Here’s an interesting fact: according to the EPA, the laundry room is one of the biggest energy-consuming rooms in homes! In fact, the dryer itself accounts for about 6% of residential electricity consumption – it is more energy-guzzling than your refrigerator!
Doing the laundry is one of life’s inevitable chores, and most of us do it at least once per week. Washing machines are a lifesaver for busy Texans, but sadly, they can also be a big energy burn. Following some tips on ways to save energy in the laundry room and choosing the best time to do the laundry can help reduce your home’s electric consumption.
We are all interested in saving on utility bills. Follow these laundry energy saving tips for ways on how to make your laundry routine more energy efficient.
1. Choose the ‘cold’ setting and wash with cold water
A typical washing machine has 3 settings: cold, warm, and hot. Most days, cold water is good for washing the majority of laundry items. Using warm water has the potential to cut your machine’s energy use in half. The only time you will need to use the hot setting is with special challenges like grass or grease stains. Put your problem loads in a separate basket and load them all at once. You’ll most likely discover that you only need to do one hot or warm load each month.
2. Always wait until you have a full load
According to Energy Saver, the washer will use the same amount of energy regardless of your load size. This means that it costs you just as much to wash a large or small load. Just be careful not to overload the washer.
3. Air-dry whenever possible
The dryer uses a lot of energy, so it’s always a great idea to hang dry your laundry, especially thick clothing. This will not only save you energy but the wear and tear of your clothes!
4. Keep the filters clean
Dirty filters make the dryer less efficient, as they block airflow. Always remove dryer lint from the filter after each dry cycle. Also, be sure to scrub the filter once a month, especially if you use dryer sheets.
5. Keep light and heavy fabrics on separate loads
Learn how to separate clothes to optimize drying time. For example, lightweight items dry faster than small rugs, cotton towels, and jackets.
6. If possible, use an Energy Star certified washer and dryer
New appliances that have the Energy Star label are more energy efficient. New washers and dryers, in particular, consume about 20 to 25 percent less energy than their traditional counterparts.
7. Plan your laundry duty
Washing full loads will help not only energy but water costs. Plan your laundry routine so that you can dry a number of loads per session.
When is the best time to do the laundry?
- The cold weather in winter drives more demand of electricity during the day, so do your laundry late in the evening while the majority of heaters are turned off or in energy-saving mode to help reduce energy consumption.
- During spring and fall, you will need to determine your local area’s lowest level of energy use. Do your laundry during that time. Texas weather is known to vary during these seasons! Be sure to check your local weather forecasts to plan ahead.
- During the hottest months of the year, it’s best to do your laundry early in the morning. This is considered the ‘off-peak’ period. Texas summers are known for their scorching heat.
Follow these laundry energy saving tips to help reduce energy consumption. NEC Co-op, your Corpus Christi, TX electric company, always offers easy and convenient energy-saving solutions for families. Check our blog every month for more helpful tips!
“EPA Adds Clothes Dryers to Energy Star Program, Increasing Energy Efficiency of New Appliances.” The United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2014 May 27, https://archive.epa.gov/epapages/newsroom_archive/newsreleases/a20ed0eb81ca520d85257ce50060497d.html
“16 Ways to Save Money in the Laundry Room.” Energy.Gov, 14 Feb. 2018, https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/16-ways-save-money-laundry-room
Janeway, K. “10 Ways to Save Energy Doing Laundry.” Consumer Reports, 2 Oct. 2019, https://www.consumerreports.org/laundry/energy-saving-laundry-tips/
“How a Product Earns the ENERGY STAR Label,” Energy Star, https://www.energystar.gov/products/how-product-earns-energy-star-label
“Save Energy on Laundry Day.” Save On Energy, 20 Mar. 2018, https://www.saveonenergy.com/learning-center/post/save-energy-on-laundry-day/