The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year and that adds up in time and energy. In fact, of any appliance in your home, the clothes dryer uses the most energy. Combine your weekly load of laundry with high energy use, and you’re sure to dread the chore. Following some quick tips and purchasing ENERGY STAR® appliances can help families cut their related energy and water costs.

Wash Away Cost with ENERGY STAR®

New washer and dryer models can save you time and money. ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers use about 25% less energy and 45% less water than regular washers. They also have a greater tub capacity which means you can wash fewer loads to clean the same amount of laundry. And, ENERGY STAR® dryers use 20% less energy – which saves even more.

Clothes Washer Tips

Energy efficient washers have better spin cycles to remove more water and reduce drying time, and can save up to $45 per year in energy costs.

  • Adjust temperature. Water heating accounts for about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. The simple switch in temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half.
  • Fill it up. Clothes washers use about the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the load, so run full loads whenever possible.
  • Use HE (high efficiency) detergent. Front-loading clothes washers are designed to use High Efficiency detergent. Using regular detergent creates excessive suds, which will affect the machine’s wash and rinse performance. Over time, it can lead to odors and mechanical problems.
  • Activate the high spin speed option. If your clothes washer has spin options, choose a high spin speed or the extended spin option to reduce the amount of remaining moisture in your clothes and dry time.

Clothes Dryer Tips

Clothes dryers use more energy than any other household appliance. Make a few small changes and see the savings.

  • Clean the lint filter. Clean the dryer’s lint filter after every load to improve air circulation and increase efficiency. The step is also an important safety measure.
  • Use a drying rack or hang clothes outside. Where and when possible, air-dry clothes instead of using a dryer, which not only saves energy but also helps maintain the garment.
  • Use the moisture sensor option. Many new clothes dryers come designed with a moisture sensor, which automatically shuts off the machine when clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy, but it will also prevent over-drying and shrinking.
  • Scrub the lint filter. Dryer sheets can leave a film on the filter that reduces air flow and, over time, can affect the performance of the motor. Use a toothbrush to scrub it clean once a month.

Learn how to save with all your appliances at dteenergy.com/appliances.

Photo Credit: stevepb

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