30 Steps to Energy Efficiency – Step 6: Do Full Loads of Laundry and Dishes

Reader Contribution by Comly Wilson
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This series of energy saving tips is brought to you byCleanEdison.

Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. On

average, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.

It is very easy to reduce this simply by avoiding multiple partial loads of laundry and dishes. More ways of reducing the strain on your water heater include using the cold water settings as much as possible (the vast majority of laundry loads cleans identically with cold water as with hot), and taking shorter showers. If you are turning a sink on for a short period of time, turn it on cold, because even though warm water might not reach the faucet in time, the water heater still turns on.

If you are looking to buy a new laundry machine or dishwasher, look for ENERGY STAR® models which use much less electricity and can save you money over the lifespan of the appliance.

Avoid washing cats and other pets in the laundry machine as well.



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