Do Savings Come Out in the Wash?

January/February 2012
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2012 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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January 02, 2012
A Large-Scale Study of Residential Laundry Systems
Laundry systems are a hot spot for energy use in the home. Efficient laundry systems—and clothes washers in particular—are unusual in that most of the energy savings potential is not in the clothes washer itself, but in the water heater and the clothes dryer. To determine the amount of household energy that is used in the laundry room, and the savings to be realized with high-efficiency machines, our company, The Cadmus Group, Incorporated, metered the actual energy use of 115 new laundry systems—clothes washer, water heater, and clothes dryer—in homes across California. We found that users can save a lot of energy simply by taking advantage of features on new washer/dryer systems, such as high spin cycles, which remove more moisture from the clothes, and automated dryer cycles with moisture sensors.

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