How Much Energy Does a Clothes Dryer Use?
Compared to most of the appliances around your home, dryers probably consumes a lot of energy. This is true of most heat-producing appliances like your furnace, water heater and oven.
All dryers use electricity to power a motor that turns the drum and a fan that blows hot air. Some modern models may also use a tiny bit of electricity for digital displays and control panels. But most of a dryer’s energy goes into producing heat, and this is done with either electricity or natural gas.
Do dryers use a lot of power?
Yes, though they do so over a shorter period of time than many other popular appliances.
For example, let’s compare your dryer to your TV, which (if relatively new) will use between 100-300 watts. Your TV could cost you a tenth of what your dryer costs you in the same period. The average time a TV is on in the US is 4.5 hours a day – that means in a week, your TV will be on for around 31.5 hours.
- 31.5 x 200 watts = 6300 watts.
So, a week’s worth of evening TV watching will cost you around the same as 2 hours of dryer use.
Cost-Saving Dryer Tips
Calculating your dryer usage show how much it costs to operate your dryer under perfect operating conditions. You can expect that an older, poorly maintained, or non-Energy Star-rated dryer may have higher costs. These other tips will help you keep costs down:
- Empty your lint screen after each load and clean out the outside dryer vent a couple of times a year. Lint clogs lower a dryer’s efficiency and drives up costs. Most importantly, it can cause a fire.
- Always dry a full load; smaller loads waste energy.
- If your dryer is taking too long to dry a load of clothes by requiring repeat cycles to dry a load, make sure you’re not overfilling the dryer. Clothes need room to tumble around to dry. If you are using your dryer correctly, consult your owner’s manual to troubleshoot the problem or get your dryer serviced.
- Whenever possible, use lower-heat dryer settings. Newer dryers use significantly less energy to dry most typical loads on low heat than on high heat. Even if the dryer runs a little longer, it is more economical to let the clothes run longer on low heat. It’s also gentler on clothes.