The Energy-Efficient Dryer Buyer’s Guide

By Kyle Stuart

The everyday clothes dryer has entered a new era, where smart features and advanced technology make new models more functional and efficient than ever. You’ll see this in the lineup of ENERGY STAR® certified dryers, which are designed to use less energy than conventional units — and can lead to savings on your electric bill.

Whether you’re working with a small space, looking to do a lot of laundry for your family or going for maximum efficiency, this guide will help you find an energy-efficient dryer that fits your home. Plus, you’ll get tips on how to find rebates and get the most out of your new dryer.

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TYPES OF ENERGY STAR CERTIFIED DRYERS

Standard ENERGY STAR certified dryers are efficient, thanks to features like moisture sensors and auto-shutoff technology. But if you’re looking to maximize your energy savings, hybrid and heat pump dryers — which are certified ENERGY STAR Most Efficient — should be at the top of your list.

WHAT IS A HEAT PUMP DRYER?

Simply put, heat pump dryers are super-efficient units that dry laundry by recirculating hot air — like a refrigerator, but in reverse.

Watch this video to see a heat pump dryer in action:

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HEAT PUMP DRYERS VS. CONVENTIONAL DRYERS

Heat pump dryers are more than just marvels of efficiency. They’re also easy to install, inexpensive to run and dry laundry at low temperatures.

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Since heat pump dryers reuse heat typically wasted by a standard electric dryer, they can cut your dryer’s energy footprint in half. Aside from being more efficient than conventional electric dryers, heat pump dryers can also be installed in more places around the house because they are compact and do not need to be vented. Plus, hybrid and heat pump dryers are available in a range of sizes, so whether you’re working with a tight space or need extra capacity, you can find a model that fits your home.

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT DRYER FOR YOU

Now it’s time to think about what kind of dryer will work best for you. Start by considering where in your home you plan to do laundry, the size of the laundry loads you’ll be doing, and the features that best meet your needs.

If you’re working with a small space…

Choose an ENERGY STAR Most Efficient certified heat pump dryer. These are compact and super-efficient, so they can be installed in tight spaces and even stacked with a compact washing machine. And since these models don’t require a vent, they can be installed in any room with electricity and a water source — making them a great choice for tiny homes, ADUs and additions.

If you do a lot of laundry…

Consider an ENERGY STAR certified full-size hybrid dryer. These have larger drums, which means more capacity, and the hybrid heat pump technology gives you more flexibility. Use the eco option to save energy while you’re doing lots of laundry, or the speed option to dry your clothes quicker. There are even ventless hybrid models, which can be installed in any room with electricity and a water source.

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Full-size hybrid dryers are available from trusted brands like Whirlpool and LG.

If you want smart features…

All three types of ENERGY STAR certified dryers contain moisture sensors, which can help save time and energy. But the features don’t stop there — take a look, and you’ll find models with anti-wrinkle technology, smart settings, and even remote smartphone control.

GET YOUR REBATE

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You’re not the only one who’s going to love your new heat pump dryer. In fact, your local electric utility may offer a rebate for switching to a dryer that uses less energy.

Check with your electric utility for more information about rebates and requirements.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HEAT PUMP DRYER

These tips will ensure you’re making the most of your new ENERGY STAR Most Efficient heat pump dryer.

  • Pair your dryer with a front-load ENERGY STAR certified washer, which removes significantly more water from your laundry during the final spin cycle, for maximum efficiency
  • Use the sensor setting to stop your dryer as soon as your laundry is done
  • Your heat pump dryer already uses relatively low heat compared to a standard electric dryer — using the lowest heat setting makes it even more efficient
  • Regular maintenance, including cleaning the filters, keeps your dryer running efficiently and improves its lifespan

With options that range from compact to full-sized, and with features like ventless and smart settings, you can be sure there’s an ENERGY STAR certified dryer that will work for you.

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