What you need to know about energy-efficient dryers
Arguably one of the best things about living in Australia is our temperate climate. With the abundance of sunshine in our beautiful country, a clothes dryer is usually more of a complement to the trusty clothes line. After all, sunshine and a light breeze cost nothing. But in our modern, rushed lifestyles, a clothes dryer can be a real lifesaver. It’s especially handy when a school uniform needs to be washed and dried in a hurry.
When you have to choose a new clothes dryer, you may want to consider:
- how often you will have to use your clothes dryer
- the impact of the dryer on your electricity bill
- the types of items you will be drying in it
- the ventilation and space needed in your laundry
- your environmental footprint
Which clothes dryer is best for me?1
Clothes dryers remove moisture from wet laundry by moving heated air through the fabric. Some use different technologies, and some offer more sophisticated features. Your personal circumstances will determine which is best for you.
Vented clothes dryers pump hot, humid air into the surrounding area to remove moisture from the clothes. It is usually cheap to buy, but more expensive to operate.
A condenser clothes dryer uses a heat exchanger to condense the moisture. It tends to be more expensive than a vented dryer, but it is a little more versatile because it doesn’t need as much ventilation.
Heat pump condenser clothes dryers work in the same way as a reverse cycle air conditioner. It may be a more expensive purchase, but it uses less energy than a vented dryer of the same size.
Gas clothes dryers use natural gas instead of conventional electric heaters, but they work in the same way. They tend to have a higher price tag, but they are quite cost effective to run.
How can you identify an energy-efficient dryer?
Regularly using your clothes dryer out of convenience can quickly skyrocket your electricity bill. Buying the most energy efficient dryer is a great way to keep your energy use to a minimum, if you have to use it all the time. You may even qualify for government incentives when you buy energy star rated dryers.2
You can identify the most energy-efficient electric clothes dryer by comparing the efficiency rating of similar capacity dryers by the amount of stars. A 5kg clothes dryer with five stars will be much more efficient than a 5kg machine with 2 stars.3
How much energy does a dryer use?
Clothes dryers and other products that are covered by energy-efficiency regulations have to meet certain requirements to receive an Energy Rating Label and Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) approval.
You can use the Energy Rating Label to calculate more or less how much energy the clothes dryer will use. Simply multiply the kWh figure indicated on the label of your appliance by the cost of your local electricity per unit for an indication.4
4 tips to save energy on dryer use
- Choose the most energy-efficient clothes dryer you can afford.
- Use the highest spin speed on your washing machine to extract as much moisture as you can.
- Clean out the lint filter after every load.
- Air dry your laundry whenever possible.
The final word
Regularly using a clothes dryer can send your energy bill skyrocketing. But with Australia’s varying winter climate, they can be a lifesaver in the colder months. By investing in an energy-efficient clothes dryer, you can dry your clothes on rainy days while reducing your energy and your greenhouse gas emissions.
- "Clothes dryer buying guide - CHOICE." https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/laundry-and-cleaning/dryers/buying-guides/clothes-dryers. Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
- "Clothes dryers - Victorian Energy Saver." 31 Jul. 2017, https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/victorian-energy-upgrades/products-available/clothes-dryers. Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
- "Clothes dryers | Energy Rating." http://www.energyrating.gov.au/products/clothes-dryers. Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.
- "Dryers | Energy Rating." http://www.energyrating.gov.au/dryers. Accessed 7 Dec. 2017.