The best tips to save money in the laundry room
We can probably all agree that doing laundry isn’t our favourite thing to be doing – washing your clothes, drying them and folding them can be a little tedious. But did you know that you can make doing laundry a little more bearable by changing a few things in the laundry room? By changing a few small things and habits in the laundry room, for example, you’ll see that there are several ways to save energy using your clothes washer. If you’re looking for laundry room energy-saving ideas, we have you covered.
We’ve compiled a list of washing machine energy saving tips that will help you save on laundry costs, as well as answer common questions related to doing laundry, such as ‘does drying on low save energy?’ and many other myth-debunking laundry room tips.
Without further ado, read on for the 10 ways to save money in the laundry room.
1. Pick an appropriately sized energy-efficient washer
One of the ways you can cut your laundry costs is by making sure that your washer is the right size for the amount of laundry your household does per week. If you live by yourself, it probably doesn’t make sense to have a large capacity washer when the size of your laundry loads would be quite small. In this case, choosing a smaller capacity washer would help you use less water per load and help you save on your water bills every month.
In addition to choosing an appropriate washer size, making sure that your washer is energy efficient can also help reduce the amount of energy your washer uses. As an example, Energy Star certified clothing washers use about 25% less energy and 33% less water than regular washers.
2. Choose an energy-efficient dryer
This goes hand in hand with choosing an energy-efficient washer. Did you know that according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, dryer energy use accounts for approximately 3% of your household energy use? Choosing an energy-saving dryer (such as an ENERGY STAR certified clothes dryer) will noticeably reduce the energy used to dry your clothes. According to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), an efficient clothes dryer uses, on average, 20% less energy than an average clothes dryer model.
3. Use lower heat settings in the dryer and sort your drying loads by thickness and material
Another way on how to save energy when doing laundry is to use lower heat settings in the dryer. It might take a little longer if you use the most efficient dryer setting, but you’ll use less energy and run less risk of over-drying your clothes.
An extra tip to make your clothes drying routine more efficient is through sorting your drying loads based on the thickness of what you’re washing, as well as the material. Some materials, like nylon, dry faster than other materials, such as cotton. If you dry a load full of clothes and towels of varying thicknesses, chances are that you’ll be over-drying some items while under-drying others. You’ll probably have to waste more energy re-drying the items that didn’t get fully dried – and let’s be honest, no one wants to do more laundry than they have to.
In summary, sorting your loads by material or thickness can help prevent you from having to run the dryer more times than you have to and save you energy.
4. Use your washer’s high spin cycle
This tip is perfect for those of us looking for a way on how to improve laundry room efficiency that doesn’t involve having to put a lot of effort in. Simply set your washing machine to do a high spin cycle. By doing so, your clothes will retain less water after washing and won’t need to be put in the dryer for as long as they normally would. If you’re worried about a high spin cycle damaging your clothes, you could limit high spin cycle washes to items like bedding or thicker clothes.
5. Use a non-electric washing machine
Arguably, using a non-electric washing machine might be the cheapest way to do laundry via a machine. Non-electric washing machines are often small and portable and have the benefit of using much less water than regular washing machines. An added benefit of using a non-electric washing machine is that they’re also more environmentally friendly.
Here’s how they work – let’s use the Laundry Pod as an example. You fill it water, add your laundry detergent of choice and use the hand crank on the side to agitate and wash your clothing. After your clothing is done being washed, the same hand crank is used to spin away excess moisture.
A few small downsides to non-electric washing machines are that they can only wash a limited amount of clothes in one load and take significantly more time and effort to use than traditional washing machines. However, the amount of energy and money saved still makes this an attractive option for people looking to save money on laundry.
6. Clean out your washer and dryer on a regular basis
When people clean their homes, they often forget about cleaning out their washers and dryers. Not washing out your washing machine can lead to mildew that might leave your clothes with a bad odour. Cleaning your washing machine is simple – many clothes washers have a clean cycle that will clean the inside of your laundry machine for you.
When it comes to your dryer, make sure the lint trap is clean to ensure good airflow and no fire hazards. Cleaning out your wash and dryer regularly will help your machines run more efficiently and prevent them from breaking down sooner than expected.
7. Wash and dry full loads only
This is one of the oldest methods on how to improve laundry room efficiency, but still a valid one. Doing one large load of laundry rather than multiple small loads is obviously the more energy-efficient option. The same goes for your dryer – drying full loads will help reduce the number of times you need to run your dryer and save you energy and money. Be careful not to overfill your washing machine or drying machine – that’ll only result in your clothes not being washed or dried properly.
8. Air dry your clothes
If you’re looking to be more energy-efficient on a budget, look no further. Air drying your clothes costs nothing and is great for the environment. All you need to do is set up a clothesline outside. If you live somewhere where hanging your clothes up outside to dry isn’t an option, you can place a drying rack in your home as an alternative.
9. Wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible
Did you know that washing your clothes in cold water can significantly reduce the amount of energy that your washing machine uses? According to the United States Environment Protection Agency, the hot water used in your washing machine accounts for 90 percent of the energy used by your machine to wash clothes. Generally, most clothing items don’t need to be washed in hot water.
By switching to cold water, your household could save up to $40 a year. Washing your clothes in cold water also comes with the bonus of helping your clothes retain their shape and colour better than if they were washed in hot water.
10. Compare energy plans and secure lower rates
This tip requires thinking outside the box (or the laundry room). Generally speaking, your laundry is always going to take energy to do. A great way of reducing the cost of doing laundry then is by examining your current energy rates to see if they’re the best ones available. If you don’t know how to start, comparing energy plans in your area can help you determine this.
EnergyRates.ca can help you compare both electricity and natural gas rates based on your location in Canada. This online tool is available to use in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Québec.
The website is a free and unbiased cost comparison tool that’s easy to use. Both residential and commercial consumers can use EnergyRates.ca to find the best energy rates in their area.
All you need to do is fill in your postal code in the form above and you’ll be able to see the best energy rates available in your area.