While the majority of energy costs in the home may be attributed to the HVAC, the hot water heater and the washer and dryer also are top energy drains. According to Visual Capitalist, those laundry appliances account for 13 percent of the home’s energy use.
One way to cut down on energy waste and drains is to upgrade to an energy-efficient dryer (and washer) when it’s time to replace the old model. ENERGY STAR explains that homeowners can save more than $200 over the life of the appliance if they select an energy-efficient upgrade.
Assuming the dryer doesn’t need to be replaced for 10 years, homeowners can rack up about $20 a year in energy savings.
Is an Energy-Efficient Dryer Budget Friendly?
Energy-efficient appliances might be more expensive than their standard counterparts. However, energy-efficient models come in a range of prices, and the savings could offset the initial investment.
Homeowners looking for a new dryer should think about how much they want to spend on that new appliance, and check out different prices online to compare and find the best deal. Home Depot offers many different models and brands of energy-efficient dryers. There are models for less than $600, and size may impact price. Some homeowners need a smaller dryer to fit in a tight space, while others want a larger capacity dryer…and have the space to accommodate it.
Finding a dryer that fits the budget may require a bit of shopping around. Check out different home improvement big box stores and don’t forget about smaller local stores, too.
What is a Heat Pump Dryer?
ENERGY STAR advises consumers to consider a heat pump dryer. So what is this exactly? A heat pump dryer heats differently to dry clothes. These dryers use ambient air, heats it up and then recirculates it. ENERGY STAR explains that while a traditional dryer will release the moist air into the dryer vent and blow it outside, the heat pump dryer will actually remove the moisture from the air and drain it into an area of the dryer.
However, ENERGY STAR also notes that homeowners who are upgrading to a heat pump dryer will need to remove their old dryer vents. Since the heat pump dryer doesn’t use the vent system, that vent will just be a nuisance and a place where air can escape. Homeowners also may need a place for water drainage (if a drain can’t be installed). ENERGY STAR explains that there could be a way to allow the clothes washer to use this water, though.
Homeowners may need to talk to a pro about their options if they decide to install a heat pump dryer.
How to Make a Standard Dryer More Efficient
Some homeowners might not need a new dryer quite yet. If the old model still works, then homeowners may simply want to find ways to save energy with their current appliance.
Can homeowners make a dryer more energy efficient? To save energy, homeowners can make some little changes to ensure that they don’t needlessly drain energy on drying those loads. To help cut down on energy use from the clothes dryer, homeowners can:
Wait to dry full loads. However, loads shouldn’t be too full. This can put strain on the dryer. Loads that are too light can waste energy. So don’t just dry two pairs of pants!
Clean the lint trap. After each drying cycle, make sure to clean the lint out of the lint trap. The Building Performance Institute says that lint traps should be cleaned thoroughly (with a brush!) twice a year (every six months!). And homeowners may need to even clean it more frequently…depending on use.
Clean out the dryer vent. A clogged vent can be a fire hazard and it can strain the dryer. How does a homeowner know if the vent is clogged? The Building Performance Institute explains that clothes may not dry completely with one cycle, there could be an odor on clothes, also clothes could feel hot to the touch.
Take clothes out of the dryer after the cycle is complete. Homeowners get busy. It happens. However, leaving those clothes unattended and unfolded means they will wrinkle. Then homeowners might tumble them a second time to take out those wrinkles. Double-drying clothes is a waste of energy!
Homeowners who are in need of a new dryer might consider upgrading to an energy-efficient option. Over the life of the appliance, homeowners could save a few hundred dollars. However, even if homeowners don’t need to replace that appliance, there are ways to make sure that the dryer isn’t wasting energy and burning a hole in the electricity or gas budget! Taking steps to use that dryer more efficiently upgrading isn’t an option!