Appliances and equipment can have a significant impact on home energy consumption. Upgrading to modern, energy-efficient dryer and washer models can help lower electric bills while delivering other benefits, such as longer equipment life and reduced maintenance costs.
Heat Pump Dryers
Efficient, all-electric heat pumps aren’t just for water heating and home heating and cooling – they’re also used in clothes dryers.
Heat pump clothes dryers provide several economic, environmental, and practical benefits for New Yorkers.
How Heat Pump Clothes Dryers Work
Heat pump dryers extract moisture from clothes and linens by moving thermal energy within a self-contained system. Instead of expelling warm air and moisture through an exhaust vent, heat pump dryers use refrigerant and a condenser to continually recycle air and collect moisture while drying clothes.
This closed-loop system gives heat pump dryers superior efficiency, as conventional dryers use electric coils or gas burners to heat air inside the dryer – a process that wastes considerable energy as hot air is continually let out through the exhaust vent.
Heat pump dryers are easy to use, but there’s some maintenance to keep in mind for optimal efficiency. Models typically have a second lint trap to protect the dryer coils from any dust or fragments in the recirculated air. These need to be cleaned out after a few cycles like a standard dryer. Periodically cleaning the condenser coils with a dryer cleaning brush or brushed vacuum head is recommended to maintain air flow and performance.
The ventless design eliminates the need to clean an exhaust pipe. However, it adds the routine but simple task of emptying water that collects in a removable tray between cycles.
ENERGY STAR® certified clothes washers are cheaper to operate and use about 20% less energy than standard models. Plus, they use half the amount of water of standard washers, saving between 8,000 – 11,000 gallons of water per year.
That means you could save an average of $50 up to $135 per year on your energy bill, depending on the age of your current clothes washer. You'll also use 17 fewer gallons of water every time you wash a load of laundry.
Some of the advanced features that make these energy and water savings possible include:
- Front-load or redesigned top-load designs that gently flip and spin clothes through a reduced stream of water, rather than twisting and pulling clothes around a turning agitator
- Efficient motors that spin clothes two to three times faster during the spin cycle to extract more water, so clothes aren't as wet when they get put into the dryer
- More space in the washer means you'll be doing fewer loads of laundry each week
So when you're in the market for a new clothes washer, visit a retailer near you and ask the sales associate to show you models with the ENERGY STAR® and the yellow EnergyGuide label.
Be sure to check the Modified Energy Factor and Water Factor. The higher the Modified Energy Factor, the more efficient the clothes washer will be. The Water Factor refers to the number of gallons of water used per cycle, per cubic foot. The lower the Water Factor, the better.
Recycle at End-of-Life
Remember to recycle your old clothes washer and dryer so it doesn't end up in a landfill. Many appliance retailers will pick up and recycle your old clothes washer or dryer when you purchase a new one. Some local recycling centers and transfer stations provide recycling services as well.