- Check for the highest energy factor number when comparing different models. Remember that there are two costs to an appliance - the initial purchase price, and the cost of operating that appliance over the many years you own it.
- Know whether your laundry room has gas or electricity hookups. If you need to add a gas line and a vent to operate a gas dryer, you may spend more on adding the hookup than you'll save with the cheaper operating cost of gas.
- Look for a clothes dryer with a moisture sensor that automatically shuts off the machine when your clothes are dry. Not only does this save energy; it reduces wear and tear on clothes caused by over-drying.
The best dryers have moisture sensors in the drum for sensing dryness, while most only estimate dryness by sensing the temperature of the exhaust air. Compared with timed drying, you can save about 10 percent with a temperature sensing control, and 15 percent 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.
Here are ways to cut the amount of energy and money you spend drying clothes:
- Locate your dryer in a heated space. Putting it in a cold or damp basement or an unheated garage 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. Flexible vinyl duct isn't recommended because it restricts the airflow, 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 heat.
- Use the cool-down cycle (perma-press cycle) to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
Article originally posted on http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/