Whether you wash a load a week or a load a day, energy-efficient washers and dryers leave less impact on the planet and your budget. Don't overlook this important feature when shopping for a new washer or dryer. It could save you a significant amount of money over the lifetime of your appliances.
1. Wash full loads. Washers operate most efficiently with full loads, but be careful not to overload. Clothes should be able to move freely for optimum cleaning.
2. Lower your temperature. Set your water heater thermostat to 120°F. Studies show that reducing water temperature by 10 degrees can cut the cost of a hot wash cycle by roughly 10%.
3. Don't over wash. Use your dial to set an appropriate wash length. Clothes that need a light cleaning don't need to be washed as long as dirty work clothes or kids’ play clothes.
4. Soak it. Presoak heavily soiled clothes to reduce the need for a second wash.
5. Go easy on the suds. You may find you can clean clothes with a fraction of the recommended amount of detergent, because too many suds can make your machine work harder. Use a detergent marked HE (high-efficiency) if you have an ENERGY STAR qualified washer.
6. Turn off the water. If you're not planning to use your washer for an extended period of time, turn off the water flow to the washer. Otherwise, constant water pressure may cause or exacerbate leaks.
7. Give it some air. Over time, small amounts of stagnant water can lead to mildew and odors. Leave the lid open between washings to allow the drum to dry.
Spin it again. Set the washer to do a second spin cycle. The more water you remove, the less drying time you’ll need.
1. Use the proper setting. Many dryers have a delicate / permanent press cycle to protect lighter fabrics. These settings use less energy since lighter clothes don't need high heat. Save the high heat setting for heavier fabrics, like towels and bedding.
2. Clear the lint filter. Proper airflow will reduce drying time, as well as wear and tear on the dryer and your clothes. Learn more about cleaning the dryer vent, filter and duct.
3. Dry lightweight garments first. When drying loads back to back, dry lighter garments first. The residual heat will help heavier loads dry faster later.
4. Don't overload. An overcrowded dryer has little space for clothes to tumble, taking longer to dry and increasing the chance of wrinkling.
5. Don't under load, either. Drying one shirt for 30 minutes costs about the same as drying a full load for 30 minutes. Smaller loads can actually take longer to dry without the tumbling effect of a full load. If you dry small loads on a consistent basis, consider a dryer with an advanced moisture sensor.