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Laundry Room Appliances

Your laundry room can become a huge expense if you don't pay attention to the amount of water and energy your washer and dryer uses.

Washing machines use two types of resources. They need electricity to power their motors and they need water to do their work.

Some machines are far more efficient at using these resources. To find the most efficient ones, look for the Energy Star label. Conventional washers can use 40 gallons of water on just one load of laundry. But Energy Star-rated washers can use fewer than 10 gallons of water. They use less energy, too.

Don't look for the same designation with clothes dryers, though. Most dryers use similar amounts of energy, so the Energy Star program doesn't certify them.

Energy Star Washers:

  • Cut utility bills by an average of $50 per year. That's a total of $550 saved over 11 years, the average life span of a washing machine.
  • Save an average of 7,000 gallons of water each year.
  • Come in two designs: front-load washing machines and redesigned to-loading machines. Neither have a central agitator.
  • Have a faster spin speed to remove more water from your clothes, which helps clothes dry faster.

What you can do:

Wash with cold water instead of hot

Why? Hot water is only necessary for very dirty laundry.

Wash and dry only full loads

Why? The machines use roughly the same amount of water and energy to wash or dry one item as they do a full load.

Separate fast-drying clothes from slow-drying ones

Why? It helps you use the dryer only as long as you need to.

Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every use

Why? A clogged filter can prevent your dryer from doing its job.

Dry clothes outside in good weather

Why? Sunlight is free.

Choose Energy Star washing machines

Why? They use less than half the water and energy of standard machines.

Use the high-speed spin cycle in your washer

Why? It extracts more water, so your laundry won't need to dry as long.

Buy a dryer with automatic shutoff

Why? The dryer will sense when your clothes are done and automatically turn itself off, saving energy.

The above information is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Many older model dishwashers don't have the energy saving capacity of newer models but if you use them wisely, you can still save water, energy, and money. If you decide to buy a new washer and dryer in the future, look for Energy Star labeled brands.

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