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Are These 4 Things in Your Laundry Room Wasting Electricity?

Laundry Room
You run only full loads, clean out the dryer lint every time, and use cold water for your laundry whenever possible. But your laundry room may have some sneaky secrets that are keeping you from being as energy efficient as you'd like. Here are four things that could be upping your laundry room energy usage.

1. Dryer Exhaust Vent

When air leaves your home through the dryer exhaust vent, you can be sure an equivalent amount of outside air is leaking into your house somewhere. Whether it's summertime or the dead of winter, heating or cooling that outside air uses electricity that adds to your bills. 

One way to mitigate this problem is to dry your laundry at night in summer and during the warmest part of the day in winter, ensuring that the air coming into your home is closer to room temperature and doesn't take as much energy to heat or cool.

You can also take control of the air coming into your home by installing a heat recovery ventilator or an energy recovery ventilator. These require a significant investment, but they can help you save a lot of heating and air conditioning energy.

2. Maintenance Problems

Your washer and dryer don't need to have their coils cleaned like your refrigerator, but they do have some maintenance issues that can occur.

For example, if lint gets into your dryer's exhaust line and blocks it, energy efficiency will go way down and fire hazards will go way up. Or if you've had to move your dryer recently and you accidentally put a crimp or a couple of extra bends in the exhaust line, similar issues can occur. In general, the straighter and shorter the exhaust line is, the less energy it wastes.

Lint can also build up in the areas below or around your lint screen. Scoping these areas out from time to time and vacuuming the lint out with your thinnest vacuum cleaner attachment is a great habit to have.

3. Frequent Iron Usage

If you plan your laundry routine strategically, you can greatly decrease your ironing needs. This is great not only because ironing is probably not your favorite chore but also because irons are energy hogs. 

If you take your clothing out of the dryer as soon as it's dry and hang it up right away, most items will end up with no visible wrinkles. If you do see wrinkles, you have several options:
  • Spray with a product designed for wrinkle release
  • Hang the item in the bathroom during your next shower
  • Try using a garment steamer for spot treatments

You'll quickly learn which items of clothing are likely to form stubborn wrinkles and require iron use and which ones may not need to be ironed ever again.

4. Dryer Sheets

You may have thought that lint was the only thing likely to block your lint screen. But in fact, dryer sheets can cause a waxy buildup to accrue over time, reducing the potential for airflow through the lint screen. The fewer dryer sheets you use, the less likely you'll be to have this problem.

Plastic or wool dryer balls can help your clothes dry soft with less static. You can also try reusable dryer sheets. Alternatively, restrict dryer sheet use to only synthetic fabrics, which are more likely to accumulate static electricity without dryer sheets.

These four things can increase your electricity bills unnecessarily. Using the strategies described here, change up your routine a bit to minimize their energy-wasting effects. For more advice and professional help with saving electricity throughout your home, contact Supreme Electric today. We can help you with all your home’s electrical needs.