Is it cheaper to do your laundry at night or during the day? When is the best time to do laundry? How much does it even matter? Believe it or not, there is an optimal time of day to do laundry to cut back on your energy use and save money. Most energy companies’ rates fluctuate to accommodate demand — depending on when you wash during the day your costs could change! Keep reading to see what this means for your laundry routine and wallet.
When Is the Best Time of Day to Do Laundry?
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to avoid doing laundry (or using other major electrical appliances) during your energy company’s “peak hours,” aka the time of day when the electricity demand and price per kWh are highest.
Peak hours vary per season and depend on where you live. In hotter climates, for example, demand will be up during the summer months (when everyone is cranking their air conditioning) and lower during the winter months, since temperatures won’t get so cold that everyone needs to blast their heat. You may be able to check with your energy company to see if they have further information on specific or seasonal peak hours.
So when is the best time of day to do laundry in order to save money? Here’s a quick checklist, though as mentioned above this can vary depending on where you live and your particular energy provider.
- Peak hours are typically when people return from work, around 4 pm to 8 pm. Try to do your laundry outside of this range.
- During the summer, peak hours are concentrated in the hot afternoons and into the evening, from around 10 or 11 in the morning until 8 pm. Run your washer and dryer early in the morning or at night to avoid the surge.
- During the winter, electricity demand is highest in the morning hours between 7 and 9 am when people are waking up and turning up their heat. Doing laundry in the evening is your safest bet.
How Can You Save Energy and Money When Doing Laundry?
Wash frequency of linens and bedding materials varies from item-to-item. There’s no set rule across the board, but theIn addition to coordinating your laundry loads with peak hours, there are a few key things you can do to cut back on costs and save energy (which also helps the planet). Some of these tips may even help prolong the life of your garments.
Use Cold Water
Using cold water is up to 17 times cheaper per load compared to hot water. In fact, almost 90% of the energy associated with running the washing machine comes from heating the water. Cold water is also gentlest on clothes, as hot water can shrink some types of fabric and can make colors bleed.
That said, there are some reasons for choosing hot water when doing laundry — hot water helps kill bacteria and remove stains. It’s also great at making your whites extra bright. Use hot water for especially dirty or stained laundry, like yard work clothes or towels used to clean spills. Warm water works well, too, and offers a good middle ground. Otherwise, cold water is your best bet.
Air Dry When Possible
Running the dryer also uses considerable energy. Air dry your clothes when possible, for things like athletic gear (it dries quickly) and bulky items such as blankets or jeans. Air drying is also a good way to preserve designs on t-shirts and keeps colors from fading or wearing too quickly, as the heat of the dryer causes fading and wear.
Upgrade to Energy Efficient Appliances
Consider upgrading your washer and dryer to more energy-efficient or ENERGY STAR certified models. ENERGY STAR certified washers use on average 25% less energy and 33% less water than non-certified machines, saving you several hundred dollars over the lifetime of the appliance. While there are the upfront costs to keep in mind, energy-efficient washers and dryers use less detergent, are better for the environment, and clean clothes more thoroughly in addition to saving you money each time you run them.
Consider Load Size and Settings
Washing a load of laundry that’s too large or small is never a good idea. Too large, and you can damage your washing machine’s drum and decrease its efficiency (in addition to keeping clothes from getting as clean). Contrarily, running loads that are too small wastes water and mechanical energy. Even if you lower the fill level of water it’s more energy efficient to just fill your washing machine all the way up.
Adjust your washer and dryer’s settings to accommodate the size and type of load. The “delicates” and “short” cycle options for washing will save on the cycle time and energy. (For stained or bulkier garments, though, be sure to select the corresponding setting to ensure all garments are properly cleaned.) Lastly, drying clothes on a lower heat further saves on electricity costs and also keeps clothes from wearing down as significantly.
Other Best Practices
Other best practices for doing laundry efficiently and effectively include:
- Cleaning the dryer’s lint trap.
- Making sure your washer and dryer are up-to-date on any maintenance.
- Pre-treating stains to prevent the necessity of re-washing.
Dry cleaning items with stains, or bulky items that would require heavy cycles or multiple cycles to deep clean. Dry cleaning isn’t just for wools and delicates — taking your regular clothing items to the dry cleaners, for dry cleaning or for wash and fold services, gives your clothes a deeper clean and saves you time.
Mulberrys Garment Care
The cheapest time of day to do laundry varies depending on your location and the time of year. Keeping the above tips in mind, you should be well on your way to washing clothes like a professional (while doing right by your wallet and the earth). That said, with busy schedules, kids, errands, chores, and more errands, it can be hard to find the time to do laundry the right way. Mulberrys Garment Care offers same-day wash and fold laundry services, and pickup and delivery dry cleaning, to make laundry convenient, simple, and carefree.
We are an award-winning, full-service, eco-friendly dry cleaning company with years of experience. Our specially trained experts can help you with all of your laundry needs, from comforters and sheets to wedding dresses and other delicate items. Contact us today to learn more about our services.