Save More than Just Money with an Energy Efficient Home

by Guest Writer

Happy Energy Efficiency Day! We have come a long way in the past several decades when it comes to doing more with less: less energy, that is. Not only have we designed energy-efficient technologies that reduce pollution, but we have also developed a sustainable industry that creates jobs and saves consumers both time and money.

The average American now spends 10 waking hours at home each day. That means there are significant gains to be made on the home front by utilizing more energy-efficient technologies. Beyond buying energy star rated appliances, there are other steps you can take. Here’s how you can improve your energy efficiency when it comes to running laundry and washing dishes:

Running Laundry

  1. Opt for colder, shorter cycles with fuller loads. Heating water, of course, requires energy. In fact, about 90% of a washing machine’s energy requirement is used to heat water. So, if your clothes can be adequately cleaned with cold water, select that option before beginning your load. Additionally, you can extend the life of your clothes by washing them less often, so try to do only one or two batches of laundry each week.
  2. Prevent lint buildup. If you use a dryer, clean the lint filter after each load. Use a lint brush and vacuum kit to clean areas out-of-sight and out-of-reach, which often house years of lint buildup. Note that dryer sheets can also cause a waxy buildup, minimizing how well your filter works, and that dryer balls are a good alternative. With proper cleaning of your machine, the time it takes your clothes to dry can drastically reduce, saving energy as a result.
  3. Hang your clothes to dry. If you want to be your greenest green, then you should hang your clothes to dry. Of course, this is much easier in the warmer months of the year. It doesn’t take much to hang a clothesline outside, and it’s a great way to give your clothes that fresh air and clean smell. No worries if you don’t have access to an outdoor space! An indoor drying rack can also do the trick.

Washing Dishes

  1. Don’t rinse your dishes. Keep it to a simple scrape. Modern dishwashers are perfectly capable of sufficiently washing your dishes! Just check your dishwasher’s drain occasionally in case larger particles get stuck in it.
  2. Forgo the “heat dry” function. Run your dishwasher in the evening, then open it up to let the dishes dry overnight. 
  3. Only run full loads. If you’re having trouble filling up a load, consider adding soap dishes, your kids’ bath toys (i.e., rubber duckies), and even hairbrushes.
  4. Load your dishwasher correctly. Yes, loading your dishwasher a certain way provides more than just aesthetic benefits. Make sure all your dishes are separated, bowls are stacked at an incline, cutlery is placed handle-down, and large utensils are placed on the top rack.

These are just a few ways that you can improve your energy efficiency at home, benefiting both the environment and your wallet. We suggest scheduling a free energy audit for your home to identify areas where you can most improve. Finally, check out some of our related articles below for further reading!

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