By using these 2 simple ideas not only do you save energy and money, but your clothes will also last longer.
Wash laundry in cold or warm water
If in doubt what temperature to use to wash your clothes, always go for cold water first. Liquid detergents today are designed to work well in cold water. This is the best choice for your clothing and the environment.
Most clothing lasts longer by washing in cold water because it preserves the dyes, especially with lace and silk. In some cases hot water can set stains, like blood and sweat. Hot water may be best for sterilization and some types of stains and fabrics, but check the label and the stain first.
It’s important to note that cold water may not work below 40 degrees. The reason has to do with the ambient air temperature of your location. Cold water in the summer in Florida is going to be different than cold water in the winter in Minnesota. As a general rule, if your tap water is above 60 degrees, then your detergents will function well when cleaning your clothes in cold water.
For more information on care of your fabrics, visit https://www.geappliances.com/ge/lifestyles/6-reasons-to-cold-water-wash.htm
Upgrade your dryer, if there’s no moisture sensor
Your dryer should have a moisture sensor to tell your dryer to stop when done. Not all of them do. By having this feature, you extend the life of your clothes and save significant energy.
Dryers are the most energy intensive appliance in your home. Most people don’t realize that clothes dryers use more energy on average than any other appliance, even your refrigerator. So upgrading your dryer and recycling your old, could be a wise choice.
Follow the tips below to find out if you should upgrade and when.
- It is generally best to plan to upgrade when your dryer is closer to the end of its lifetime or needs expensive repairs. Dryers generally last 8-12 years.
- First look in you in your user manual to determine if your dryer has a moisture sensor or look it up online by searching by the make and model.
- Then review your budget to determine when it is right for you. Energy efficient dryers cost around $500-$800 or more depending on features. ENERGY STAR certified dryers use about 20 percent less energy than conventional models without sacrificing features or performance, saving $215 in energy costs over its lifetime.
- Also look for rebates. Check to see if your city or utility provides rebates on energy efficient clothes dryers to lower your costs. Check the resources section below for information. You can also check with your local utility provider and the Energy Star website https://www.energystar.gov/products/appliances/clothes_dryers
- Finally, consider the wear and tear on your clothes, which can add additional savings.
For additional savings, consider that the best time to do laundry is outside peak demand hours. In most locations, this means using your washing machine before 12 p.m. or waiting to wash your clothes until after 7 p.m
For more information visit: https://blog.constellation.com/2019/07/10/saving-energy-on-laundry-day/
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Odile Ayral says
Regarding washer and dryer, encourage people to place a line in their backyard, and dry their clothes on it. I usually put my clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes to remove wrinkles, then I hang them. They come out much less wrinkled than if they had been in the dryer all the way, and this saves ironing. Also, this is so much better for sheets (that smell like the outdoor smell.) The only things I leave in the dryer are towels.
Kim Carr says
Thanks for that great comment Odile. I was thinking about this when publishing the article but didn’t have numbers on carbon saved. I had developed an educational treasure hunt for events based on specific actions for which I had estimates on carbon saved. (That initiative still needs work, but has potential to help people start thinking in terms of carbon costs.) I like the idea of giving the clothes a toss to put them on the line. Mmmmm… outdoor dried sheets. =)