Gexa Energy Learning Center

6 energy-saving hacks for your laundry room

Laundry can be a time-intensive chore. But it doesn’t have to be energy-intensive as well.

The average washing machine in Houston costs $0.70 per load to run, which totals $3.50 per week for a family that does five loads of laundry weekly. Over the course of the year, this adds up to $182.

So what can you do to cut back on these costs? 

Switch to cold water

Between 80 and 90 percent of the energy used to wash a load of clothes comes solely from heating up the water. Therefore, washing your clothes in cold water can dramatically cut down on energy costs on laundry day.

Many people believe that washing clothes in hot water is more effective in killing bacteria. But oftentimes, the temperature required to kill germs (between 140 and 150 degrees) isn’t reached in the average wash cycle. Instead, it’s the bleach or peroxide in the detergent that does the trick. Cleaning your machine every once in awhile will accomplish this task, too.

Opt for Energy Star equipment

Older machines use more energy to run. Upgrading to an Energy Star model can help cut down on energy costs because it was designed specifically for this purpose. In Houston, one load of laundry with an Energy Star machine can cost as little as a quarter to complete. This equals a savings of:

  • $0.45 per load
  • $2.25 a week
  • $117 a year
Hang your clothes on the line to save energy.Hanging your clothes out to dry could save you money and energy.

Hang dry: The original solar power

Sure, your dryer might help you finish your laundry quickly, but it also accounts for about 6 percent of your household’s total energy use. An average dryer costs between 32 and 41 cents per load. That translates to nearly $2.05 a week and $106.6 a year.

Hanging clothes on a clothesline, on the other hand, is completely free. Put the sun to good use and save money in the process.

Separate by dry time

If you’re still set on sticking with a dryer, know that some clothes dry faster than others. A load of T-shirts, for example, will dry much faster than a load of jeans. Take this into consideration when sorting your clothes and be sure not to mix fast-drying clothes with ones that take a while. This will cut down on the amount of time your dryer is running, and it won’t overdry your clothes.

Select the right spin cycle

If your washing machine has options for the spin cycle, choose the fastest one. This will draw more water out of your clothes and require less drying time – simple as that!

Clear it out

There are two places on a dryer that lint will collect and block heat when drying: the lint trap and the ducts. The more buildup in these locations, the more energy it takes to warm up your clothes.

Clear the lint trap after every use. This will keep your dryer operating efficiently and remove a potential fire hazard.

Ducts collect lint at a much slower rate, so an annual duct cleaning should get the job done.

For more tips on reducing energy use, visit Gexa Energy’s website.