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September Energy Tip: Save Money in the Laundry Room

energy use chart

Back to school and back to cooler days, may mean that your household is about to require more frequent loads of laundry.This month, review some energy saving measures for the laundry room.

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Save Money in the Laundry Room

If you are in the market for a new washer and dryer, be sure to look for Energy Star products to help save money. Whether or not you currently have Energy Star units, there are still many ways to save in the laundry room. The Department of Energy provides these tips:

Wash with cold water.

  • Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load's energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more. Cold water detergents can be helpful to ensure items get clean, and high-efficiency detergents (indicated by the "he" symbol) should be used when required by the manufacturer.

Wash full loads.

  • Your washer will use about the same amount of energy no matter the size of the load, so fill it up.

Dry right-sized loads for your machine.

  • If the dryer is too full, it will take longer for the clothes to dry. Loads that are too small can also take longer to dry, plus you spend more per item when running the dryer to only dry a few things.

Air dry when you can.

  • Hang laundry outside or on a drying rack to avoid using the dryer altogether.

Switch loads while the dryer is warm.

  • This will allow you to use the remaining heat inside of the dryer for the next cycle.

Use dryer balls.

  • Wool or rubber dryer balls will help separate your clothes and get more air to them, cutting drying time. They can also reduce static so you don't need dryer sheets. The wool balls are said to absorb some moisture, further cutting drying time.

Clean the lint filter on the dryer.

  • The dryer will run more efficiently and safely. If you use dryer sheets, scrub the filter once a month with a toothbrush to remove film buildup that can reduce air circulation.

Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle in the washer.

  • This will remove as much moisture as possible before drying, reducing your drying time and the wear on your clothes from the high heat of the dryer.

Use lower heat settings in the dryer.

  • Even if the drying cycle is longer, you’ll use less energy and be less likely to over-dry your clothes.

Dry towels and heavier cottons separately from lighter-weight clothes.

  • You'll spend less time drying the lighter-weight clothes.

Use a cool-down cycle if your dryer has one.

  • This cycle allows clothes to finish drying with the heat remaining in the dryer.

Use the moisture sensor option if your dryer has one.

  • Many new clothes dryers come designed with a moisture sensor, which automatically shuts off the machine when clothes are dry. This will save energy and reduce wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.


high efficiency logo



Beware of high efficiency claims associated with the "he" label. This designation is intended to match certain washer types (e.g. front load) with specially designed laundry detergent. There are no standards for energy efficiency behind it. Only products that have earned the ENERGY STAR are independently certified to save energy.



Ask the Expert - Clothes Dryers Have Earned the ENERGY STAR!   tip of month

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