Keeping Your Washer and Dryer Running Clean and Green

Clothes washers don’t require a great deal of maintenance, but doing the minimum helps reduce your water and energy use, making your carbon footprint lighter. The real energy hog is the dryer, and you can ensure it runs at peak efficiency, too.

Take these steps to make sure that your washer works properly:

  • Clean the lint filter regularly.

    Not every washing machine has a lint filter, but check and clean it if yours does.

  • Check the hoses and their connections to the machine and the faucet.

    Replacing worn washer hoses prevents leaks.

    Replacing worn washer hoses prevents leaks.

    Replace them at the first sign of wear (bulging, cracking, splitting, or leaking, for example) because a worn hose can burst, pumping a great deal of water out onto the floor very quickly.

To keep your dryer working at top efficiency (and top safety), take these steps:

  • Clean out the lint filter after each load.

  • Check the dryer vent that exits your home.

    Make sure that the vent isn’t blocked and that the flap operates freely.

  • Install wire screening over the outside vent.

    A wire screen keeps out critters.

    A wire screen keeps out critters.

    If the vent isn’t already screened, add screening to keep critters such as mice and squirrels out of the vent and therefore out of the house.