Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Tidbit

7 Tips for Saving Energy in the Laundry Room

By: Douglas Trattner
Published: August 28, 2009

Understanding your laundry room appliances is part of a smart plan to help you save energy in your home.

Good laundry room habits, including some occasional minor maintenance, can save energy and shave nearly $300 off your annual utility bills. That’s because you can curb the biggest energy culprit: the cost of heating water.

Washing machine

The bulk of a washing machine’s operating costs—around 90%, says Energy Star—go to replacing the hot water in the home’s hot water tank. Reduce the amount of hot water the appliance uses, and you’ll significantly shrink its associated utility bills. By washing fewer loads and doing those loads in cooler water, you can save around $200 per year.

1. Use cold water. Switching from hot wash to cold, according Michael Bluejay, also known as Mr. Electricity, who specializes in electricity savings, can shave up to $215 per year off your electric bill. If you have a high-efficiency washer or gas-fueled water heater, assume savings of about half that figure. Cold washes are generally as effective in getting clothes clean as hot.

2. Only wash full loads. Discounting the energy required to heat the water, it costs around $60 per year in electricity to run the washer, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Because it takes just as much electricity to wash a small load as it does a full one, you’ll save money by only washing full loads. By reducing the number of overall loads by one-quarter, you can save $15 a year.

Clothes dryer

Because it’s essentially a “toaster with a fan,” says Amanda Korane of The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a nonprofit focused on advancing energy efficiency, the clothes dryer is a difficult appliance to make green. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to lessen its impact on your utility bill to the tune of about $80 per year.

3. Spin it faster. Good dryer efficiency starts in the clothes washer. Setting the maximum spin speed in the washer will reduce the amount of time—and energy—it takes to get clothes dry. Many of today’s high-speed washer spin cycles can cut dry times by as much as half compared with older models. If an average electric clothes dryer costs about $80 per year to operate, according to the DOE, savings can approach the $40 mark.

4. Clean lint filter and exhaust. Dryers have to work harder and longer to dry clothes when air doesn’t freely flow. Cleaning the lint filter before every use and doing the same for the exhaust line once a year will help maintain maximum efficiency. Also, check that the duct hose is free from tight bends and obstructions. These small chores not only will save a few bucks per year, they will reduce the risk of fire.

5. Activate energy-saving features. If the dryer has an automated moisture-sensing device, use it. Setting the timer can cause the dryer to run longer than necessary. But a moisture sensor will automatically shut off the machine when it senses clothes are dry. This feature can save $8 to $12 a year.

6. Dry like with like. Lighter items, such as T-shirts and blouses, dry much quicker than heavy items like towels and blankets. Therefore, when these items are combined in the same load, some of the clothes continue to tumble long after they’re dry. This extends the dry time of the bulkier items, in turn wasting a few bucks every month.

7. Skip it. Every load in the dryer costs around $0.35, according to Bluejay. Hanging clothing to dry on a line outside or rack inside costs nothing. Racks run about $25 to $90 at online retailers. So, by giving the dryer a break even occasionally, savings can add up. Not only will the practice reduce utility bills, it will help extend the life of both the clothes and the appliance.

This information is provided by Amy Rocka, Realtor with Keller Williams Realty NE located in Kingwood, TX and serving Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita as well as surrounding areas. For more information about buying or selling a home, contact Amy today at 713-806-9458 or by email Amy@AmyRocka.com.  Visit Amy’s website today.  You can find Amy Rocka on Facebook, Twitter and you can become a Fan.

About AmyCraft

I've made a commitment to serve the real estate needs of my community - one family and one home at a time. My real estate knowledge and expertise are completely dedicated to you. I am a Graduate of Champions School of Real Estate and came into the real estate profession with an education background. Prior to working in real estate I was the owner of a successful daycare center. My career as an educator was very rewarding and taught me many things that I believe I have benefited from in the real estate industry. I have learned such things as negotiating with people while always keeping their best interest in mind, listening to what they are saying, maintaining flexibility and understanding, performing multiple tasks simultaneously and how to be assertive yet remaining calm under the most stressful situations. A real estate deal may be the biggest financial transaction a person will ever make. I try to respond to peoples concerns and fears with as much information as I can provide. Most importantly, I want to make sure my clients are comfortable with a certain price range rather than trying to push the pre-approved amount on them. I'm not a pushy Realtor, but I'm aggressive when it comes to getting my clients what they want. Whether you're looking to buy or sell, I can get your home sold, or find you the home you've been dreaming of. Either way, my goal is to make your experience comfortable, guided, fast, and efficient. After all "Nobody Knows The Area Better Than A Good Neighbor".
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