Household laundry is one of the biggest sources of energy cost for homeowners, and there are roughly 14 million households using electricity to dry clothes.
If you’re one of those who plan to use a tumble dryer over the coming months, below we have a handful of helpful tips which will save you money and energy consumption, at the same time as ensuring your laundry dries.
- Select the fastest spin mode on your washing machine to limit the amount of time your clothes are in the tumble dryer. Keep in mind, tumble dryers use considerably more energy than a washing machine.
- Keep your tumble dryer filters clean and free from lint. Tumble dryer guides advise to clean the filters after every use, and by doing so you can help keep your tumble dryer working efficiently as the air flow will not be impeded, meaning the appliance will not need to work as hard to dry clothes nor will it take as long to dry clothes.
- Avoid drying small loads at a time. Although a second consecutive drying load will take less time to dry, drying larger loads at once will use less electricity and therefore cost you less money.
- Dry similar fabrics together, as this will help reduce drying time and ensure a more even dry.
- Reduce drying time by up to 25% by adding tumble dryer balls in with your load. Not only are tumble dryer balls a natural way to soften fabrics, but they also lift and separate the laundry allowing the hot air to flow more efficiently, which speeds up the drying time – making your tumble dryer more energy efficient.
- Untangle your laundry before putting it into the tumble dryer. Large knots / tangled laundry takes longer to dry – and is often more difficult to dry – so you need to make sure there aren’t any tangles before you place your laundry in the appliance for drying.
- Fasten the bottom of duvet covers before placing them into the tumble dryer, as this will prevent smaller items becoming trapped and not drying.
- Choose the correct drying setting on your tumble dryer. Many modern dryers come with an automated setting and whilst this may seem like a good function, in reality it is likely to use more energy as your appliance will continue to tumble after the clothes are dry to remove creases.
- By choosing a manual setting, you won’t be unnecessarily using more heat to dry your clothes. In fact, it is recommended to bring your clothes out of the tumble dryer when they are still slightly damp, as this will make them easier to iron.
- Avoid adding wet clothes mid-drying cycle. Not only will this add to the time it takes for your laundry to dry, but it can also increase the risk of the thermostat on the appliance tripping.
- Consider the placement of your tumble dryer, as this can impact on its drying time. If your tumble dryer is placed in a damp room which traps condensation, it will increase the drying time, which is why – where possible – you need to place your tumble dryer in a room which is warm.
- Placing it in a warm room will mean the appliance doesn’t need to work as hard to heat up, if this isn’t possible place it in a room where a window can be opened, so fresh air can circulate.
Along with following the tips above, when using a tumble dryer, selecting the right model for your needs and requirements in the first place can help you save energy and money every time you use the appliance.
Key to selecting the right tumble dryer for your home includes selecting the right:
- Drum Size
- Energy Rating
Tumble Dryer Type:
There are 3 common types of tumble dryer within the UK:
- Vented – these use a hose to expel the damp air produced as a result of the drying process. Due to this, they can often use more energy to dry your laundry making them more expensive to use.
- Condenser – these separate water from the moist air, which is then emptied after drying or pumped out by a waste pipe. Due to not needing a vent hose, the heat is kept in the appliance, meaning they don’t need to use as much energy to dry.
- Heat Pump – such tumble dryers conserve the hot air created and reuse it, making them a lot more energy efficient compared to other types of tumble dryer. However, it is worth noting that they are more expensive to purchase.
When it comes to selecting a drum size, the options available are usually between:
- Large – offers a capacity of 8kg upwards
- Average – offers a capacity between 6kg to 7kg
- Compact – offers a capacity between 3kg and 5kg
And whilst bigger may seem better, as touched upon above if you cannot fill your drum you will be wasting energy, and therefore money, when using the appliance.
To ensure you’re getting a drum size which covers the needs and requirements of your home, you need to consider how much laundry you’re likely to need drying at any one time, and for the average household a drum which has a capacity between 6kg and 7kg will suffice.
As with all large household appliances, tumble dryers come with an EU standard energy rating, which indicates how energy efficient the appliance is. The energy ratings of tumble dryers vary between A+++ and G, although most are C rated – and we obviously recommend opting for the highest rated tumble dryer your budget can stretch to.
By following the advice outlined above, you will be able to save energy and money in both the short and long term when using your tumble dryer. The following tips will also help you to effectively dry your laundry, even when it isn’t possible to hang it out on the line.