About 80 to 85 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is used to heat the water. To reduce this cost, use less water: wash full loads and use cooler water and cold-water detergents. Switching the temperature setting from hot to warm cuts a load’s energy use in half. If you are in the market for a new washer, look for the ENERGY STAR and read EnergyGuide labels. You can reduce drying costs as well: clean the lint filter after every load to improve air circulation, and don’t over-dry clothes. Use the cool-down cycle to allow clothes to finish drying with residual heat. Also, periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it’s not blocked. Consider buying a natural gas dryer; the cost per load is less than an electric dryer. Check out Laundry for more tips. This tip is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Energy and ISU Extension.