It’s hard to imagine, but statistics show that the average home spends about $2,000 on energy alone every year. Clothes dryers account for about 6% of this amount, which makes them the biggest domestic energy consumers (1).
For a long time, clothes dryers weren’t subject to Energy Star rating because their energy efficiency remained virtually the same for years. In 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they’ll start rating clothes dryers based on a new requirement that recognizes gas, electric, and compact dryers that use approximately 20% less energy than the minimum requirements for 2015.
Are Energy Star-rated Dryers Worth it?
Energy Star certified clothes dryers use about 20% less energy compared to conventional models without compromising performance, which means they save about $215 in energy costs over their lifetime(2). (Here are more energy-saving gadgets.)
These dryers use cutting-edge energy-saving technologies, including moisture sensors that detect when your clothes are dry and automatically switch the dryer off. They also include other convenient features, such as steam cycles that prevent wrinkles and hence reduce ironing time.
Most major brands are following Clothes Dryers Energy Star Rating requirements. They include LG, Kenmore, GE, Samsung, Maytag, Whirlpool, and Electrolux.
In 2013, Kevin Dexter, who wasSamsung Electronics America’s senior vice president of home appliances sales and marketing at the time, said,
eco-efficient appliances are a must-have, and families want all of their appliances to play a role in reducing their impact on the environment(Samsung)
How To Maximize Your Dryer’s Energy Efficiency
Try the following tricks to get the most efficiency from your Energy Star certified clothes dryer.
Use Sensor Drying
Energy Star-rated dryers come equipped with moisture sensors that help minimize their energy consumption by automatically shutting off once the clothes are dry. For optimum energy efficiency, use sensor drying instead of timed drying.
Use Low Heat Setting
Prolonged drying cycles on a low heat setting consume less energy. It’s important to study your dryer’s owner’s manual to understand how different settings affect energy consumption.
Invest in a Washer/Dryer Pair
An Energy Star-rated washer/dryer pair can help you save more energy. Energy Star-rated clothes washers feature state-of-the-art technology and functionality to drain substantially more water out of your laundry in its final spin cycle compared to conventional models.
Consequently, it will be easier for your clothes to dry in an Energy Star-rated dryer using less heat. Less heat translates to increased energy savings and reduced wear and tear on your clothes due to over-drying.
How To Choose The Right Energy Efficient Clothes Dryer
Besides the Energy Star certification, there are several other factors to consider when shopping for an energy-efficient clothes dryer.
Electric Vs. Gas
There are two major types of energy-efficient clothes dryers – electric dryers and gas dryers. If you’re not using natural gas in your home, then an electric clothes dryer is an ideal choice.
If you’re using natural gas, then you should go for a gas dryer. Gas clothes dryers often cost more upfront but are cheaper to run. It won’t take you long to recoup the initial cost and save more money in the long term.
Size and Capacity
Before you go shopping for a clothes dryer, consider the space available in your home and the amount of laundry you do every week.
The dryer’s drum should be able to hold a full load of laundry while leaving some room for the free movement of hot air. According to Energy Star, you should buy a dryer with the same capacity as your washer so you don’t end up running your dryer constantly to compensate for a smaller capacity drum (2).
Some clothes dryers come equipped with special features to improve their efficiency, such as moisture sensors. This sensor turns the dryer off automatically when it detects that the clothes are dry. You may set your clothes to dry for 30 minutes, but the sensor will turn off the dryer after 20 minutes if it detects no moisture in the clothes.
A clothes dryer is the biggest consumer of energy in the average home. Fortunately, there are Energy Star certified dryers available on the market today that use 20% less energy than traditional models. They use cutting-edge technologies, such as moisture sensors, to help increase their efficiency. If you want to lower your energy costs, it’s time to trade in your old clothes dryer for an Energy Star certified dryer.