Saturday, April 11, 2009

Clothes Washing & Energy Minutia

Now that there are just two of us, we don't do nearly as much laundry as when the children were in the house. Right now we have an energy-efficient dryer and and old-fashioned washer. We used to have an energy efficient washer, but the drum split three years after we bought it (It was a KENMORE :( !!), and it was going to cost almost as much to have it fixed as a new one would cost.

At the time we had to replace the washer, we had X amount of credit at Home Depot, which set our budget for a washing machine. That meant we bought the conventional top-loader type; which I think I would have bought anyway, because 1) I like using it to soak stained clothes: I can stop it after it has filled up, which you certainly can't do with a front loader, and 2) It doesn't sound like a jet airplane landing in the condo when it is in its final spin stage.

Recently I pulled up a table of wattage use, and I noticed that the clothes dryer was at the top of the appliance consumption list. With just the two of us in the house, all of our loads are half washer capacity, with the exception of the cotton knits and towels. I calculated that by eliminating two dryer loads of cotton knits and towels a week, I could save a whopping $14 a year. $14 is $14. And then I got to thinking an additional plus: eliminating all that lint, which made me think that my clothes and towels will probably hold up longer.

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