About 80% to 85% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes – use less water and use cooler water. Unless you're dealing with oily 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.
When shopping for a new washer, look for a front loading (horizontal-axis) machine. This machine may cost more to buy but uses about a third of the energy and less water than a top-loading machine. With a front loader, you'll also save more on clothes drying, because they remove more water from your clothes during the spin cycle. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label.
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 wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying. Keep in mind that gas dryers are less expensive to operate than electric dryers. The cost of drying a typical load of laundry in an electric dryer is 30 to 40 cents compared to 15 to 25 cents in a gas dryer.
• Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents when-ever possible.
• Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
• 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 filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
• Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
How to Read the EnergyGuide Label
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