Tumble Dryers

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washer dryerDrying your clothes in a tumble dryer can be expensive as they consume large amounts of energy. The EU energy label for tumble dryers is calculated using the cotton drying cycle with a maximum load. Products are rated A – G according to the energy required per kilogramme of washing.

There are two different types of tumble dryer:  a vented dryer and a condenser dryer (which needs no venting) and each has its own energy rating scale.  Condenser dryers are slightly more expensive to run that vented dryers; typically around £0.05 – £0.10 per load depending on exact energy consumption and size of load.

Most tumble dryers are C rated; there are very few A rated machines available. An A rated machine would save approximately £0.15 per load of drying, which depending on the number of loads of drying you do per year could save you in the region of £15 - £30 per year. However this needs to be put in the context of the extra cost of an A rated tumble dryer, which could be up to £200 more expensive to buy.

As with washing machines, there is very little to choose between tumble dryers on energy consumption when buying a new one. Reliability, longevity and your overall budget will be more important factors in your purchasing decision.

However if you do use a tumble dryer then there are big cost savings you can make if you minimise the amount you use your machine.

Energy saving Tumble Dryer tips...

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0 # Haet pump tumble dryersPaul 2014-01-13 16:15
One other option to mention here is a heat pump tumble dryer. Miele do several; the cheapest is £1100 which is about 40% more expensive then their standard model. It is A rated. Miele gear is expected to last twenty years so the total cost of ownership is pretty good compared to the usual white goods obsolescence and collapse about 4-5 years.
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0 # biomassjohn 2013-01-21 19:59
I have a biomass (woodchip) boiler. I'd like to find a tumble dryer that uses hot water as its heat source. Do you know of such a thing?
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0 # Tumble driers - hot-water poweredSimon Morgan 2013-12-02 09:01
I think it is extremely unlikely that you will find a hot water powered tumble drier. They may exist in an industrial scale (commercial laundries) but the added cost and complication of installation on a domestic scale makes it improbable.

If you have access to cheap hot water then a drying room (aka utility room) would be your best bet with a hot water radiator. To improve the efficiency a circulating or extractor fan may improve the economics - I haven't done the calculations but drying clothes is all about relative humidity in the drying zone and I surmise not an easy calculation to do!

If you were a practical type I think it would be possible to build your own by removing the electrical heating element and passing air over a radiator.

My limited understanding of electric tumble driers is that they are relatively efficient provided you duct the moist air away from the drier.

Of course the most efficient means of drying clothes is to use solar power - hang them on a washing line. You may have to wait a long time in winter :(

As your post was a while ago I would be interested to learn whether you had any success.
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0 # gas tumble dryersRichard 2010-04-04 19:44
You are right we do not mention them, sorry. But they must cost at least half as much and possibly 70% less than electric, since the primary fuel (Gas) is so much less expensive. I am assuming the conversion of gas to heat is very efficient. They would also produce less carbon dioxide than electric since grid electricity is 80% fossil fuel power.
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0 # gas tumble dryersM Clarke 2010-03-28 17:26
You don't mention gas tumble dryers. Or are these the A rated ones you refer to? I know Gas dryers are more expensive to buy but they are cheaper to run. Our first one lasted about 12years with only one replacement part in all that time. Could you run a comparison with gas as opposed to electric tumble dryers?
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