These are the mass-energy consumers in your household, as they’re in use 24 hours a day. If investing in an ENERGY STAR-labeled fridge is not possible at this time, set your fridge thermostat around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Also dust off or vacuum your machine’s condenser coils twice a year for increased efficiency.
These units are also big consumers, as they too are generally on 24/7. ENERGY STAR products will help to increase energy efficiency and cut costs. Keep in mind that top and bottom unit freezers are more efficient than fridge-freezer units next to each other. If you keep an extra freezer, place it strategically in a cool area—not in the garage where heat tends to collect and require more energy for cooling. A separate chest freezer is your best bet.
Beyond ENERGY STAR (which—you guessed it—applies here too), there also are some additional features that can maximize your energy efficiency. Front-loaders conserve water and energy by 40-50%! Washing full loads and washing with cold water as much as possible, pushes this figure towards the high end of the scale. If you currently have a top-loader, utilize a range of features available for adjusting temperature, selecting load size and varying cycles. Exercising your discretion with these features can boost the conservation impact of your machine.
Dryers are not currently part of the ENERGY STAR program, as energy consumption is similar for all models across the board. If you’re not in a position (or climate area) to set up an old-fashioned clothesline for sun-drying, here are some tips to save energy during drying:
- Find a model with automatic shut-off, or one that alerts you when loads are done.
- Designate one or two days per week “laundry days” and string loads one after another in order to maximize the heat left over from previous loads.
- The chest freezer logic applies here as well—place dryers in a warm part of the house so that less energy is required to generate heat.
Much more effective at cleaning and much more water efficient than washing by hand, the more energy-efficient units come with settings that allow you a great amount of control over energy expenditure. Most of the energy used by this process goes to heating water before it even gets to your machine. Here are a couple of tips:
- Always wash a full load and select the shortest cycle appropriate.
- Don’t utilize the pre-rinse function on your machine unless necessary.
While gas stoves are definitely more efficient than electrics, they can prove to be a hazardous nuisance to those with respiratory sensitivities. If you are using an electric range, here are some tips to optimize energy use:
- When heating water and cooking dishes that allow for it, cover your pots and pans to trap heat and reduce cooking time.
- Turn off burners shortly before cook time is over—the burners will remain hot enough to complete your culinary masterpiece.
- Use pans that completely cover a burner to maximize your heat energy usage.
Air Conditioners and Fans
Keeping filters clean and turning off ACs when you’re out cuts costs and saves energy. Ceiling fans can be paired with air conditioners to help a room feel colder, which is a great summer tactic. During the winter, make sure the fan operates in a counterclockwise direction—this pulls heat upwards and the fan’s rotation then distributes air down the walls.
Clothes Washer Tips
- Wash in cold water: About 90% of the energy consumed for washing clothes is due to heating the water. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half for washing one load. Using the cold cycle when you can reduces energy use even more.
- Fill it up: Clothes washers use relatively the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the laundry load, run full loads whenever possible.
- Avoid the sanitary cycle: This super hot cycle, available on some models, increases energy use significantly, so only use it when absolutely necessary.
- Activate the high spin speed option: If your clothes washer has spin options, choose a high spin speed or the extended spin option to reduce the amount of remaining moisture in your clothes after washing. This decreases the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes.
- Use a drying rack or hang clothes outside: Air-drying clothes (indoors or outdoors) helps them last longer and saves energy.
- Leave the door open after use: Front-loading washers use airtight seals to make sure no moisture leaks while the machine is in use. However, when the machine is not in use, this seal can trap moisture in the machine. Be sure to leave the door ajar for an hour or two after use to allow any of the remaining moisture inside the machine to evaporate. Make sure children do not climb into the machine while the door is open.
- Always use HE (High Efficiency) detergent: Front-loading clothes washers are designed specially to use only High Efficiency detergent. Using regular detergent in a front-loading washer will create too many suds in the machine. This leads to decreased washing and rinsing performance. Over time it can lead to mechanical problems, and foul odors.
General Purpose Detergents
All-purpose laundry detergents that are especially effective on food, greasy and oily soils. Since they are liquids, they are good for pretreating spots and stains.
All-purpose laundry detergents which are ideal for general washday loads. Especially effective on lifting out clay and ground-in dirt, thus ideal for children’s play clothes.
Most liquid and powder detergents are now concentrated. They come in much smaller packages _ yet offer the same amount of cleaning power as the familiar products in larger packages. You need less ultra detergent than with an unconcentrated product, so follow the label instructions and use the measuring cap or scoop that comes with the product.
One detergent that does two jobs. Look for:
- Liquid or powder detergents with built-in fabric softeners
- Powders detergents with color-safe bleach
- Liquid detergents with bleach alternative
Fragrance or Dye-Free Detergents
Many laundry products are now fragrance-free and/or dye-free. Read product labels for specific details.
Front Load Washer Detergent Use Warning!
We have found a repeated service condition occurring in front load washers when using the sheeted 3 in 1 laundry detergent products. All in one laundry detergent products are becoming quite popular today because they are easy to use, prevent messy spills and are premeasured insuring you use the proper amount of detergent for every load. What is not to love about all that? Having your detergent, fabric softener and anti-static additives (included in a single sheet as is the case with the Purex brand) or detergent, stain release, and all-color bleach (as is the case with Tide Pods FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE http://www.pg.com/en_US/downloads/innovation/factsheet_FINAL_Tide_PODS.pdf ) in a single dose self contained package makes life simple.
