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How to Use Your Washing Machine More Efficiently

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How to Use Your Washing Machine More Efficiently

By Cris Carl, Hometalk

If you are not ready or able to buy an ENERGY STAR-rated washing machine, there are a few simple things you can do to increase the efficiency of the washing machine you have. The efficiency goals are to use less electricity, have greater/quicker water flow into your machine, and have as little heat-loss from the water as possible.

Install a Water Filter or Water Softener

If you live in an area with a high mineral content in the water, it helps to have either a water filter or water softener. Minerals, such as iron, clog the screens in washing machine hoses, slowing water flow and making the machine work a lot harder. Some of us of a certain age remember the old “Hey Culligan man!” commercials. Culligan, founded in 1938, is one of the oldest companies in the country that deals in water softeners.  Some companies, such as Envirocon, also offer water softeners made of sustainable/natural materials.

Washing machines have two hoses that have screens on the inside near each end, one to the machine and one to the water source. If your hoses are clean, the machine will run its cycles more quickly. Quicker cycles also cut down on heat-loss from water as the machine fills and drains.

Keep the Hoses and Screens Clean

If you have high water mineral content, you will want to clean your hose screens at least every two to three months. Filters and water softeners will help, but you may want to check the hose screens every few months in this case. Fifteen or 20 minutes of your time will be worth it for the energy savings. The job only requires simple tools. Some hoses can be unscrewed by hand, but most are fitted tightly enough to require a wrench.

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Read more: Bed & Bath, Conservation, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Home, Household Hints, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, ,

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65 comments

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4:44PM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

Thanks for great tips!

3:13PM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

good tips,ty

7:42PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Thank you for the article.

7:57AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Informative! Thanks!

8:18PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

thanks

4:14AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

hi

11:04PM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

TY

5:40PM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

Mostly good tips but i would think running full (but not overfilled) loads would be more water and energy efficient than running half loads.

Also, i fail to understand how a water softener will save you energy while washing your clothes. It'll certainly save you on detergent but the washer will still fill up the same amount of water and run the same amount of time. Plus, the softener itself uses energy, water and salt for its rejuvenation cycle.

If you do have hard water, the softener will save your pipes and fixtures from corosion.

4:29PM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

Awesome info! Thank you!!

11:34AM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

great tips---thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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