How to Save Energy at Home: The Laundry Edition

Updated: Mar 2

Did you know that the average household in the U.S. washes approximately 300 loads of laundry every year? Now just think about all of the water and energy that goes into the washing and drying process! Do laundry the energy-efficient way so that you can reduce your carbon footprint, reduce energy, and save money on water and energy use. What’s the catch? There isn’t one! You can apply most of these tips to your regular laundry routine at no-cost!


Clean Clothes in Cold Water

According to energystar.gov, heating the water for your laundry consumes approximately 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Washing your clothes with warm water instead of hot water can cut an energy load by 50%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Wash with cold water to save even more and use detergents that are specifically made for getting clothes clean in cold water!


Get an Energy-Efficient Washer

It is estimated that there are 26 million washers across the country that are at least 10 years old, which means that they are significantly less energy-efficient than newer models. Did you know that energy-efficient washing machines, such as the ENERGY STAR brand, use 35% less water and 20% less energy than standard washers? They flip and spin clothes through a water stream instead of filling up with water. They also extract more water during the spin cycle than your typical washer which cuts down on drying time!


Wash Right-Sized Loads

Washing small-sized loads doesn’t save you any energy or money! The same amount of energy is used with a full load or partial load, so wait until your washer is full before you turn it on. Drying small loads can also take longer to dry which means that you’ll end up spending more money per item when drying your clothes. Refer to your appliance manual for more information on your machine’s capacity!


Dry the Smart Way

Saving energy doesn’t mean that you should stuff your washer and dryer to the brim either! If the dryer is too full, it will take longer for the clothes to dry, which means more energy consumed. Did you know that longer drying cycles on a low heat setting actually uses less energy? Do you want to really save energy? Air dry with a drying rack or hang your clothes outside!


Update to an Energy-Efficient Dryer

New energy-efficient dryers are said to use 20% less energy than conventional models, according to energystar.gov, and you can save approximately $400 on energy costs for the lifetime of the product! The good news is that there are Mass Save® rebates to help cover the cost of a new appliance!


Do Multiple Loads at the Same Time

When you’re doing multiple loads of laundry, switch your loads while the dryer is still warm. Using the heat that still exists inside the dryer for your next cycle will cut back on the energy that your appliance would have to use if starting from scratch! Want to learn other ways that you can save energy at home? Sign up for a virtual no-cost Home Energy Assessment to learn exactly how your home consumes and loses energy!


Use Dryer Balls

This tip is straight from the U.S. DOE. “Wool or rubber dryer balls will help separate your clothes and get more air to them, cutting drying time.” They also absorb moisture from your wet items, which reduces drying time even further!


Clean Out Your Lint Filter

We all know that a full lint filter is a fire hazard, but it can also pose an efficiency issue! You should clean out the filter in your dryer after every use, or at the minimum, monthly, depending on the size of your household and how much laundry is done throughout the week. A clean filter makes your appliance safer, more energy-efficient, and it also improves air circulation for your system. Want another filter to change? Switching out your air filter on your HVAC system can reduce energy and improve your system’s performance!


Use a Moisture Sensor

Do you have a newer clothes dryer? Newer energy-efficient dryer models come with a moisture sensor which will automatically shut off your dryer when the clothes are dry, instead of continuing to run which wastes money and energy. This also helps to prevent over drying which reduces wear-and-tear on your clothes and keeps them looking like new!


Consume Less Water

According to energystar.gov, an energy-efficient washer uses 14 gallons of water per load, compared to 20 gallons that a standard appliance uses. You can save more than 2,000 gallons of water per year, just by switching out your appliance for an energy-efficient washing machine. And of course, that equates to saving money!


Doing your laundry is an unavoidable part of your weekly routine that costs you money and uses energy, but you can cut it back with these tips from our energy experts, the U.S. Department of Energy, and energystar.gov. HomeWorks Energy is a proud Mass Save® partner and we are dedicated to helping Massachusetts residents reduce energy and save money, no matter if it’s insulation, air sealing, or laundry!


If you are interested in switching your washer and/or dryer out for energy-efficient models or just want to learn more about your home and what you can do to lower energy costs, call 781-305-3319 or click here to schedule a no-cost virtual Home Energy Assessment!


You will get access to all of the generous Mass Save® rebates and receive no-cost items such as advanced power strips, energy-saving LED bulbs, programmable thermostats, and energy-saving showerheads! Not to mention the amazing discounts like 100% off air sealing and 75-100% off insulation! You also get a custom home energy report that will detail how you can start saving energy and money today!