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Clothes dryers wash away your cash

The Center for a New American Dream (CNAD) in Takoma Park, Md., says only 15 percent of US households occasionally dry clothes on a line. That can mean only one thing: Americans love their clothes dryers.

The clothes dryer is the second-greatest electricity-user among home appliances (after the refrigerator). It costs an average family about $85 a year to run - about 50 cents an hour. The US Department of Energy says electric dryers cost, on average, $155 a year to run, compared with $42 for gas dryers. The CNAD says cold-water washing combined with line drying can save each household up to $163 a year.

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Another way to save money is to upgrade your washing machine. A more resource-efficient washing machine, says the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, can save consumers about 100,000 gallons of water and between $750 and $1,200 in energy and water bills during its lifetime.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society