The focus on sustainable living and the cost of energy is in sharp relief at the moment as utility costs skyrocket. Laundry is unique in that it uses energy and water, so it has a double impact on your household costs.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce sky-high utility bills. Use the following tips and make your laundry day more sustainable and wallet-friendly.
Switch to a Power Station
Unless you can afford to upgrade to more eco-friendly appliances or, even if you have, you will still be using grid power every time you switch on your washing machine or dryer.
For a reasonable price, a portable power station can power your appliances for free for some of their run time. Charge it up when energy is cheaper, or add solar panels to create a solar generator and harvest free energy to use in your home.
Take time to find the best portable power station for your home needs. You can scale up smaller models by adding extra batteries, which will help power energy-greedy laundry appliances for longer.
Choose Greener Appliances
Manufacturers are now producing washing machines that use less energy and water.
Around 10% of a home’s total electricity usage goes to washing and drying clothes, according to scientists at the Natural Resources Defense Council in the US. Most national governments have imposed domestic regulations on appliance manufacturers to produce white goods that use less energy and water.
Design improvements include a higher spin speed which means the clothes are already less wet when they reach the tumble dryer and require less time and energy. Choose these greener appliances and save energy and money.
Heat Pump Dryers
A heat-pump dryer is the most energy-efficient for your home laundry. Unlike conventional tumble dryers, which have a heating element, heat-pump dryers remove heat from the room’s air and use it to heat the air in the dryer.
There are hybrid dryers that use both technologies. Heat pump dryers use 20%-60% less energy than a conventional dryer, but they are expensive and take longer to dry the clothes—around twice as long. It’s an important factor for a busy family.
Other Handy Tips
- Always wash with a full load. It may elicit complaints from the family as they might have to wait longer for clean clothes, but your utility bill will thank you.
- Choose cold water when you can. Modern laundry detergents are much more effective at removing dirt and stains at lower temperatures. You can use a bleach alternative such as OxiClean to brighten white linen in cold water.
- Dry outdoors or in the home—just beware of an overly damp environment. Even partially dry clothes will considerably reduce the dryer time and save money.
Minor changes and a little forethought can make significant inroads into your energy usage when washing and drying clothes. It might mean a bit of a break from tradition and waiting to use the washing machine, but with these green techniques, it is possible to considerably lower your energy usage and still have clean fresh linen.