In our homes, water and energy usage are often closely connected, especially when you're doing laundry, and both make an impact on the environment. But understanding how to save energy and water at home can seem overwhelming if you don't know where to start. Luckily, it's easy to break this down into a few easy, routine changes that make a big impact.
With our top 10 tips on how to save energy and water at home, you can make your routine that bit more eco-friendly — and cut down your household bills at the same time!
1. Save Energy On Laundry With Short 30˚C Washes
In laundry, the main energy-guzzling culprit is heating the water. In fact, it’s around 80% of the energy used in an average load of laundry. So when you're after tips on how to save energy in the laundry room, your first step should be to start washing at 30˚C.
Washing clothes at 30˚C uses around 40% less electricity than washing at higher temperatures — and one hot wash can cost you as much in bills as 10 cold ones! A hard-working detergent like Persil Bio is perfect for lower temperatures at shorter washes, helping you save energy and money without compromising on your laundry results.
2. Pre-Treat Stains For Shorter Cycles In The Washing Machine
Shortening your machine washing cycles is another handy answer for how to save energy in the laundry room and save water at the same time. For a 5kg wash, the average washing machine uses 50 litres of water in a standard-length 40oC cycle. Using a shorter cycle will cut this down drastically, especially if you're switching from a 2-hour cycle to a 30 minute one.
To make sure your shorter, cooler washes are still effective, give stained clothes a pre-wash treatment with an effective laundry detergent like Persil Bio Liquid.
3. Only Wash Full Loads Of Laundry In The Machine
Washing small loads of laundry means you'll probably need to do more washes, more often. Organising your laundry routine so that you can wash a full load every time is a great habit for how to save energy and water in the laundry room.
If you're finding it difficult to leave time between washes, make sure you understand how often you really need to be washing items like jeans.
4. Try Hand Washing Clothes Instead Of Relying On Your Machine
It's not always clear how much water is going into a washing cycle; if you're looking for tips on how to save water at home, washing by hand is a good way to have more control over the water you're using. Persil Washing Powder cuts the foam and neutralises the detergent instantaneously so that you only need one basin of water for a full rinse.
And once you’ve finished your hand wash, all of that water is still a valuable cleaning resource! Why not turn your eye to the garden path, the kitchen floor or the kids’ bikes? This is great hack for how to save water in laundry, and you'll get two chores ticked off afterwards.
5. Use The Sun To Heat Your Washing Water!
Amazingly, it’s possible to heat water enough to wash your clothes without any need for gas or electricity at all.
If you take a black bucket, fill it with water and put it in sunlight, the temperature could reach 40⁰C. The dark colour soaks up the energy from the sun and passes it on to the water. By adding insulators to prevent the heat escaping, reflectors to focus more sun onto the bucket (such as tin foil), and a clear plastic lid (or even cling film) to stop air movement cooling the surface, you can make the device even more efficient.
6. Consider Installing Water And Energy Meters
Smart meters for energy and water meters have similar benefits in helping you to control and monitor your energy usage. They allow you to track how much you're using, so you monitor when you're using more or less energy and water than average. Plus, they often allow you to set and keep track of a budget, and update you when you're getting close to your target maximum usage.
7. Pick Short Showers Or Baths Over Long Soaks
Most of us love a long, hot bath; but consider keeping it as a once-in-a-while treat and swapping daily bathing for a speedier wash in the shower. Compared to a quick shower, a bath full of hot water takes a massive amount of energy and water to produce.
8. Skip The Tumble Dry Completely
Your tumble dryer is a real energy guzzler. In terms of energy usage, it's like having your kettle switched on the whole time your laundry is drying. When you're looking for how to save energy at home, skipping your regular tumble dryer cycles is an simple answer for cutting out a whole lot of energy.
If you can, hang your clothes up in the sun to dry: you'll be using no additional energy, and your clothes will be breezy-fresh afterwards.
9. Or Give Your Tumble Dryer Less Work To Do
If you're in a hurry for dry clothes or don't have the right space (or weather!) to dry them naturally, never fear: a few clever tricks can shorten the length of time needed in the dryer.
Giving your clothes a quick, high-speed spin in the washing machine to shake off as much excess water as possible will make them quicker to tumble dry. And, whenever possible, dry several loads in succession (delicates first, heaviest last). That way you’ll be making the most of the heat from previous loads.
Plus, keeping your tumble dryer well-maintained will mean more effective drying performance in a shorter time, thereby saving energy. Always remember to keep the lint screen clean, as a build-up of dust and lint can make your tumble dryer use 30% more energy.
10. Keep Taps And Switches Off
So much of our wasted energy and water at home comes down to taps, lights and appliances being left on when we're not using them. So an obvious (but often overlooked) answer to how to save energy and water at home is to get into some good habits. Switch off lights when you leave the room, turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or scrub stubborn pans, and get the whole household doing the same!
So, with our top tips on how to save energy and water at home and in the laundry room, you can make your household routines a lot greener — and your bills a bit lighter, too! But don't stop now: there are loads more ways to live a greener lifestyle and do your bit for the planet.