Monique O'Grady: The average American family washes around 400 loads of laundry every year. But there are many ways to keep your clothes clean and not clean out your wallet paying for high energy bills.
The first savings tip is as easy as a switch of the dial, from hot water to cold water. According to energy start almost 90% energy consumed by your washing machine is used simply to heat the water, so by switching a cold water washing you can save a ton.
In fact by making this change Americans could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 11 million metric tons every year. Cold water washing also keeps colors bright, reduces wrinkling and prevents satin stains.
And it's an old wife's tale that only hot water can clean certain types of clothes; try out cold water detergents that are specifically formulated to work best in cooler temperatures.
Another way to reduce bills, use energy saving settings and don't wash longer than you need to. Also run a full load of laundry, the machine uses the same amount of mechanical energy, no matter how full it is. And if you happen to do a partial load, be sure to change the water level for the amount of laundry you are actually washing.
When it's time for you to replace your washing machine, buy a high efficiency model. The lower the water factor the more efficient the machine. For example, energy star labeled machines must have water factors lower than six, which means almost 40% less energy is used and 50% less water is used than regular models, which can save your hundreds of dollars over the life of the machine.
So get use to efficient washes and cold water if you want to use less energy and save money.