How Green is Your Laundry Room?

That’s right; your laundry room is yet another room in your home that would benefit from a green makeover.

Think about it, a typical laundry room is usually home to two of the biggest energy-consuming appliances around—the washer and dryer. Moreover, if you are maintaining a family, the rate at which you do laundry dramatically increases, sometimes becoming an everyday task. If you need a wakeup call, it comes once a month—the utility bill. Chances are that it is much higher than it should or could be, especially if you are doing it several times a week.

Luckily, transforming your laundry room to a lovely shade of green is quite simple if you do a little research.

The most obvious solution is to ditch the older, inefficient washer and dryer for a newer, Energy Star rated pair of appliances. A washer than is ten years old (or older) will typically consume somewhere around twenty-seven gallons of water every single time you run a load.

However, a washer boasting an Energy Star rating will use somewhere between twelve and fourteen gallons of water per load. Considering the average family will breeze through about 300 loads (or more) of laundry every year, the savings in water can really add up.

Furthermore, a washer and dryer would not be able to accept an Energy Star rating if they did not offer some form of “energy” savings.

By purchasing a more efficient laundry room duo, the average family can usually net $60.00 or more per year in savings on their utility bill (for heating water and electricity costs associated with washers and dryers).

Of course, the folks down at Lowes or Home Depot would love your business, but for some, a brand new washer and dryer is simply out of the budget.

If this is the case then don’t fret, there are still ways to have a more efficient laundry room.

Have you ever thought about cutting the dryer from your laundry routine altogether? It seems as though more and more people are unplugging their dryers and trading them in for a more traditional means of drying clothes—the clothesline.

Why would you pay a utility company and use their electricity when you could let nature dry your garments absolutely free?

All you really need for an effective clothesline is a decent length of clothesline rope strung up between two trees.

Compared to purchasing a brand new dryer, a simple rope will save you anywhere from $500-$1,000.

For those who are worried about drying clothes when the weather doesn’t allow it, there are many companies that make nifty little clotheslines for use indoors. Moreover, these indoor clotheslines (you can put some of them in the shower) are generally made to save as much space as possible to be more convenient.

While doing the laundry does not seem like a difficult task, it is amazing how many people do so in an inefficient manner.

Yes, there is a wrong way to do laundry.

One of the most effective things you can do to become more efficient in the laundry room is to put off doing laundry until you have a full load. When you wash or dry less than a full load, chances are good that you will end up doing more laundry throughout the week.

Even more savings can be had by simply washing in cold water rather than hot water.

The list goes on and on when it comes to simple, efficient changes.

Some other methods for saving money in the laundry room include:

  • Purchasing a front-loading washing machine rather than a top- loading machine.
  • Purchasing “eco-friendly” laundry detergent. This has become a huge line of business for many manufacturers.
  • If you have the need to dry more than one load in a dryer, make sure to do them one after another in order to effectively utilize the heat already present in the dryer.
  • Make sure to periodically clean out your dryer vent.
  • Make sure to clean the lint screen between loads.

Transforming your old, energy-hog of a laundry room into a green and efficient powerhouse is a great place to start “greening” your home.

Perhaps from there you could move on to the kitchen (another big energy-consumer in the house), or maybe even start a garden. Not only will the environment be appreciative of your efforts, but so will your wallet, which you will see when the bills roll in every month.

© 2012 Andrew Brusnahan

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