Optimize Your Home Energy Use with Efficient Washing

November 14, 2012 Written by  Comments Print
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With advanced technology, consumers can include practical appliances to use water more efficiently. For this blog post, we’ll focus on washing machines and dishwashers.

Washing Machines
ENERGY STAR washing machines have changed the model of laundry machines to be designed for efficiency. These new machines now require less water, have different washing patterns and movements and use different cleaning methods so more water is conserved. ENERGY STAR states that washers made before 1998 are inefficient and thus cost consumers $2.8 billion per year in energy and water. Although some question the validity of these new efficient washers due to their elongated wash times, ENERGY STAR ensures that the longer wash period is due to less pressure and water being consumed.

On average, ENERGY STAR washers use 30% less energy and 50% less water than standard models. 90% of the energy that washers use comes from heating hot water, which is why it’s always best to wash with cold water. ENERGY STAR washing machines use 15 gallons of water on average, compared to 32 gallons on average for standard top loading washers.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR dishwashers consume at least 10% less energy than standard models. Lowes suggest that you should not rinse off dishes before loading as you’ll save 55,000 gallons of water over the dishwasher’s lifetime. Other suggestions for efficient use is to let the dishes dry naturally. If your appliance doesn’t have an air dry option, physically prop the door open to reduce energy usage. Always fill dishwashers to their capacity to avoid multiple unnecessary loads. Did you know that running full loads in the dishwasher actually consumes less water and energy than hand-washing dishes?

If you are looking to purchase a new dishwasher, then look for dishwashers with new detection technology. These washers are able to detect its contents level of uncleanliness and allocate water, energy and air on a per load basis.

It’s best to replace washing machines and dishwashers after 10-15 years. While not everyone may need to purchase new appliances right now, it’s always good to practice energy efficient methods. A simple behavioral change is the quickest way to ensure energy savings.

Check out our infographic below with more tips on energy-efficient washing machines and dryers. Click the link to view last week’s blog Energy Efficiency Techniques for a House in a Cold Climate or check back next week for more energy saving tips.

*Sources: http://www.lowes.com/cd_Make+Your+Dishwasher_1280349359_ blog infographic

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