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Laundry appliances

Saving money on laundry day
Up to 90 percent of the cost of washing clothes comes from heating the water - so it makes sense to invest in a high-efficiency washer.
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Did you know that up to 90 percent of the cost of washing clothes comes from heating the water? That's why it pays to choose energy-efficient laundry appliances and use them wisely. In fact, replacing a 10-year old washer with a new EnergyStar-qualified model can save up to $120 per year on your utility bills!

Washing machineFront-loading washers do offer some significant advantages over top-loaders. Instead of a vertical agitator that turns back and forth, the drum of a horizontal-axis washer rotates like that of a clothes dryer, rolling clothes through a small pool of water. This allows more room for larger loads, shorter and more efficient spin cycles, less detergent required and fewer repairs.

The greatest benefit of a front-load washer is energy savings – because it uses so much less hot water, you’ll save up to $100 a year on water heating! One minor drawback is the need for special "low-sudsing" detergent, which is slightly more expensive.

Other new washer features available include:

  • Dispenser trays that automatically dilute and add detergent, bleach and fabric softener;
  • Specialized settings for different fabrics;
  • Childproof door latches;
  • Improved out-of-balance handling;
  • Sensors that automatically set the water level; and
  • "Stain" cycles that eliminate the need for pre-treating with sprays.

No matter what fancy new features you choose, it always pays to get the largest capacity washer you can afford. You'll fit more clothes into one load, saving time and energy; if you need a smaller load, you can adjust the water level accordingly.

Clothes dryers are also offering more specialized and energy-saving options. Look for a model with a moisture-sensing feature that shuts off the unit automatically when clothes are dry, rather than using a timer. Other handy features include sneaker or sweater drying racks, self-cleaning or oversized lint filters and special cycles for the new home dry-cleaning kits.

If you're short on space, take a look at "stacked" or "combination" washer-dryers. A stacked unit places the dryer directly above the washer; this style is available from most national brands.

Specialty manufacturers like Equator offer integrated units that wash and dry in the same washer-size tub. These appliances have the additional advantage of being vent-free, so they can be placed along interior walls.

Looking for an energy-smart appliance retailer? Try Alliant Energy's online Dealer Locator to find experts in your area.

      

Easy energy savers

  • Wash only full loads of clothes, and be sure to set the water level appropriately.
  • Use hot water only for very dirty loads, and always use cold water for the rinse cycle.
  • Clean the lint screen on the dryer every time you use the machine. A clogged lint screen can make your dryer use up to 30 percent more energy - and it can be a fire hazard.
  • Remove clothes from the dryer while they're still damp and hang them up. This will save energy, prevent static and reduce wrinkles and shrinkage.
  • Dry one load of clothes immediately after another. This will minimize heat loss, reducing warm-up and drying times.

Clean dryer lint screen with every loadMaintaining your laundry appliances

  • Clean the lint filter every time you use the dryer. A clogged lint screen can make your dryer use up to 30 percent more energy - and it's a fire hazard.
  • Twice a year, check the dryer vent hose for cracks or tears, and clean out any accumulated lint. If you need to replace it, look for one made of aluminum or steel. Avoid using flexible plastic ducting, as it punctures easily and isn't fireproof.
  • Make sure the outside dryer vent is clear, and don't let snow cover it during the winter.
  • Check the gasket on the dryer door. A loose or brittle gasket will allow heated air to escape. You can purchase or order a new gasket from your local appliance dealer or directly from the manufacturer.

 

      


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If you are vision-impaired or have some other disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to shopping or ordering on or using the benefits of our website, please contact Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).