Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnerGuide labels. ENERGY STAR® washers clean clothes using 50% less water and 37% less energy than standard washers. When shopping for a new clothes dryer, look for one with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off the machine when your clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy, it will save the wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.
There are two other ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes - use less water and use cooler water. Unless you’re dealing with oil stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half. Reduce the energy you use for a load of laundry by about 90% by washing and rinsing your clothes in cold water. Remember, anything you do to save hot water will cut your natural gas bill as well.
- Front-loading washers save drying time by removing more water.
- Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
- Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
- Air dry clothes or dry clothes in the sun.
- Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
- Don’t over-dry your clothes. If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
- Clean the lint screen in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation and prevent fire hazards.
- Periodically, use the long nozzle tip of your vacuum cleaner to remove the lint that collects below the screen in the lint screen slot of your clothes dryer.
- Install faucet aerators on your laundry tub taps.