How to make your laundry more energy efficient
Modern washing machines and dryers have good energy-efficiency and many customisable features that make it possible to easily save money and energy. Washing machines account for about 7% of your household energy bill, and hot water about 10%. With a few simple changes, you can save money and ensure your home is being kind to the environment. Here are our tips on how to make your laundry more energy efficient.
1. Check your settings
Always wash your clothes on the shortest cycle and lowest water level. Unless you have particularly dirty washing or stubborn stains, try to wash your clothes at temperatures of 30 degrees or lower. It also helps to pre-soak stained items with a stain remover. This way, they’re unlikely to need a second wash. Occasionally, run a hot wash to clean the machine and unclog any residue buildup.
2. Fill the tub
The easiest way to save money on washing is to reduce the amount of loads you do. Your machine uses the same amount of water to wash three items or thirty, so be sure to fill the drum three quarters full each time, instead of throwing in just a few items. Another simple change is to buy lightweight linen and towels instead of big bath sheets, and these take up less space in the machine and are quicker to dry. Consider how often you wash towels and linen, too.
3. Dry clothes outside
It’s easy to just throw everything in the tumble dryer, but drying clothes the old fashioned way – on the line outside – is an easy way to save money in your laundry. It also helps to set your machine to a high spin. That way, the clothes come out of the wash as dry as possible, and need only minimal energy to complete the drying process.
4. Use your dryer well
If you do use a tumble dryer, clean the filters before and after each use to enable the machine to operate efficiently. Modern tumble dryers have built in sensors that stop the machine when clothes are dry. Use this auto-dry rather than a timed cycle, which could mean your clothes are tumbling in the dryer long after they’re dry.