at least a few loads of clothes every week, so it pays to reduce your laundry energy costs. Here’s how.
- Wash with cold water as often as possible. This bypasses the water heater, cutting the load’s energy usage in half. Coldwater detergent ensures your clothes come clean.
- Turn down the water heater. When you need to run a warm or hot load of towels or bedding, save money by lowering the water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees. This also reduces standby heat loss to save you even more.
- Wash large loads. Your washer uses about the same amount of energy whether you run a small or large batch, so fill it up. However, don’t stuff clothes into the washer or they may not come clean.
- Use the highest spin speed possible. This removes more water from clothes to reduce the drying time.
- Use your dryer’s cool-down cycle and moisture Automatic cycles detect when your clothes are nearly dry and switch to the cool-down mode to finish drying without using any more heat. This feature saves energy by running the dryer just long enough to get your clothes dry.
- Dry the right-size loads. If a batch is too large, it takes longer to dry, and if it’s too small, it could throw off the moisture sensor.
- Dry similar items together. Avoid mixing towels and heavy cottons with lightweight clothes that dry much more quickly.
- Dry batches back-to-back. The residual heat from the first batch gives the second one a head start.
- Switch to dryer balls. Wood or rubber dryer balls replace dryer sheets. They separate clothes so air can circulate and dry them faster.
- Clean the lint filter after every batch. The dryer runs more safely and efficiently when air circulates properly thanks to a clean lint filter.
- Air-dry everything you can. Hang your laundry on a drying rack or clothesline to avoid running the dryer altogether.
- Invest in an efficient washer and dryer. Today’s front-loading washing machines use efficient methods to clean your clothes. Those that bear the Energy Star label use nearly three-quarters less water and energy than agitator washers from 20 years ago. They are also about 25 percent more efficient than conventional models available today.
- Switch to a gas dryer. If you already have natural gas hookups, switching from an expensive electric dryer to a gas one is a no-brainer.
If you’ve noticed unusually high water or energy bills, your washer and dryer might not be to blame. Hire a professional plumber to check your water heater and pipes for wasteful leaks that could be driving up costs. Contact Puget Sound Plumbing & Heating at (206) 350-0079 to schedule prompt, reliable plumbing and heating services in Seattle, WA.