To save energy when using your clothes washer:
Rinse with cold water. Most people in the appliance industry agree that cold water washes just as effectively as warm. Special cold water detergents are also available.
Soak your clothes first; soak cycles can allow for shorter wash times. For heavily soiled clothes, instead of a longer wash cycle, try soaking and then using a shorter wash cycle.
Use shorter washing cycles, especially for lightly soiled clothes.
Adjust the load setting on your washer to match the size of the load. The load setting determines how much water is used.
Eliminate small loads. Your clothes washer uses about the same amount of energy regardless of how much clothing is being washed. Washing two small loads uses approximately twice as much energy as combining them into one full load. By combining loads together you reduce the number of loads you wash, which in turn reduces your energy use.
Tips for operating your clothes dryer efficiently:
Don't overload the dryer; overloading makes the dryer work harder and may cause excessive lint and wrinkling.
Clean the lint filter after every load. Lint on the filter reduces air flow and makes the dryer work harder.
Dry like weight items together. Lightweight items take less time to dry than heavier items like towels.
Dry loads consecutively; this will take advantage of heat build-up in your dryer.
Save with the cool-down cycle. Many dryers have a cycle that includes a cool-down period. In the last few minutes of the cycle, cool air, rather than heated air, is blown through the tumbling clothes to complete the drying process.
Remove dry clothes right away. Removing clothes as soon as the cycle is complete not only saves energy but also prevents wrinkling.
Your dryer is most efficient when fully loaded. Combine smaller loads of wash into one dryer load, but be careful not to overload.
Line dry clothes during periods of nice weather, and take advantage of the free, environmentally friendly energy from the sun.
Shopping for a new clothes washer? Keep the following in mind:
Look for Energy Star rated models. These are the most energy efficient models on the market and will save energy, save money, and help the environment.
Front-loading washers are more energy-efficient. Recent research has shown that these machines can reduce energy use by over 50%, use significantly less water, require less detergent and shorter drying cycles, and reduce wear and tear on clothes. Several U.S. manufacturers now have front load models in the larger sizes preferred by Americans.
Consider the following when buying a new clothes dryer:
Moisture sensors save money. A moisture sensor is an energy-saving feature that automatically shuts off the machine when your clothes are dry. Moisture sensors save energy and reduce wear and tear on clothes by preventing over-drying.
Not all moisture sensors are alike; ask how the moisture sensor works. The best dryers have an actual moisture sensor in the drum. Others use temperature sensors to estimate dryness. You can save about 10% with a temperature sensing moisture control and 15% with a drum moisture sensor compared to a timed drying cycle alone.
Dryers that have the Energy Star logo are rated as being more efficient; buying one of these models will save you electricity and money over the life of the appliance.