The average American household washes 400 loads of laundry per year, using about 40 gallons of water for a single load. Washing and drying your clothes more efficiently can reduce your water and energy use significantly.
Eight energy-saving laundry tips
- Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible.
- Unless you are dealing with oily stains, a warm temperature setting will clean most fabrics. By switching from hot to warm, you can cut energy use in half.
- Wash with a full load whenever possible. If you must wash a small load, use the appropriate water level setting.
- Clean the lint filter after each dryer load; this will increase air circulation and improve dryer efficiency.
- Avoid drying towels and heavy cotton materials with lightweight clothing.
- If your dryer is equipped with a moisture sensor, use it to prevent over drying.
- Consider air drying clothes in your laundry room or outdoors, if possible.
- Inspect your dryer vent periodically to ensure that it is not blocked. Consider having your unit cleaned professionally.
If you have an older washing machine, consider replacing it with a new, ENERGY STAR rated model. ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers use about 37 percent less energy and more than 50 percent less water than standard models.
When purchasing a new dryer, consider buying a model with a moisture sensor that will shut the machine off automatically when your clothes are dry. This will save energy and prevent unnecessary wear and tear from over-drying.