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Choose an energy-efficient dryer

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All dryers require similar amounts of energy to operate. In fact, because of the similarity in energy consumption among most dryers, ENERGY STAR doesn't label these appliances at all.

There are, however, two types of dryers that can use less energy than others:

  • A dryer with a moisture sensor will sense the wetness of a load of laundry and shut off when the load is dry. Rather than remaining on for a set period of time, moisture sensors ensure your machine stays on only as long as needed, resulting in decreased energy consumption and reduced wear-and-tear on clothes.
  • Gas dryers, on average, use 60 percent less energy and dry clothes 40 percent faster than electric models.[1]

How to choose an energy-efficient dryer

Check the product literature on hand at the appliance store, visit a dryer manufacturer's website, refer to a product ratings website, or check out GY's list of the most efficient dryers to find more efficient dryers. Look for a dryer's Modified Energy Factor (MEF), sometimes also referred to as Energy Factor (EF), in the product information or on the manufacturer's website. The higher this number, the more efficient the dryer.

When choosing a more efficient dryer, keep this in mind: The most efficient dryers have a moisture sensor in the drum. Others infer dryness by sensing the temperature of the exhaust air, which isn’t as sensitive to changing moisture levels. However, these dryers are still more efficient than the lowest-cost models, which simply use a time-dry setting.

Find it! Energy-efficient dryers

Moisture sensors are available on about half of the dryers currently on the market. Compared to dryers without moisture sensors, which run from $300 to $1,100, dryers with moisture sensors start around $400 and top out at $1,500. Although a dryer with a moisture sensor might cost more up-front, you will save money on energy bills throughout the life of the machine as it dries laundry more efficiently.

Gas dryers generally cost more than electric models—about $50 more on average. However, depending on the geographic region in which you live, a gas dryer is often less expensive to operate than an electric model. A typical load of laundry dried via electricity costs 30 to 40 cents, compared to 15 to 20 cents using gas.[2]

Choosing an energy-efficient dryer helps you go green because…

  • A dryer with moisture-sensing controls uses 15 percent less energy than a model that only has a time-dry setting.[3]
  • Gas dryers, on average, use 60 percent less energy and dry clothes 40 percent faster than electric models.[1]
  • Reduced energy consumption decreases the amount of climate changing emissions created. The energy needed to power the average dryer generates nearly 7 pounds of greenhouse gases per load of laundry.[4]

Subsidies and tax credits

Many states offer tax incentives and rebates to consumers to encourage them to purchase efficient appliances, some of which give rebates specifically for gas dryers that replace electric models. To check which states have such a program, go to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency



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