Hot water heating accounts for about 90% of your washer's energy use, so wash laundry in cold water whenever possible. Wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, adjust the water level. Clean your dryer's lint trap before every load, and avoid over-drying clothes. Better yet, line-dry your laundry.
- Skill level: Basic
- Depending on local water quality, many homeowners can effectively wash all their clothes in cold water. Fabrics generally last longer if dried on a clothesline or rack, too.
- Cost range: Free
- It's not only free to do laundry the energy-efficient way, but in hot summer months it can help you minimize indoor heat generation, decreasing the work load on your air conditioner.
- Savings: $30-$40 annually
- Washing in cold water can save the average household as much as $40 a year in electric water heating costs and about $30 for natural gas water heaters. For extra water and energy savings, wait for full loads to do the washing.