Energy: how to save money with your washing machine?

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With a washing machine, the question of water and energy consumption quickly arises. If manufacturers have progressed to make them more durable, there are simple gestures to keep them longer, relieve the bill for the planet and perhaps cheat planned obsolescence.

The first instinct would be to buy a washing machine that meets the needs of the household: no need to take a machine with a capacity of 8kg if only two people use it – in this case a capacity of 5kg is more suitable. In addition, it is advisable to refer to its energy label: an A-certified machine will consume much less than a lower quality one, labeled G.

When washing, it is advisable to respect the load capacity: this allows, according to the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe) to “avoid damaging the axis of the drum, the bearings or even the electronic board”, while reducing the frequency of washing. In addition, more detergent means more rinsing: it is therefore useless to add more than necessary, especially since the detergent is difficult to dilute once it arrives in the treatment plants. For the most motivated, it is possible to make your own detergent. Note that pre-washing, with new machines, is less and less useful.

Finally, it is more economical to use the “eco” program (if possible) and to prefer low temperatures (even cold washing). To prevent the drum from being damaged, it is always a good idea to check the pockets of clothing to see if a small object has slipped in. For those who benefit from a peak/off-peak rate, and if the “delayed start” option is available on the machine, washing between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. can also reduce the bill.

Ademe recommends carrying out a few checks once a month, and starting a high-temperature cycle (60 or 90°C) empty or with tea towels. Cleaning the filter, the detergent drawer and the door seal at this rate is recommended to avoid mold, clogging or the risk of leaks. It is also recommended to descale the washing machine once to three times a year (with white vinegar, for example), and to check the water inlet pipes and filters once or twice a year. In the event of a breakdown, it is better to favor the repair rather than the purchase of a new machine.

When drying, skipping the dryer and drying your laundry in the open air is the most economical and ecological solution. If that’s not possible, the advice for the washing machine applies: run your machine full, during off-peak hours, and clean the filter regularly.