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In this week's installment of our summer-long Energy Savings series -- courtesy of those power gurus at Green Home Guide -- we're dishing the dirt on washers and dryers.

Yes, you can enjoy clean laundry in the warm summer months without draining your wallet and the environment. Here are some fresh ideas for energy-smart laundering.

laundry room, washer, dryerLou Cypher, Corbis

1. Opt for a Front-Loader
Many newer washing machines are designed with the door in the front as opposed to the top. While front-loaders aren't always so easy on your back, they are easy on your wallet. Front-loading washers use less water. Front-loading washing machines use less water, so they cut down on drying time.

2. Cold Water Washing

Unless your laundry is heavily soiled and stained, go ahead and wash it in cold water; it's just as effective as hot water for typical loads. Plus, you'll save about $30 to $40 per year in water-heating costs. Want to conserve water too? Only use your washer for full loads, and you'll save about 3,400 gallons a year.

drying clothes, laundryCorbis

3. Cut Dryer Time
It's better to under-dry your laundry than it is to over-dry, especially in the warmer weather. Many newer dryers have sensors that shut off the heat when your clothes are dry. But if yours doesn't, remove your laundry from the machine about 15 minutes before you ordinarily would. You'll save as much as $34 a year.

clotheslineGetty Images

4. Use a Clothesline
Your clothes dryer is the second-biggest energy zapper in the house (the first being the fridge). Why not dry your laundry the old-school way -- on a clothesline? You can buy an inexpensive clothesline and pulley kit from your local hardware store or online, or you can make your own clothesline with these easy instructions. With the cost of lumber, rope, and hardware factored in, a DIY clothesline should cost well under $100 -- but save a ton on your energy bills in the long run.

This information is courtesy of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more tips on saving energy and greening your home, visit USGBC's Green Home Guide.


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