Toni Pohl

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Use summer sun to save energy and money on your laundry

You can find savings by cutting back and having smart habits

In the summer, many of us like to spend time outdoors and enjoy as much of the sun as possible. This can mean that our clothes attract stains faster, from camping dirt to barbecue sauce and grass stains. And you're more likely to get sweaty and reach for a fresh change of clothes before dinner. It's always nice to put on a fresh set of clothing, but more frequent laundry can also mean consuming a lot of electricity. By doing your laundry as efficiently as possible, you can save energy and money on your next bill.


Keep water cold to maximize savings

Did you know that 90 per cent of a washing machine's energy consumption goes toward heating the water? If you wash about 3 loads of laundry per week, you can save up to $27 per year on your energy bill just by changing from hot to cold water. As an added bonus, washing in cold can make your clothes last longer since it is gentler on the fabrics and causes less colour fading. Many specialty fabrics (like moisture-wicking exercise clothes or delicate lightweight summer clothes) recommend washing in cold — check the label to be sure.

Most detergents available today ensure great performance in your washing machine even when using cold water. So consider switching most of your loads to cold, unless they need that extra boost from warm water. And always rinse in cold if your machine offers the option.


Cut down on washing

One of the easiest ways to save energy when doing laundry is trying to do less laundry. Try to reduce the number of laundry loads that you do per week. You obviously can't stop doing laundry altogether, but only wash your clothes when they're actually dirty, and not out of habit after each wearing. Avoid doing partial loads of laundry. A partial load uses the same amount of electricity as a full load. If possible, wait until you can fill the washer to capacity in order to reduce your energy consumption.

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Source:  BC Hydro

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