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Ah, the joys of having a washer and dryer in your home. There’s no waiting for a machine, no coin slots, and no one taking out your wet load if you aren’t right there when the cycle ends.
Although it’s cheaper per load and much more convenient to do laundry at home, there’s a somewhat hidden cost to consider, and that’s the energy it takes to run your washer and dryer.
What appliances in your home use the most energy? The hot water heater is the appliance that costs the most to run. Right behind it is the washer and dryer’s combined energy use. (Although not considered appliances by many, heating/cooling tops the list, followed by the hot water heater.)
A dryer requires more energy to run than a washer, but there are ways to reduce your washing costs, too (think hot water versus cold). To save money in your laundry room, consider these tips:
- When using your washing machine, select the right amount of water for the load – that is, don’t select the “extra-large” setting when doing a small load. In fact, consider waiting to do laundry until you have full loads to conserve water.
- Use cold water to save the money you spend on heating water. Some laundry detergents are designed to tackle stains in cold water.
- Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load’s energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more, according to energy.gov.
- Use dryer balls, which help separate clothes and get more air to them, cutting drying time.
- Utilize lower settings when you use the dryer. Even if your dryer runs longer, you’ll use less energy and be less likely to over-dry your clothes.
- Clean the lint out of your dryer between loads and scrub the filter once a month to remove buildup.
- Put like items together since lighter-weight clothes take less time to dry. Drying towels and heavier cottons take longer.
- Use the moisture sensor option on your dryer if it has one.
- Take a clue from your teenage boy and wear clothes more than once between laundering them (although don’t wait until your jeans can stand by themselves).
- When purchasing a dryer, consider an Energy Star version, which uses 20 percent less energy than a conventional model.
- Energy Star-certified washers use about 25 percent less energy and 33 percent less water than regular clothes washers.
- Thoroughly clean your dryer’s vents and duct system at least twice a year.
To learn more about how much you are spending to run your washer and dryer each year, refer to energy.gov’s appliance energy use calculator.
Perennial Public Power District and Nebraska Public Power District want to help you make the most of the energy they provide you. That includes helping you save money doing laundry. For more ideas on how you can make your home EnergyWise, visit Perennial’s EnergyWise page or just contact Perennial at 402-362-3355, 1-800-289-0288, or email@example.com.