With the rising energy prices, we are all looking for ways that we can reduce the amount of energy that we are using in our homes. Aside from some of the obvious changes that we can make, such as changing over bulbs to LEDs, there are also some other changes that we can make to our routines that will save energy and in some cases time. In this article, we explore how we can make doing our laundry more energy efficient.
Easy ways to achieve energy efficient washing
- Unless it is dirty, wash at 30. Yes this is true in every sense of the word. By washing at a lower temperature, it will require less electricity to heat the water and also help your clothes last longer.
- Always use full loads. Whilst it may be tempting to wash things when you need them, by only using the machine when you have a full load, you will ultimately use the washing machine less. Regardless of the load that goes into the machine, they often use a similar amount of electricity.
- Spin twice. Most washing machines will swing at somewhere between 1,200 and 1,400. More expensive models may have a spin speed that goes up to 1,600. Whether you are planning on drying your clothes by hanging up or in the dryer, by running the spin cycle twice, you will extract more water and therefore reduce the amount of drying effort required.
*It is important that if you are using a low temperature wash, to ensure that every now and again, you use a hot wash. This will help keep you machine clean and reduce the bacteria (which causes bad smells).
Easy ways to achieve energy efficient drying
There are some really simple ways of making your current dryer more efficient or looking at other ways of making the drying process more efficient in your home.
- Try not to overload your dryer. To be able to operate efficiently, your dryer needs space in the drum for the hot air to be able to circulate around the clothing to dry effectively. Otherwise, clothes will stay damp and the process will take longer, using more energy.
- Reuse the heat. If a dryer has been on for a previous load, it will have maintained some of the heat generated from drying that load. By completing another drying load straight after, it will save on some of the heating up time.
- Keep the filters clean. Keeping the filters clean will ensure that the dryer is performing at its optimum and what the manufacturers have stated.
- Don’t keep the dryer in a cold room. If your dryer is in a cold room, the air that it uses will be colder and therefore take longer to heat up. A warm room will save the dryer having to use this extra energy.
- Shake your clothes. We all know just how easy it is to grab a load of clothes from one machine and put them into the other. However, by shaking the clothes, it will make it easier for the air to flow around and thus improve the drying process.
Are new washing machines and driers more energy efficient than older ones?
This is a common question that is asked by many households. And with washing machines and dryers remaining in service for longer, it is no longer just a breakdown that is causing people to think about replacing their washing machines but whether or not it is efficient.
It goes without saying that laundry machines are becoming more efficient all of the time. With some washing machines offering numerous smart features such as app connectivity and ultra energy efficient wash cycles, such as this model from LG.
There is also technology that is coming into play now where a washing machine or dryer will be able to track energy prices and only operate when unit prices are low (typically overnight). And this is also driving a need for machines to be quieter than they ever have been before.
However, you will need to balance up the cost of a new machine against the ongoing cost of paying electricity. Yes, a newer machine will pay dividends in the future but it is going to take some time before you gain the benefits of purchasing the newer technology. Samsung have a number of appliances that are A rated and claim that you can save up to 20% on annual consumption with their energy efficient machines. Click here to find out more.
Tumble dryers have also undergone some major changes in recent years with heat pump technology advancing. And whilst this technology might take longer to dry clothes, it operates at lower temperatures which is better for the environment and also prolongs the life of your clothes. Condenser dryers are still available and at reasonable prices.
John Lewis & partners are a great company to buy large appliances from. Not only are their delivery team exceptional, but all appliances also come with a two year guarantee that in some cases can be extended to accidental damage too. Also check out the John Lewis & Partners Buying Guide which will help guide you through the process of buying a new machine and help you understand your needs.