The Year Was 1797

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By Chris Balzer,

If we could go back in time to 1797, we would witness John Adams become the 2nd US President.  The first ship of the United States Navy, the frigate USS United States being commissioned and the first washing machine was invented.  Yes, the first washing machine, a simple tub and rigid board was used to wash clothes.  Now, fast forward 224 years and some of you knew who our 2nd President was and some of you knew the date of our first commissioned Navy ship.   I’m going out on a limb and guessing no one knew when the first washing machine was invented, but we all use one today and has become an appliance used as often as several days a week or several times a month.  So what does washers and dryers have to do with energy savings?  Washers and dryers are among the costliest appliances to operate so it’s worth taking steps to reduce energy use while using them.

Here are some things you can do to save in the laundry room and reduce wear and tear on clothes.

Es Appliance Energy Use Pie Graph

  1. Wash with cold water.
    Using cold water instead of hot can cut a load’s energy use by more than in half.  Many detergents clean just as well in cold as they do in warm or hot.  So save the hot water for your shower.
  2. Wash full loads.
    Your washer will use about the same amount of energy no matter the size of the load, so fill it up.
  3. Dry right-sized loads for your machine.
    If the dryer is too full, it will take longer for the clothes to dry. Loads that are too small can also take longer to dry, plus you spend more per item when running the dryer to only dry a few things.
  4. Use dryer balls.
    Wool or rubber dryer balls will help separate your clothes and get more air to them, cutting drying time.  The wool balls are said to absorb some moisture, further cutting drying time.
  5. Switch loads while the dryer is warm.
    This will allow you to use the remaining heat inside of the dryer for the next cycle.
  6. Clean the lint filter on the dryer.
    The dryer will run more efficiently and safely. If you use dryer sheets, scrub the filter once a month with a toothbrush to remove film buildup that can reduce air circulation.
  7. Use the high-speed or extended spin cycle in the washer.
    This will remove as much moisture as possible before drying, reducing your drying time and the wear on your clothes from the high heat of the dryer.
  8. Use lower heat settings in the dryer.
    Even if the drying cycle is longer, you’ll use less energy and be less likely to over-dry your clothes.
  9. Dry towels and heavier cottons separately from lighter-weight clothes.
    You’ll spend less time drying the lighter-weight clothes.
  10. Check with your utility company on time of use rates
    Utility companies’ offer reduced kWh rates everyday called off peak times, almost by half.  Check with your utility company when off peak hours are and use high demand appliances: washers and dryers, pool pumps, dishwashers and sprinkler pumps, during those times, saving you money.

Chris Balzer is Founder and President of Emerald Coast Energy Solutions which is a Smile Provider Company.  We provide smiles to our customers after installing our high energy efficient products, increasing comfort and lowering energy bills.  For more information on how to save this summer and become energy efficient schedule an inspection by calling (850) 588-2870, visit or email and Beat the Heat.

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