When buying a new clothes dryer, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR certified clothes dryers use about 20% less energy than conventional models. Many have a moisture sensor that automatically adjusts the amount of heat being used and shuts off the dryer when the load is dry.
Several different types of dryers are available.
Gas dryers can cost less to operate, depending on local fuel costs, but may cost more initially. They require venting and a dedicated gas line, which can add to installation costs.
Electric dryers can be less expensive to purchase than other dryer options but may cost more to operate (again, depending on local rates). Ventless models are available, and most standard-size models require a 240 volt outlet.
Heat Pump Dryers
Heat pump dryers can save 20% to 60% more than conventional clothes dryers; consumers who use a dryer a lot and have high electricity rates have the greatest potential for cost savings. Heat pump dryers take in ambient air, heat it, and recirculate it in the dryer. Moisture is drained through a condenser to prevent heat loss. There is no need for a vent, but you will need a way to drain the water; sometimes the clothes washer drain can be used for this.
Visit energystar.gov for more information on each type of ENERGY STAR certified dryer and to compare models.
Clothes Dryer Tips
- When drying laundry, consider air-drying on clothes lines or drying racks.
- When you do use a clothes dryer, use lower heat settings even if the drying cycle is longer—you’ll use less energy and be less likely to over-dry your clothes.
- Dry towels and heavier cottons separate from lighter-weight clothes.
- Try using a cool-down cycle to allow clothes to finish drying with the heat remaining in the dryer.
- Prevent Fires
Reduce Risk of Fire
Thousands of clothes dryer fires are reported each year, and many are caused by failure to clean the dryer. Clean the lint screen after every load and periodically use the long nozzle tip on your vacuum cleaner to clean the lint screen slot to improve air circulation and reduce the risk of fire. Inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. Manufacturers recommend using rigid venting material— not plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.