Dryers account for about 12 per cent of the electrical consumption in a typical Alberta home. At ATCO EnergySense, we can help you choose the right dryer for your needs. Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about dryers.
Two types of dryers are available: electric and natural gas. Many Alberta householders use electric dryers because they cost less to install. However, a variety of natural gas models are also available.
Natural gas dryers are marginally more expensive to buy, but they cost significantly less to operate than electric. The table below illustrates the operating costs associated with natural gas and electric dryers.
Natural Gas vs. Electric Dryers: Operating Costs and Energy Use
For more information on the benefits of natural gas dryers, visit ATCO Gas.
As of January 1, 2015, ENERGY STAR® qualified clothes dryers became available for purchase in Canada. The ENERGY STAR symbol identifies major electrical appliances as among the most energy efficient in their class without compromising performance. For more information about ENERGY STAR qualified dryers, or to learn what models are available in Canada, visit the ENERGY STAR website.
Also, look at the EnerGuide label found on all electric dryers sold in Canada. This label indicates the amount of electricity used annually by the unit. The lower the EnerGuide number, the more energy efficient the dryer.
Choose a dryer with a moisture sensor. Moisture sensors are preferable to timers because they automatically shut off the dryer when the clothes are dry, which saves energy and reduces wear and tear on clothes.
Dryers remain one of the largest consumers of energy in your home. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your clothes dryer is working efficiently:
• Avoid drying partial loads.
• Do not overload the dryer. This reduces air flow and will increase drying time significantly.
• Never put dripping wet clothes in the dryer. The clothes will take an extra-long time to dry, plus heavy, wet loads are very hard on the dryer’s motor. Instead, put very wet clothes through an additional spin cycle in the washing machine to remove excess water.
• Take advantage of the dryer’s retained heat by drying two or more loads in a row.
• Use the cool down/permanent press cycle, which allows clothes to finish drying using the residual heat in the dryer.
• Clean the lint screen after every use. A blocked screen decreases the performance of your dryer and causes it to use more energy than necessary.
• Ensure your dryer uses an approved vent and vents to the outdoors.
• Use rigid metal ducting for venting exhaust as opposed to flexible ducting. Flexible ducting is subject to damage and traps lint fibres more readily.
• Lint buildup in the dryer vent and duct is a fire hazard. Inspect the vent regularly to ensure it is clean and air is flowing easily. The exhaust vent opening, located on the outside wall, should also be kept clean.
• Have a qualified plumber or gas fitter install your natural gas line for your dryer.
For more tips on how to save energy in your home, visit our Energy Fact Sheets page.
Hang your clothes outside to dry on warm, sunny days. It’s easier on your clothes—and it’s free!
ATCO is a diversified global corporation delivering service excellence and innovative business solutions in Structures & Logistics, Electricity, Pipelines & Liquids, and Retail Energy. More information about ATCO can be found on www.ATCO.com.