How to Make Your Washer/Dryer Work for You!
Washing and drying clothes is one of the biggest energy hogs for homes behind only hot water heaters and refrigerators. This could be especially true for a family of four or five that does multiple loads throughout each week. In the overall laundry cycle, the dryer accounts for close to 80% of energy consumed, so making the drying cycle faster and more efficient is key. For example, an energy efficiency horizontal axis washer will not only use 50-60% less water, but will also cut the drying time by close to 75%. Because it may be impractical to replace older, less efficient washers and dryers, there are a number of simple modifications you can make to your household laundry routine that will help you save on your electric bills today!
- Use high efficiency (HE) detergent with cold water: Clothes come out just as clean, while fabrics retain colors better and don’t break down as fast.
- Program the washer for an additional spin cycle: Removing excess water from clothing reduces drying time and uses less energy.
- Hang dry certain items: Though you may want to machine dry some things, if you have the space and cooperative weather, hanging clothes can cut out the dryer altogether.
- Don’t overload the dryer: Overloaded dryers take longer and don’t dry clothes as efficiently.
- Dry similar materials together: Similar fabrics dry more consistently together than with a mix of materials and types. (i.e. Dry towels with towels, polyester with polyester, ect.)
- Shorten the drying time: Some dryers have a moisture sensing mode that will stop the cycle once clothes are dry. Alternatively, check clothes before the end of the cycle to prevent over drying.
- Keep filter and vent clean and free of lint: Preventing lint from building up keeps the dryer running at its highest efficiency.
- Install short, solid metal exhaust duct: The shorter the exhaust duct from the dryer to wall, the faster and more efficient the dryer.
- Upgrade the exterior vent hood: Wind or excess lint can prop open inferior vent hoods, letting in outside air.
- Replace W/D with high efficiency models: It is generally believed that when the cost of repair exceeds approximately 1/3 of the cost to purchase, it makes financial sense to purchase new.
– Guy Caroselli wtih Alex Howle, LEAP