3 Easy Ways Laundry Day Can Be More Efficient and Eco-Friendly
The next time you're in the market for a clothes washer or dryer, look for the ENERGY STAR label to save energy, money, and the planet.
Households face more cleaning tasks than ever before, so any opportunity for an “easy button” is welcome. The laundry is no exception. Keeping clothes, towels, and bed linens clean is a never-ending chore, and the hamper just seems to get fuller every day. When you don’t have a window of time (or the energy) to tackle this task, the growing piles of laundry can weigh you down mentally. Even worse, if you’re saddled with a washer and dryer that don’t make the job much better, you’ll probably put off the chore and end up with an even larger load by the time you get around to it.
Fortunately, there’s an answer to this vicious laundry cycle! Just look for the blue ENERGY STAR label. This little blue label promises a more efficient and ultimately better clean—and backs up this promise with research and science. ENERGY STAR certification means those appliances save more energy, save more water, and are better for the planet than competing models. Follow these tips to get the most efficiency out of your appliances so that you can make it through laundry day feeling good about everything you saved—from dollars on utility bills to the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
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1. Narrow your search to ENERGY STAR appliances.
ENERGY STAR certified washers and dryers use advanced features to give you the performance you expect with each load. The high spin speeds on washers extract more water, which reduces drying time, while intuitive dryers sense when your clothes are dry and shut off to prevent over drying and reduce energy waste. While you’re shopping, just check appliances for the blue label, which certifies that these models meet higher efficiency standards than competing brands.
Not only will your clothes benefit from these upgrades, but your wallet and the planet will too. ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers and dryers are about 25 percent and 20 percent more efficient, respectively, than standard models. Greater efficiency translates into less energy used and more money saved—at least $370 over the lifetime of an ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer and even more with an ENERGY STAR washer/dryer pair. If all clothes washers sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, we would save more than $3.3 billion each year and prevent more than 19 billion pounds of carbon pollution (the equivalent to emissions from 1.8 million vehicles) annually.
2. Switch to a front-loading washer.
If you haven’t given much thought to choosing between top- and front-loading clothes washers, you may be surprised to learn just how far ahead front-loaders come out in a comparison. They’re not just great for sliding beneath a countertop or stacking with your dryer, but they also clean more in each load, more efficiently.
Because they offer more space inside than top-loading models of the same size, you can speed through hampers full of laundry. Front-loaders tend to have larger drums than top-loaders. As well, without an agitator taking up space, front-loaders can handle even more laundry—between 15 and 20 pounds of laundry in 4.5 cubic feet of space!
Front-load models also use much less water and electricity than comparable top-load machines. Here’s how they do it: Instead of rubbing and rinsing clothes in a full tub of water, front-load washers tumble and spray clothes with a small amount of high-pressure water. This boils down to real savings for you and the planet. ENERGY STAR certified front-load washers are 85 percent more water efficient than top-load washers with agitators. Front-load washers also use about 60 percent less energy than top-load washers with agitators. This gentler wash means less wear and tear on your clothes, which can help extend the life of often washed items—including your favorite t-shirt!
3. Opt for a dryer with heat pump technology.
You’re a step ahead of the game with any dryer that boasts ENERGY STAR certification, but heat pump dryers are particularly efficient. Heat pump dryers take in ambient air, heat it, and then recirculate it within the dryer to maintain a steady temperature while using less energy. They can use as little as half the energy of conventional clothes dryers, and the ventless, compact models can be installed almost anywhere.
But whether you choose an ENERGY STAR certified heat pump dryer or any other dryer model that has earned the ENERGY STAR, you get the energy-saving benefits from sophisticated features like:
- Low Heat Setting. A longer drying cycle on a low heat setting uses less energy. When you purchase an ENERGY STAR certified clothes dryer, take advantage of the cycle that uses the least amount of energy, sometimes known as the “energy-saving” selection.
- Steam Cycle. This convenient feature can help prevent wrinkles, saving you time spent ironing clothes.
- Sensor Drying and Automatic Cycle Termination. These sensors and settings prevent your clothes from over-drying, protecting clothes from wear and tear, and saving energy in the process.
The positive effects of an ENERGY STAR certified washer and dryer set stretch far beyond energy savings. So why delay? Switch now to start shrinking your laundry costs—and your carbon footprint—immediately.
This content is paid advertising created in partnership with ENERGY STAR. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.