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How can we get energy savings from our washing machine?

If you’re looking to do more to reduce your energy usage, you should start with your laundry machine. Your washing machine is one of the biggest culprits of water and energy consumption. Fortunately, you don’t have to resort to hand washing to save energy—just make a few adjustments in your washing routine. Check out these energy-saving washer and dryer tips.

  1. Use cold water. Most of the machine’s energy is used to heat the water or at the very least, it is using hot water generated by your home’s water heater. Washing in cold water can also protect clothing color, prevents shrinkage and won’t set stains. You can also find detergents that are made specifically to work better with cold water, so there’s no fear of clothes being less clean.

  2. Run a full load every time. Most conventional washing machines use the same amount of energy whether you are washing 3 items or 15. If for some reason you don’t use a full load, make sure to adjust the water level to the amount of pieces you’re washing.

  3. Those energy-saving settings you always forget about? Use ’em! You can also use the higher-spin option to reduce drying time later.

  4. Set the water temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees instead of the default 140.

If you don’t already have one, consider investing in an energy-efficient washing machine. ENERGY STAR washing machines are great options—these will save you more money in the long run. You can also enhance your drying routine as well:

  1. Check the lint filter every time. This will improve air circulation and reduce drying time.

  2. As with your washing machine, use the energy-saving settings. You can also use lower temperatures for delicate clothing.

  3. Consider hang-drying delicates or clothes that are almost dry.

  4. Use a dry towel or tennis ball (or you can buy dryer balls at your local supermarket) to help dry clothes more quickly—these items will absorb some of the moisture.

These easy fixes will guarantee you lower energy usage and will lower your water bills too. While it’s hard to form new habits, they will ultimately benefit your home and your wallet.

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