If you are looking to lower your electric bill, changing how you do laundry is one of the easiest things you can do. These six easy steps, along with some other changes, have helped me reduce my electric bill by about $40 a month! Try them!
Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around laundry. There’s always laundry to be done. Or I’m doing it. Or I just finished doing it. And then it needs to be done again.
So. Much. Laundry.
Anytime you spend a lot of time doing something, it seems to end up costing quite a bit of money, don’t you think?
I’d prefer it if a lot of my time was spent lying in a hammock in the shade of a palm tree by the beach on some exotic island. I can feel the ocean breeze and hear the sea gulls. Sigh . . .
Until then, I’m saving money for that trip by keeping my electric bill low.
6 Easy Ways to Reduce Energy Costs on Laundry
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1. Wash in Cold Water
The more hot water you use for laundry the more your hot water heater has to work, which shows up on your utility bill. Instead, wash everything in cold water. Your clothes will still get clean and your colors will stay bright longer. A simple switch which will save you around $.34 per load. Occasionally you might want to wash your whites in warm or hot water to keep them nice and bright.
2. Wash Full Loads
It takes just as much electricity to run a small load as a large, so wait until you have a full load before washing if you can. If you pay for your water use, make sure you change the load size on your washer to reflect the actual amount of clothes you are washing. It’s easy to forget and then you’ve just washed a few things with more water than necessary. I admit, I’ve done that many times.
3. Clean Your Lint Trap After Every Dryer Load
What is a lint trap, you ask? It’s the thing that looks like you can pull it out on the top of the dryer or it might be right when you open the door in the front. You’ll be able to pull it out and see lots of fuzzy lint. Just remove it with your hand to the trash. It takes longer for your clothes to dry if it’s full of lint, which uses more energy. . . which costs you money. It can also be a fire hazard. So seriously, clean it. You should also give your lint trap screen a wash in the sink now and then for the same reason.
4. Use Low Heat In The Dryer
Longer drying cycles on a low setting use less energy than high settings. It’s also easier on your clothes so they’ll last longer and there’s less risk of shrinkage. When the timer goes off, don’t just let it keep running. Check to see if your clothes are dry, they probably will be. Besides, if you let them set in the dryer they’ll wrinkle. Take them out right away and hang them to avoid ironing.
5. Hang Your Laundry To Dry
I use solar and wind energy to dry my clothes. Sounds pretty hip, don’t you think? It’s environmentally friendly and adds zero dollars to my energy bill. I’ve seen estimates from $.43 to $1.00 per load of savings.
Last year my old plastic clothes line broke and I had to replace all four lines. I thought I’d save money and buy cotton lines at Walmart on the cheap. BAD IDEA. They stretched and made the clothes hang low and broke within a month.
I did some research and found these plastic coated wire clotheslines and love them. It was super easy to bend and hang even though the wire is heavy and strong. I also bought these clothesline cable tighteners to easily tighten it up when needed. You just thread the wire through the holes of the tightener. When the line starts to sag, you turn the tightener a notch and it’s tight again. So cool! Yes, I am that excited about my clothesline. It’s so much better than what I’ve had in the past.
While the initial cost of the clothes line and tighteners were about $50 for me, since I have four long lines, it was still worth the cost in savings on my electric bill.
Just using the two tips of hanging clothes to dry plus using cold water saves between $.77 – $1.34 per load. We average 5 large loads of laundry a week and I hang our clothes about six months out of the year. At an average $1.06 per load savings that is $137 a year in savings. That’s worth the investment.
6. Stop Ironing
If you’re like me, you try to avoid ironing. I hate ironing. The fact I save a little electricity by not ironing is just a bonus. If you hang your clothes on the line carefully and experiment you’ll find the way to hang them that yields the least creases. I usually hang tops by their bottom hem and pants by their waistline. If there’s a nice breeze, that eliminates the stiffness factor. In Kansas, that’s rarely a problem.
I hope you’ll give some of these ideas a try to reduce your energy costs. Not only will you be saving money, but it’s good for the environment, too. Let me know how they work for you.
What do you do to save on electric costs? Drop me a line in the comments!