Living in an apartment is more convenient when you have an in-unit washer and dryer. Not only does it save you the time and effort of carrying your laundry to a laundry facility, but it can also save money.
When doing laundry in a laundry facility (laundry room or laundromat), you must pay for each load. The amount varies, depending on the location and the owner’s cost of maintaining the machines. One washing machine load can range from $1.25 to $1.75. Dryers vary quite a bit. Some are a flat rate for a fixed number of minutes, with prices ranging from $1.00 to $2.00. Others cost $0.25 for the first fifteen minutes, with ten minutes added to the initial time for each additional quarter. When drying bulky items, like heavy towels, the cost of a load can be high.
With an in-unit washer and dryer, your per load costs are less. In most apartments, water is included in the rent, so you won’t have to worry about using it to run your washing machine. For apartment dwellers, the most common expense associated with an in-unit washer and dryer is the cost of electricity. The current average cost of electricity in the U.S. is $0.12 per kWh (kilowatt hour). A typical top-loading washing machine uses approximately 0.256 kWh per load, making the cost of one load about $0.03. Front-loading washers use 30-85% less electricity than top-loaders. Using national averages, it is easy to see that in-unit laundry cost is lower, less than $1.00 per load (including water) versus laundry facilities, which range from $2.25 to $3.75 per load.
A less obvious type of savings with an in-unit washer and dryer is your time (which is money). Going to a laundry facility takes time out of your day that could be spent doing something more profitable. Before you go to a laundry facility, you must gather your laundry, detergent and quarters. If the laundry facility isn’t in your building, you must factor in the time to travel back and forth, and unlike a laundry room in your apartment building, you usually don’t have the luxury of returning to your apartment while your clothes are in the machine. In this scenario, it’s hard to use your laundry time productively.
An in-unit washer and dryer allows more flexible timing of a load. There is no need to factor in travel time or fit doing laundry into your schedule. You can do something else while your clothes are being washed. Overstuffing the machines to reduce costs or save time is unnecessary. Laundry can be easily sorted and a load can be done whenever you have accumulated enough laundry to fill the machine.
Another benefit of an in-unit washer and dryer is energy conservation. Since you don’t have to wait to use the dryer, loads can be timed back-to-back to utilize the heat already in the dryer from the previous load. When the dryer timer sounds, you can fold clothes immediately to cut down on ironing, saving more electricity.
In short, efficient use of an in-unit washer and dryer offers lower laundry costs while maximizing the use of your time.