Love It Or Hate It, The Laundry Must Be Done

| by Joe Holliday
Love It Or Hate It, The Laundry Must Be Done

Laundry is a fact of life—the average American family washes nearly 300 loads of laundry per year. But high energy costs and excessive water use don’t have to be part of the laundry equation. In fact, eco-friendly adjustments to your laundry room and routine will further ensure that your utility bill doesn't clean out your wallet.

Opt for Efficiency
Front- and top-load ENERGY STAR®-qualified washers use about 20 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than regular washers. They also have a greater tub capacity, so you can wash fewer loads to clean the same amount of laundry.

Wash Full Loads
Reducing the number of your smaller loads and washing more items together will lighten your carbon footprint considerably. Be sure to adjust the water level to your load size or select the auto-level option if your washer has this feature.

Use Cold Water When Appropriate
Per load, only 10 percent of total energy used goes to the washer motor -- the rest heats water. For those loads that need hot water and any other hot-water needs around the home, a tankless water heater is an energy efficient solution that can save homeowners up to 40 percent on their utility bills.

Select Concentrated Detergent
Smaller packages require less space for shipping and deliver more clean loads. Be extra green and make your own detergent with basic ingredients available at your grocery store.

Ideally, Air Dry on a Line
Drip drying doesn't result in any greenhouse gas emissions, and it's cooler for your home during warmer months. Let Mother Nature take the place of your dryer sheet.

If Not, Don't Over Dry
When you have to use your dryer, dry loads for shorter periods and even hang damp. Dryer balls can help pound fabric and may speed up the drying process as well.

No More Ironing
Irons heat up your energy usage and deteriorate clothes. Fold items immediately after they're finished drying, pressing with your hands to smooth the fabric.

Topics: Appliances, Cost of Ownership, Energy Star, Going Green, Washers & Dryers

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