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Does it cost more to run a washer and dryer at the same time? How can you save on your energy bill?

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Peak Times

There are several reasons why an electrical appliance may cost more to operate at one time as opposed to another time. Many electric providers have rates available for different times of the day. During the highest use hours, the rates are higher.  This high use time is referred to as "peak" hours.  The peak times are from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.   This varies from region to region. This could explain a difference in the cost.Check to see if your electrical company supplies you with variable rate electricity.

Different Loads can cost different amounts!

The load in the washer could determine the drying time. For example, a load done in permanent press cycle does not spin the clothes as dry as a cotton sturdy cycle. The spin is slower. This increases the dry time and the cost goes up. Do you have a front loading washer? A low setting on the spin cycle will result in a longer dry time and a higher cost.  Consider the washer settings.   The longer settings such as  12 minutes instead of 6 minutes of wash time costs more.    Also, consider the size of the load, if you wash a large load with a medium water level, your machine has to work harder.  If you wash a small load with a high water level, you will be wasting water.  If that is a hot or warm load, that load will cost twice as much as it should.

Energy saving devices

Water Temperature will affect the cost!

Do you use hot water in some loads? This will cost a lot more than cold water washes because it takes a lot of energy to heat water.  To cut your costs, make sure that you separate all of your laundry needing hot water into one load.  You should not throw in extra items that are cold water washable to make a load.  Wait until you can make at least a small load with items needing hot water.  Make sure that the water level is selected to match the load.   If you have a small load for hot water, make sure that the small load level is selected.  Then check the rinse temperature.  If the load can be rinsed in cold water then make sure the cold rinse cycle is selected.  

Dryer settings can cost more!

Do you dry on automatic sometimes or always on the timed cycle?  The automatic cycle may cost less because it advances the timer and shuts the dryer off when the load is dry.  Do you use a timed setting and the clothes are hot and dry when you take them out?  This is an over-drying situation and you are using a lot more electricity than is needed.   Also, try to match the dry times and cycles to the washer load.  Lower heat settings should be used for permanent press and delicate loads.  The lower heat setting will potentially save on costs. 

Ok, are you one of these? Huge loads!

Did you know that a huge load that is larger than the highest capacity of your washer can cost more than two smaller loads?  It is true.  You know why? 

  1. Well it is in the wear and tear on the washer.  A huge load is a lot harder on the machine and it has to work harder. 
  2. The clothes take way, way longer to dry.  
  3. Wear and tear on the dryer.
  4. The clothes are likely to be just as dirty as when they went in, especially if the clothes were not tumbling in the washer.
  5. This is an easy was to save time, energy, and detergent!

I don't have an ironing board so I use my dryer!

Sometimes I am too lazy to take the clothes out of the dryer.  The next day I go in there and open the dryer to grab something to wear, but everything is wrinkled.  Well the only thing I can think of doing, is to put the dryer on about 10 minutes of heat.  Stuff comes out all warm and the wrinkles are almost gone.   Good for the day!

Well, needless to say, this habit costs you a lot.  Let's say for example that it costs you $.40 a day to do this little trick.  That comes out to $12 a month, or $144 a year.  If you could save that much on 10 energy costs, this would total almost $1500.00 a year.  A nice vacation or a good holiday shopping trip.

And Finally, the original question answered: does it cost more to run the washer and dryer at the same time?

The answer is no.   A washer doing the same amount of work will be the same from time to time regardless of the other uses of power at the same time including the dryer running or not. 


SteveoMc (author) from Pacific NorthWest on August 10, 2010:

Better Yourself thanks for reading....glad you enjoyed it.

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Better Yourself from North Carolina on August 10, 2010:

Really interesting hub! Great job!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 16, 2010:

I learned a few things here and will try to follow your suggestions. Thanks for writing this hub!

SteveoMc (author) from Pacific NorthWest on April 15, 2010:

Glad about the comments from Smireles and Ben, since I am new to this, it really helps to boost my confidence. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on April 13, 2010:

Thanks for the follow up on the LG, there's no place to comment there so I figured I'd do it here. Sounds like a mixed bag with the combo loaders. For now I will stick with our washer/dryer traditional combo. But the rewards for timing against peak electrical times will be great, thanks again!

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on April 13, 2010:

Great article, and way to go SteveO for taking appliance know-how and making it interesting! I've known about varying electrical rates for year but never put two and two together as you said:

"Many electric providers have rates available for different times of the day."

Makes a lot of sense, I'm forwarding this one to the wife LOL! Great article hombre.

Sandra Mireles from Texas on April 11, 2010:

Wow! This is something to think about, and I thought I knew a lot about it! Thanks for sharing.

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