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Energy Saving Dryers
About Dryer Efficiency:
The clothes dryer
is typically the second-biggest electricity-using appliance after the
refrigerator, costing about $85 to operate annually. A typical clothes dryer
will cost $1,100 to operate over its lifetime. Some new clothes dryers
remove moisture more efficiently, have moisture sensors, and have automatic
shut-off controls to avoid over-drying.
Tips for Lowering Your
Dryer Energy Usage:
Locate the dryer in a heated space. Putting it in a cold or damp basement
will make the dryer work harder and less efficiently.
Make sure your dryer is vented properly. If you vent the exhaust outside,
use the straightest and shortest metal duct available. Do not use flexible
vinyl duct because it restricts the air flow, can be crushed, and may not
withstand high temperatures from the dryer.
Check the outside dryer exhaust vent periodically. If it doesn't close
tightly, replace it with one that does to keep the outside air from
leaking in. This will reduce heating and cooling bills.
Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air
circulation. Regularly clean the lint from vent hoods.
Dry only full loads, as small loads are less economical; but do not
overload the dryer.
When drying, separate your clothes and dry similar types of clothes
together. Lightweight synthetics, for example, dry much more quickly than
bath towels and natural fiber clothes.
Dry two or more loads in a row, taking advantage of the dryer's retained
Use the cool-down cycle (perma-press cycle) to allow the clothes to finish
drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
Tips for Buying
a New Dryer:
Look for a clothes dryer with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts
off the machine when your clothes are dry. Not only will this save energy,
it will reduce the wear and tear on clothes from over-drying.
The best dryers have moisture sensors in the drum for sensing dryness,
while most only infer dryness by sensing the temperature of the exhaust
air. Compared with timed drying, you can save about 10% with a temperature
sensing control, and 15% with a moisture sensing control.
Look for a dryer with a cycle that includes a cool-down period, sometimes
known as a "perma-press" cycle. In the last few minutes of the cycle, cool
air, rather than heated air, is blown through the tumbling clothes to
complete the drying process.
Gas dryers are less expensive to operate than electric dryers. The cost of
drying a typical load of laundry in an electric dryer is 30-40 cents
compared to 15-20 cents in a gas dryer.
U.S. EPA's Energy Star Program
and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power