Even if you already know lots of ways to save on an electricity bill, do you know the best time to wash clothes? By “time,” we mean the time of day according to season. It’s an interesting point to consider because the best time for laundry changes from winter to summer to fall to spring. The good news is that it’s a simple little trick to learn.

When Is the Best Time To Wash Clothes?

In all, there are two major things to know when it comes to cutting your energy bill when you do the wash. The first is about choosing the best time of the day for the chore; the other is following some easy tips every time you wash your clothes.

Think of it like this: You can always save money by doing your wash during nonpeak energy times because electricity rates are lower during low-usage times. This same principle applies to the cost of many other things – from movie tickets to plane and hotel expenses. If you want to see a film at a movie theater on Saturday night at 7 p.m., for example, you’ll pay much more than if you attend a Tuesday afternoon showing. At “peak times,” the cost of tickets goes up. Or, check out airfare and hotel prices during holiday weekends. They’re at least 25 percent higher than during weekdays.

What’s the point? Well, it’s the same with running your washer and dryer. During high-use energy periods in the winter, meaning in the early morning hours when people click their heaters on to warm their houses, electricity costs more. So, you save a bundle by washing and drying clothes on winter evenings, when electricity usage is at a low level and rates are much lower.

In the warmer months, especially during the hottest weeks of summer, energy demand is exceptionally high in afternoons and early evenings when folks return home from work and switch on the air-conditioner. So, on hot days, do your laundry early in the morning, when energy demand is lower.

Here’s a quick reference listing for the best time to wash clothes based on the seasons

Winter: Do laundry late at night. While everyone else is sleeping and has their heaters off or in energy-saving mode, you can take advantage of lower electricity rates.

Spring: Wash and dry during the lowest-level of energy use in your local area: Springtime washing times for saving money depend mostly on where you live. If, for example, you reside far to the north and spring is more like winter, then do wash late at night.

Summer: Do laundry early in the morning: During the hottest months of the year, people don’t tend to run their air-conditioners early in the day. That’s when you can save serious money by doing your laundry in the middle of this “off-peak” period.

Fall: Wash and dry during the lowest-level of energy use in your local area. During the fall, you’ll need to see what your local area’s high and low energy-usage times are. Do your wash whenever the low-use time is.

How Can You Save Money When Doing the Laundry?

Besides following the guidelines above based on the smartest time of day to do laundry, there are some “universal” tips for saving energy while you wash clothes. These tips work any time of the day and in any season.

Here are some surefire ways to save electricity every time you do your laundry:

  • Opt for the “cold” setting: Most washing machines have “cold,” “warm,” and “hot” settings. Keep in mind that cold water is fine for cleaning 99 percent of all the items in your wash on most days. The only time you will need warm or hot is with grease stains, grass stains, or similar challenges. But, for everyday laundry, the cold setting will usually get the job done perfectly. Heating up water for a load of laundry means that your hot-water heater needs to work harder, use more electricity and, in the end, costs you more money. So, save up those problem loads in a separate basket and do them all at once on a warm or hot setting. You’ll probably find that you only need to do one warm or hot load per month.
  • Don’t “under-fill” loads. It’s common for people to under-fill their washers. Unfortunately, it costs you just as much to wash a small load as it does to wash a larger one. What’s the answer? Make sure your machine if full every time you do a load. Of course, be careful not to overload the washer. Filling it for every load will give you the best value for the energy you use. So, the next time you do the wash and end up with a few items that don’t make a full load, toss them in the hamper and do them on your next wash day when they can be part of a full machine load.
  • Hang-dry when possible. It’s always a good idea to hang-dry thick items like cotton towels, small rugs, and jackets. Hanging these items will get them just as dry and will save a significant amount of electricity during the dry cycle. Without heavy items in a dryer, it’ll only take about half the time to do a typical dryer load.
  • Keep filters clean. Cleaning the dryer filter after every load is one of the simplest ways to save money on your utility bill. Dirty filters block air flow and end up making the dryer less efficient. By throwing the lint away after each dry cycle, you’ll be allowing your machine to work at optimum efficiency.
  • Choose short wash cycles. For wash loads that aren’t too dirty, you can always opt for shorter time cycles. Most machines offer at least three lengths of time for wash: long, medium, and short. So, when a load consists of items that aren’t too dirty, try the “short” cycle on cold water to save the most money. Then, for dirtier loads, choose either medium or long cycles. That way, you’ll be using energy more efficiently every time to wash.

Putting All the Pieces Together

Figuring out how to save electricity bill is empowering. Just by adhering to a few simple suggestions, it’s possible to save big on utility bills. Remember to always wash at the right time of day in order to get low-cost electricity. Additionally, use the cold setting, opt for short cycles, and keep dryer filters clean to save more money year-round.

You can cut your laundry-related energy consumption by as much a 30 percent when you know when and how to select the most efficient strategies for getting your clothes clean and fresh.