Tumble dryers are one of life’s luxuries that attract controversy. Unless it is raining or too cold, the zero carbon and zero cost option to dry clothes is to hang them on an outside line or indoor drying rack.
Money saving tips
Air drying washed clothes
Using an outdoor line or indoor rack will save energy, money and reduce fabric wear.
Using an average 2.5kw tumble dryer for 1 hour costs about 84p.
If you use the tumble dryer 150 times a year, it would cost you £128
But put those clothes on a line or clothes horse and you save £128 = 113kg CO₂
Heat pump condenser dryers
A heat pump condenser tumble dryer may cost more than a standard condenser dryer to buy but could give you electricity savings of up to 50%. If used 150 times a year for 1 hour this could add up to savings of £64 = 70kg CO₂.
A++ rated tumble dryers
An A++ rated tumble dryer may use 230 kWh of electricity per annum compared to a C rated model which may use 580 kWh. The potential cost saving per annum is £118 = 165kg CO₂.
Gas burner tumble dryers are much more cost effective than electric units and are becoming more popular for use in the home, usually they are found in laundries.
The moisture sensor automatically stops the drier when the clothes are dry. Dryers with a ‘cool-down’ period also save energy.
Choose a ‘perma press’ (cool-down) cycle. No heat is supplied in the last few minutes, but drying continues as cool air is blown through the tumbling clothes.
Electric heat pump tumble dryer
Very efficient as they recycle the heat from the ventilation tube back into the dryer, but take away the water vapour from the air.
Buy a tumble dryer with the best energy rating you can. The most efficient models carry the A++ grade, the least efficient C.
Choose longest lifetime guarantee
Choose a tumble dryer which lasts the longest with the lowest power requirements – this might cost more initially but may save you money over the lifetime of the appliance.
Fill your tumble dryer
Fill your tumble dryer and carry out all your drying in one go to save energy and reduce cost.
Dry multiple loads back to back
Dry multiple loads back to back because the dryer takes time and energy to warm up to drying temperature.
Use auto-dryer function
Use auto-dry rather than a timed cycle to reduce the chance of wasted energy.
Keep the dryer exhaust vent clear
Keep the dryer exhaust vent on the outside of the house clean and clear of cobwebs and lint. If the movable shutters are blocked they will allow cold air, heat and insects to enter the vent when the dryer is not operating, reducing efficiency.
Do not overload your dryer
Overloading the dryer lengthens drying time. Clothes should be dry in a maximum of 40 minutes to 1 hour.