At Home with Lisa: Saving energy while doing laundry

The Avista Energy Savings Guide has been giving me energy savings tips since I moved into my house about three years ago.

When I read the section about laundry, I was surprised at how many tips there were to save energy.

Whenever possible, you can do loads in cold water. Unless you are washing baby clothes, everything will be just as clean in cold as it will in hot, saving you energy.

If you are washing a smaller load, you can run the water to your desired level and then switch the knob to run the wash cycle, if you don’t have the option of a partial load level. When you do this, you can use less detergent.

If your clothes are really dirty, you can run them in the soak cycle before you wash them if your machine has that option. If not, you can prepare the load like you would for washing, turn the dial off when the water reaches your desired level and let your clothes soak for 10 or 15 minutes. Then turn the dial to the wash cycle.

When you are drying, make sure you check the lint filter before you turn it on. If your filter is clogged, your machine will take longer to dry your clothes and use more energy.

When you are done washing, if the weather is nice, you can use a drying rack to air dry your clothes outside. I would recommend using a fabric softener in your wash if you do this, but it takes zero energy to dry them outside.

You can also buy dryer balls for a low price and use them in place of dryer sheets. These can be plastic or woolen and will come in a set of three or more. When you use them in the dryer, they bounce around in your clothes and separate them, which makes your clothes dry faster.

You can find these laundry day tips and more in Avista’s Energy Savings Guide.

Lisa, an Avista customer, bought her 1910 house because she loved the old-world character, some of which doesn’t make her house very energy efficient. Lisa is sharing her experience on taking some simple do-it-yourself improvements to inspire others to do the same. You’ll find her stories right here every Tuesday morning.

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  1. At Home with Lisa
  2. Energy Saving