How to spend less on your clothes dryer

Nothing in a home uses more power than a clothes dryer when it’s running. Most dryers use over 3000 watts when operating; some use over 5000 watts. (For comparison, an energy-efficient CFL or LED light uses about 13 watts.) A load a day will add $100 to your power bill over a year. But there are plenty of ways to reduce that:

  • Clean the lint screen after every load (scrub it every now and then if you use dryer sheets; they leave a film on the screen) and use your vacuum cleaner to clean underneath the screen periodically, to keep air moving easily through the dryer
  • Periodically clean the vent pipe that leads from the back of your dryer to the outdoors, and inspect the outlet for lint or other obstructions
  • Don’t overdry clothes: if your dryer has an automatic moisture sensor, use it. And use a cool down cycle to allow residual heat to finish drying clothes; some dryers do that automatically on certain cycles (IE permanent press)
  • Do loads consecutively to take advantage of remaining heat from an earlier load
  • Dry full – but not overfull – loads
  • Use dryer balls (or even tennis balls) to allow air to move more freely between clothes as they tumble, allowing them to dry faster
  • Dry lighter materials separately from heavier materials; they’ll be dry much sooner that way
  • Don’t add wet clothes to loads that are already partially dried
  • Remove clothes from the dryer while they are still slightly damp to save energy and reduce the need for ironing

And for 100% savings, use a drying rack or a clothesline! (A bonus: clothes tend to last longer that way too!)