Saving Money and Energy When Doing Laundry at Home

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Expensive costs of groceries, gas bills, and summer childcare are already a burden for many American households. Since it’s summer, there will also be a considerable jump in utility bills due to dependency on air conditioners. Like others, you may also feel concerned about saving money on your monthly household expenses. How do you achieve this? The easy option is lower your water and energy consumption, which can start from your laundry room. Old appliances like dryers and washers use a significant amount of electricity or gas (depending on the model) and water. You can see a surge in your bill amount if you deal with mounds of bedding, clothes, and towels every week. But you can improve it without hand washing or air drying your clothes in the open.

Use cold water for washing and cooler heat for the dryer.

Fitting your laundry room with a stainless steel utility sink shows your conscious effort toward sustainability. You can take more steps to reinforce your commitment in this direction, along with your money-saving desire. In this context, you can immediately follow two things: washing clothes in a cold cycle and lowering the dryer’s heat. You can start a wash load at a cold temperature setting if your clothes don’t have any specific temperature requirement. 

Consumer Reports suggest that washing machine uses 90% electricity to heat water. That means your energy consumption will substantially decrease when you reduce your power usage by utilizing cold water washing tactics. Some people believe cold water may not clean their clothes efficiently, whereas most detergents are effective in cold water. Clothes will remain bright for a long time. However, you can use hot water for items like sheets and towels to kill bacteria. Otherwise, cold water works fine everywhere.

As for the dryer’s heat setting, lower heat can prolong your clothes’ drying time but will lead to low energy consumption. If there is a cool-down option in your drying machine, you can use it to leverage the existing heat. Also, you can set your dryer’s temperature on high heat when dealing with washed clothes, heavy cotton, denim, and jeans. Low heat is suitable for polyesters, nylons, velvets, etc. Shorts, sweatpants, and t-shirts can be fine at this heat level. But people typically prefer medium heat for these.

Make your dryer more efficient.

Undoubtedly, slow drying time and lower heat setting help save money. However, you spend less on electricity by drying your clothes faster. How do you ensure this? You can increase your dryer’s performance so you don’t have to run a second cycle for the damp clothes. The drying machine must be clean. Check the airways for dirt and debris. Clogged airways will struggle to eliminate humid air from the drum. As a result, clothes will need more time to dry. Please practice removing lint from the dryer’s lint trap before adding a day’s load: vacuum clean the air hose and vents at the back of the machine. 

You can shorten the length of the accordion-style drain tube attached to your dryer’s back. It will reduce its work regarding humid air while drying your clothes 20% faster. The short pipe doesn’t have to do elbow grease to remove the moist air. Some hoses can be adequately lengthy. Still, you can drag your dryer near the exit vent (floor or wall connection) and cut the hose. At the same time, the clothes should get rid of excess water in the washer so that the dryer needs to put just a little effort into drying them. You can reduce your dryer’s work by almost half by giving your clothes an additional spin in the washing machine. Also, if you habitually overload your dryer, please limit it to two-thirds of the drum volume. 

Follow off-peak and peak electricity hours.

Peak power hours are when the energy demand is high, and electricity boards charge a higher rate hourly per kilowatts. Season, location, power supplier, and other factors can influence your bill amount. Retail electric and utility companies use this approach to satisfy everyone’s power demands. If you pay an extra price for energy usage at peak hours, the best way to save money is to tweak your routine a smidge. During specific times of the day, peak hour charges apply. You can avoid such a time of the day. Generally, peak hours in summer begin from 1-7 pm during weekdays. Some American regions face this from 4-9 pm. Off-peak hours range from 8 pm to 8 am.

However, peak periods can be different in winter. You can expect it to begin from 6-10 am and 5-9 pm. During these periods, people usually start their morning chores and return home. Off-peak power hours can begin from 10 am to 5 pm when people are primarily outside their homes and 9 pm to 6 am when most sleep. Nevertheless, you can feel more relaxed every Saturday and Sunday because of the off-peak periods throughout, regardless of the season. Some utility service providers follow this for weekday holidays also. You can talk to someone in the utility company to determine how this applies to your home. 

Some additional points

It can be your habit to open the dryer door in the middle of the cycle to add the forgotten clothing items. While you do this to avoid running another load for the left pieces or other reasons, it wastes the warm air and increases the overall drying time. It is also improper for the efficacy of the moisture detector in your dryer because other clothes are already dry, and just one cloth is sopping wet. Due to this, half of your clothes will be over-dry, and others will remain moist. Please put those dawdlers on a drying rack for your mental peace and hard-earned money’s sake.

Doing laundry is a common household task, which can be unavoidable. And you may need to run washing and drying cycles frequently if you are a large family with kids. But some fundamental routine changes can still reduce your utility bill concerns.