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How Much does it cost to run your Tumble Dryer?

Drying 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; have a look at the table, the exact numbers depend on your machines exact energy consumption and the size of load.

* A typical standard vented tumble dryer uses 2.50 kWh per cycle, based on an average load capacity of 4.75 kg of dry laundry, so the weight when you get it out of the dryer! This will cost £0.468
(0.9kg), The number in brackets is the amount of CO2 this emits.

Cheaper tumble dryers are B or C rated; there are also A rated A+ , A++ and A+++ machines available. An A rated machine would save a lot of money, take a look at the table, but they cost much more to buy so this needs to be factored into your calculation for whether it is worth the investment.

Type Single Use *
(Carbon Dioxide Emissions)
150 Uses each Year
(Carbon Dioxide Emissions)
Condenser Dryer £0.842
(1.7kg)
£126.225
(247.7kg)
Vented Dryer C Rated £0.468
(0.9kg)
£70.125
(137.6kg)
Vented Dryer A Rated £0.327
(0.6kg)
£49.088
(96.3kg)

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...

Comments and Questions

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Haet pump tumble dryers - Paul  2014-01-13 16:15:47
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.
biomass - john  2013-01-21 19:59:19
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?
Tumble driers - hot-water powered - Simon Morgan  2013-12-02 09:01:07
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.
gas tumble dryers - Richard  2010-04-04 19:44:28
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.
gas tumble dryers - M Clarke  2010-03-28 17:26:18
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?