However, the single sheet types, when used in front load washing machines have been slipping between the inner wash tub and outer tub and clogging the lint catcher sump or making their way to the pump assm. In either case it prevents the washer from draining properly usually resulting in a service call to our repair company. I checked the Purex web site and found a warning posted under the “Frequently Asked Questions – Can You Use Purex Complete 3-in-1 in HE Washing Machines?” The warning says “Due to the design of some front-loading models, it is possible for small articles such as socks or laundry sheets to pass through the gap between the drum and seal into the internal workings of the washer. If your front-loading washer has a visible gap, we recommend using a small mesh bag to contain the laundry sheet, just as you would for other small items. Always refer to your washing machine owner’s manual for proper operating procedures.” http://www.purex.com/products/detergents/purex-complete-3-in-1
If you are hooked on using this product as many of our customers are, please take the advice of the product manufacturer and place the sheet in a small mesh bag to prevent having to have a costly service call to remedy the situation. In fact it may be wise to use a small mesh bag for all your tiny washables such as crew socks, underwear, gloves, etc. as these have also been known to get between the tubs and create a drain problem.
If you are currently experiencing a slow or no drain problem with your front load washing machine call our office and schedule a service call at 410 682-3232 or go to www.LandersAppliance.com.
Convert soils into colorless, soluble particles which are easily removed by detergents, then carried away in the wash water. Brighten and whiten fabrics; help remove stubborn stains.
Sodium hypochlorite bleaches (also called chlorine or liquid household bleach) are the more powerful laundry bleaches; they disinfect, as well as clean and whiten. They work on many whites and colorfast washables _ but not on wools or silks. Oxygen (color-safe) bleaches are more gentle, working safely on all washable fabrics. They work best in maintaining whiteness, not in restoring it.
For Sodium Hypochlorite Bleach, read the label and dilute as directed. For best results, add 5 minutes after the wash cycle has begun to agitate in order to avoid destroying enzymes and fluorescent whiteners in the detergent.
For Oxygen Bleach, add directly to the wash water before the clothes are added. Do not pour powdered bleach directly on wet clothes. Most effective in warm-to-hot water. IMPORTANT: Have doubts whether a garment is safe to bleach? Don’t guess _ you may be sorry! Read the garment’s care label for specific instructions. Test first for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area by following the instructions on bleach package label.
Decrease static cling, which is especially useful when washing permanent-press and synthetic fibers. Make fabrics softer and fluffier… reduce drying time … reduce wrinkling … make ironing easier.
Liquid fabric softeners go into the final rinse water; one type can also be used on a cloth and tossed into the dryer. Follow the label directions.
Softener sheets go into the dryer.
Packet-type softeners attach to the fin of the dryer drum.
When adding liquid softeners to the rinse water, be sure to dilute first. Do not pour directly on fabrics, because this may cause staining or spotting.
IMPORTANT: Fabric softeners may reduce the effectiveness of flame retardancy on fabrics, like those used in children’s sleepwear.
The Soap and Detergent Association has compiled an historical and technical record on the role of sanitation, medical advances, cleanliness and hygiene on public health and infection control titled “Against Disease: The Impact of Hygiene and Cleanliness on Health” at www.againstdisease.com
This 117-page book is a valuable resource for professionals and students in the medical, sanitation, education and public health fields, as well as the general public. You can down load a copy from the SDA web site
Clothes Dryer Tips
ENERGY STAR does not label clothes dryers since there is little difference in the energy use between models. Here are some ways to reduce energy consumption when using your clothes dryer:
- Use the moisture sensor option: The moisture sensor automatically shuts off the machine when the clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy, it will save wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying.
- Clean the lint filter: Cleaning the filter after every load will improve air circulation and increase the efficiency of the dryer.
Power Outages and your Refrigerator and Freezer!
With the warmer spring weather, comes the typical spring storms that often cause power outages. The following information is important to remember if you encounter a prolonged power outage:
- Note the time the power outage begins. Discontinue all cooking operations and discard any food that has not yet reached the final cooking temperature. Do not place hot food in refrigerators or freezers, as this will rapidly raise the temperature inside the refrigerator or freezer and may make more food unusable. Use ice or/ice baths to rapidly cool small batches of hot food.
- Potentially hazardous foods are those foods such as high protein foods (meat, eggs, dairy) and cooked vegetables that support the rapid and progressive growth of disease causing bacteria. Food borne illnesses can be caused by bacteria that can multiply rapidly in foods when the food is held in the temperature danger zone (41° to 140°F). Refrigerated potentially hazardous foods must be stored at or below 41°F. Frozen foods must be maintained frozen. Hot cooked potentially hazardous food must be maintained at 140°F or above.
- Leave your freezer door closed. A full freezer should keep food safe about two days — a half-full freezer, about one day. Add bags of ice or dry ice to the freezer if it appears the power will be off for an extended time. You can safely re-freeze thawed foods that still contain ice crystals and are 41°F or less.
- Food in refrigerators should be safe as long as the power is out no more than about four to six hours. Leave the door closed; every time you open it, needed cold air escapes, causing the foods inside to reach unsafe temperatures. If it appears the power will be off for more than six hours, use a pan or large dish and place ice (chunk is best) or frozen gel packs in the refrigerator section. That will keep potentially hazardous foods at 41° or below. Discard any potentially hazardous food that has been above 41°F for four hours or more, reached a temperature of 45°F or higher for any length of time, or has an unusual color, odor, or texture.
More Safety Tips