Conserving energy in the home is good for the environment and your pocketbook. Since most families spend considerable time and money operating a clothes washer and dryer, it makes sense to focus your conservation efforts in the laundry room. For maximum energy efficiency, it's important to have the right sized washing machine. Typically, private use washers range in size from 1.6 to 5.8 cubic feet. If you normally run a small load in a large washing machine, downgrading to a smaller unit can improve your energy efficiency. Regardless of the size of your washer, running a full load each time you use it is most economical.
Look for the Energy Star Label
Energy Star, an Environmental Protection Agency program, exists to promote the use of energy-efficient products. Wash machines with the Energy Star label use up to 65 percent less water and up to 40 percent less energy than similar units. Additionally, Energy Star wash machines remove more water from clothes so you save money and energy when you operate your clothes dryer.
Select the Right Water Temperature
Washing your clothes in cold or warm water gets them just as clean as hot water most of the time. Clothes that have stubborn ground-in or oily stains are one exception to this. Another way to cut down on the use and expense associated with hot water is by keeping your water heater set to 120 degrees. This is effective at reducing energy use and expenses even when you do choose to wash your clothes with hot water.
Simple Dryer Tips
Your clothes dryer will operate much more efficiently when you remember to clean the lint screen after each use. Also, consider bypassing the dryer altogether and hanging your clothes to dry on a clothesline when weather permits.