Energy efficient clothes dryers

Around 54% of households in Victoria own a clothes dryer, but how often and how long they are used varies widely.

Some households dry every load of washing using their clothes dryers, while other households rarely use them. If you tend to use your clothes dryer more often than not, it’s important to choose the most energy efficient model that’s suitable for your household.

Choosing an energy efficient clothes dryer

If you’re looking to purchase an electric clothes dryer, choose a model with at least a 2 star energy rating.

Dryer energy rating labels

energy rating label clothes dryer

The star rating is shown in the red band at the top of the label and can range from 1 to 6 stars. The more stars, the more energy efficient the clothes dryer will be and the lower its running costs.

To compare dryer models with the same energy star rating, refer to the energy consumption boxes in the middle of the labels. This will show you the annual energy use of the model when used once week.

You can also visit the Energy Rating website to search for and compare the energy efficiency of different dryers.

New dryer technology

Consider one of the newer clothes dryer technologies on the market.

Combined washer-dryers

As their name indicates, these machines are a clothes washer and dryer in one. Be sure to look out for the two energy rating labels on combined washer dryers, as these labels detail the efficiency of the product as both a washing machine and clothes dryer. Note that their load capacity for drying clothes is only about half of the load capacity for washing clothes. These machines are an ideal option for households that are short on space.

Heat pump clothes dryers

These clothes dryers use a heat pump to produce hot air, and operate similarly to reverse-cycle air conditioners when heating. These machines are highly efficient, as they condense moisture from being expelled and recover heat to dry the load. Heat pump dryers use less than half the energy of conventional electric clothes dryers, and are worth considering if you use an electric dryer frequently.

Gas clothes dryers

These clothes dryers use gas to heat air, and therefore need to be connected to a gas supply. Although they are more expensive to purchase upfront, their running costs are much cheaper as they operate using natural gas. Gas clothes dryers are a good option for households that use their dryer frequently.

Clothes dryer running costs

Most clothes dryers have a low star rating of 2 stars or less, but efficient heat pump models and gas clothes dryers are available at a lower running cost.

Clothes dryer running costs

Average times used per week*

Clothes dryer type

Star Rating

Annual Energy Cost+

4 kg load capacity

 

 

 

1

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$55.00

1.5

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$82.00

3

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$164.00

1

Heat pump

6 stars

$22.00

1.5

Heat pump

6 stars

$34.00

3

Heat pump

6 stars

$67.00

1

Gas dryer

-

$16.00

1.5

Gas dryer

-

$24.00

3

Gas dryer

-

$49.00

6 kg load capacity

 

 

 

1

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$82.00

1.5

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$123.00

3

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$246.00

1

Heat pump

6 stars

$34.00

1.5

Heat pump

6 stars

$50.00

3

Heat pump

6 stars

$101.00

1

Gas dryer

-

$24.00

1.5

Gas dryer

-

$36.00

3

Gas dryer

-

$73.00

8 kg load capacity

 

 

 

1

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$109.00

1.5

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$164.00

3

Standard electric

1.5 stars

$328.00

1

Heat pump

6 stars

$53.00

1.5

Heat pump

6 stars

$79.00

3

Heat pump

6 stars

$158.00

* Average use in Victoria is around 78 times per year or 1.5 times per week.

+ Energy costs are based on an average electricity tariff of 28 c/kWh and an average natural gas tariff of 1.7 c/MJ.

Use your dryer more efficiently

The following tips can help you to use your dryer more efficiently.

  • Clean the filter before each use.
  • Keep the surrounding area ventilated to minimise humidity.
  • Don't mix heavy and lightweight clothing together.
  • Dry several loads one after the other to make use of the heat in the machine from the previous load.
  • Don’t overload the dryer.
  • Dry all of your washing on an outside line whenever the weather is dry.
  • Consider a heat pump or a gas dryer, especially if you use your clothes dryer frequently.
  • Look for models with auto sensors that can help you to avoid over-drying.
  • Leave a window open when drying, or even install a venting kit, as this will expel moist air directly outside.

Make a Smarter Choice

smarter choice logo

The Smarter Choice retail program provides helpful and actionable advice on energy efficient clothes dryers. Find your nearest retailer to take that next step towards being a more energy efficient household.

Download the Smarter Choice fact sheet on washers and dryers below.

Document | PDF | 119KB
Fact sheet: Washing machines and dryers