SMECO newsletter

volume 65 - issue 3 - march 2015

Save while doing laundry

Besides hanging clothes on a clothesline, what are some quick and easy ways to save energy and money while doing that necessary chore—your laundry? The easiest ways would be to use less water by only washing full loads, choose the right water level setting, and limit the use of extra rinse cycles. Reducing the water temperature setting is also an easy way to reduce costs. When you predominately wash with cold water, you can limit the amount of time you need to use warm water or hot water to when your clothes have oily stains. The most important thing to remember is to ensure you use detergent made for cold water.

Whether you have a gas or electric dryer, it is important to keep the lint screen clean. You can use your vacuum cleaner or purchase a lint brush to clean below the screen catcher, improving energy efficiency levels and reducing fire hazards. You can also use the brush to clean the dryer vent located outside of the house. Be sure the dryer duct stays fully connected and does not have any blockages. Leaky or blocked exhaust ducts will allow humid air to be released into your house, which can cause moisture problems.

If you have a washer or dryer more than ten years old, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR® certified model. They use less water and energy, which will save you money for years to come.

Here are some additional tips to help reduce usage.

• Treat stains as soon as possible to reduce the number of times you wash to get the stain out.

• Avoid using the dryer, if possible, by air-drying your clothes outside or on drying racks because the dryer is the biggest energy hog in the laundry room. Not a fan of stiff, line-dried clothes? Put the line-dried clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes to soften them up.

• Separate heavy loads, towels and jeans, from your light-weight clothes, which take less time to dry. You can also add a dry towel to the light load to reduce their dry-time even more.

• Use the moisture sensor so you do not over-dry your clothes. Use the cool-down cycle to allow your clothes to finish drying using the heat still in the dryer.