Energy Efficient Dryers – Simple Ways to Cut Your Electricity Bill

Dryers make laundry easy, saving you time and eliminating the need to hang your clothes on a line or rack outside. They do it by sucking in air and heating it before blowing it through the tumbler.

The type of material you’re drying determines what kind of dryer you need. Simple lab tests reveal considerable semiquantitative information about a material’s drying characteristics.
Saves Time

While manufacturers have boosted energy efficiency in washers and refrigerators over the past decades, dryers remain one of the most energy-intensive appliances. However, savvy consumers can use simple laundry practices to cut their electricity bills.

Using a lower heat setting saves energy and keeps clothes looking new longer. It also cuts drying time by allowing the load to finish with the existing heat rather than creating more of it. Separating heavier cottons from lighter fabrics helps them dry evenly, too.

Clothes dried outside or with the moisture-sensor setting on a dryer reduce energy usage. This option stops the cycle as soon as textiles reach their equilibrium moisture level, avoiding over-drying that creates static charge and shortens clothing life.

Cleaning the dryer lint trap before each cycle helps the appliance work more efficiently. Also, avoid running loads during peak demand times, when prices per kilowatt are highest. Peak planning isn’t just for laundry; it’s important for most major electrical appliances.
Prevents Damage

Dryers use a combination of heat and mechanical action to shrink and soften materials. However, this can damage fabrics and leave them susceptible to abrasion. This damage is most prevalent when dryers are operated at high temperatures and for long cycles. For this reason, it is best to choose a low temperature setting and short cycle duration.

Another common problem caused by dryers is static cling, which can result from the triboelectric effect of friction between fabric and metal. To prevent this, consider using a fabric conditioning product to dissipate static electricity.

It is also important to clean the dryer vent on a regular basis to ensure full air flow. This will help avoid lint buildup that causes dryer fires, which are responsible for close to 3,000 home fires and five deaths each year. To clean the duct, remove the lint filter and tube from the dryer and vacuum it. When finished, replace the tube and attach a new plastic vent cap to the wall attachment points.
Eliminates Lint

Even if you are very diligent in cleaning the lint trap and the dryer vent, a clogged vent can still allow lint to circulate over and over again. This circulating lint is the cause of more than 15,000 home fires each year.

Lint build-up can also make your dryer work harder to remove damp air. This can cause it to consume more energy than necessary, increasing your electricity bills.

It’s easy to prevent lint build-up by sorting laundry, separating dark colors from white and light colors, and turning clothes inside out before drying them. You can also clean your lint trap, dryer vent and the outside vent regularly. To do this, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner with a long hose attachment and an appliance brush. This is a task you should do at least once every six months. You may have to do it more often if you have pets or a very large family.
Saves Energy

Dryers use a lot of electricity, and can account for up to 12% of your home energy usage. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to keep your dryer running efficiently.

A good place to start is with a clean lint trap (especially if you’re using dryer sheets—they leave behind a film that can impede air flow over time). Also, be sure to scrub the moisture sensors (if your dryer has them) and the vent and duct every once in a while.

Another way to save is by choosing a lower heat setting and a longer cycle—both will use less energy than a higher heat setting and a shorter cycle. And, when possible, avoid using your dryer altogether by hanging clothes to dry outside or inside on a drying rack. You can even cut your energy costs by doing one or two loads of laundry per day during low-demand, off-peak hours. This can save a couple dollars per load, and add up to big savings over the course of a year.