20 Top Energy Efficient Laundry Tips
The washing machine, dryer and/or tumble dryer have become essentials of modern day home life. You’d be hard pressed to find homes in the UK without at least one of them. However, in a world where our energy consumption is becoming an increasing concern, there can be no doubt that we need to think about the impact of our appliances on global warming.
When it comes to household appliances, these three can be quite up there when it comes to energy consumption as they all use heaters to heat up the water and/or dry clothing. This isn’t just bad for the environment, but bad for your energy bills, too! So the team here at Repair Aid has put together 20 tips how to save energy when it comes to both washing and drying.
1. Wash a full load
Don’t put on a wash unless you’re doing a full load. While this may not always be possible – especially when it comes to work or school clothes – it’s definitely better to wait because a full load means you are going to use less energy.
2. Use the ‘Quick Wash’ option
If your machine has the right functions, you can use quick wash or half load functions if you need to do smaller loads at speed. This will save on using the energy of a full cycle, use less energy and also save your clothes some of the gradual damage that comes from warmer, longer washes.
If items have been heavily soiled, make sure to give them a pre-wash with some soap. The amount of washes you have to do will increase if you’re left with clothes that still have stains so this small amount of time can save you some more time and energy later!
4. Use a cold wash cycle
If clothes aren’t too soiled, you can save energy by doing a cold wash cycle. Only some items – particularly those with stains – need warmer water. This is typically 30°C or under.
5. Use the hot wash option only if necessary
However, the occasional hot wash is always helpful as this can help to reduce the odours and build up of bacteria in your machine. As smelly clothes are why we can end up doing repeat washes, spending a little more energy can save you more energy later and keep clothes more hygienic.
6. Where possible use a high spin speed
High speed spin drying in a washing machine is a great way to reduce the need to use a tumble dryer. Of course, not all materials can be suited to this means so use discernment.
7. Air-dry your clothes
Hang up your clothes when possible instead of using a dryer. This is difficult in the winter and spring months, but be sure to make use of dry days and save yourself some money, too.
8. Keep your dryer in the house
Don’t keep your dryer in a cold room, a garage or a shed. Without the warmer temperature around it, will need longer to heat up and thus cost more energy.
9. Don’t overload your dryer
Do not put too many clothes in your dryer. Hot air needs space to get in between the mass of your clothes. Too many clothes will leave some of your clothes damp.
10. Always wash a full load but don’t overfill
The same goes for your washing machine. Sure, always lean towards a full load but don’t overfill. This will stop some of your clothes getting properly cleaned and leaving you having to do more washes and, again, expending more energy.
11. Use ‘Auto-dry’
Auto-dry is a great feature to use rather than a timed cycle. This function will help adjudge how long it takes to dry a load of clothes as opposed to running for longer than is needed and requiring higher energy usage.
12. Clean your filters more often
Keep the filters cleaned so that your appliances are running at peak efficiency. A build-up of fluff and debris can seriously hamper your appliances and may even lead to repairs being needed from the likes of Repair Aid if you don’t do it every six months.
13. Clean the vent
Another thing to clean is the vent (if your machine is a vented machine). This also keeps it as efficient as possible.
14. Dry several loads in a row
Take advantage of retained heat in your dryer by doing two or three loads at the same time. This will save on the initial energy needed to heat up your dryer.
15. Remove clothes once they are dry
You can reduce dryer energy by removing clothes once they are dry. While this can be inconvenient if you like this to be done when you’re away from home or using a smart system, many modern dryers will keep rotating clothes to prevent them scrunching up and this, of course, means more energy is used.
16. Keep fabrics of the same type together
This gives you wider control over your loads as some clothes take longer to dry than others – meaning you can keep fast drying clothes together in loads, and slower drying clothes together, too.
17. Untangle the garments from each other
You can reduce drying time by ensuring that clothes are properly placed in the dryer. Scrunched up, wet clothes that are entangled with each other can take longer to clean than clothes with some separation.
18. Invest in energy-efficient appliances that save you money
Investing in a more energy efficient washing machine and/or tumble dryer can be a path to long-term savings. If you have the money now, this can be worthwhile as it will save you money on your bills going forward. As energy rates look set to keep moving in one direction, this could be a smart decision.
19. Create a more efficient laundry schedule
You can always try reducing the amount of loads you do by re-wearing clothes. While this is something we once looked down on, we know that there are sometimes when it is perfectly okay to wear a t-shirt two days in a row (especially if you’re having a lazy weekend!) If that grosses you out, then think of jumpers and jeans. They don’t need to be washed right away. This may lead to a few less loads a year.
20. Switch off standby
Standby power (also called vampire power or phantom load) is the energy drawn down by an appliance when it’s not in use. The older the appliance, the more electricity it is likely to use in standby mode. When you are done, turn your machines off. A machine that is on standby is still costing you energy.