Clothes dryers can consume a lot of electricity when used regularly, but an energy efficient model with a high star rating can reduce running costs and save the environment.
Just over half of Victorian households own a clothes dryer and approximately 74,000 new dryers are purchased in Victoria each year. An average load of washing costs around 44 cents to dry, so choosing an energy efficient model can reduce your running costs.
There are two basic types of electric dryers – heat pump dryers and conventional clothes dryers.
Heat pump clothes dryers operate in a similar way to a reverse-cycle air conditioner – they use a heat pump to heat the air. They also recover heat from the warm, moist air from clothes and condense out the moisture.Heat pump clothes dryers are the most efficient dryers and have high efficiency ratings.
Conventional vented dryers use an electric element to heat air to dry clothes and are the least efficient kind of dryer.Conventional auto-sensing dryers that are condensing are preferred to vented dryers, however they’re still significantly less efficient than heat pump dryers.
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. The table below provides estimated running costs for different types of clothes dryers, based on star rating and capacity.
How we calculated the costs
Calculations assume and electricity tariff of 31.9c/kWh, based on typical Melbourne tariff. This does not include any pay-on-time discount, which would reduce the amount paid. Greenhouse Gas emissions in kg of carbon dioxide equivalent. The greenhouse coefficient used is 1.18 kilograms per kilowatt hour of electricity used.
Studies of clothes dryer usage show that the actual average load of washing dried is much less than the rated capacity of the dryers. We have assumed the actual load is 3% of the rated load capacity. The annual energy consumption and running costs based on assumed load of 1.4kg for 4kg dryers, 2.1kg for 6kg dryers and 2.8kg for 8kg dryers.
The Energy rating label makes it easy for you to consider the energy efficiency of appliances. The more stars, the more energy efficient the appliance is. All new appliances available for sale in Australia must display the Energy rating label.If you're comparing appliances for energy efficiency, they must be of the same type, that is, similar in capacity and features.When choosing an appliance, you should compare annual energy consumption figures (kWh per year). The model with the lowest annual energy use will be the cheapest to run.The Energy rating label is administered by the Equipment Energy Efficiency program, which is a cross-jurisdictional program through which the Australian Government, states and territories and the New Zealand government collaborate to deliver a single, integrated program on energy efficiency standards and energy labelling for equipment and appliances.
For a combined washer-dryer, check the Water rating label to confirm the water efficiency rating of the appliance, and to ensure the product is registered for sale in Australia.
Dry your clothes outside when possible. Fresh air and sunshine can help kill bacteria and dust mites, and may even help fade stains.
If you’re going to use your dryer regularly, look for a model with an auto-sensing feature. Auto-sensing prevents over-drying, which saves electricity and is also better for your clothes. Make sure your dryer is vented to the outside so the moisture doesn't make the house damp, and clean the lint filter after each load.
Thoroughly spin-dry the clothes in your washing machine first. It takes a lot less electricity to spin water out of clothes than it does to heat it out.
Whitegoods are generally made of valuable metals and plastics. These can be recycled to conserve resources, prevent toxic materials such as heavy metals from contaminating the environment and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases created in the production of new materials. Contact your council about recycling whitegoods.