Meanwhile, dryers are generally the most energy-intensive appliance in the house, so it pays to use them efficiently. Hang drying your clothes instead of using the dryer can save 700 pounds of C02 a year, but line-drying is not only impractical for some, in some communities it is not even legal. (Hello?!) If you can’t line dry, try to follow these tips.
- If your dryer has a setting for auto-dry, be sure to use it instead of the timer, to avoid wasting energy (and overdrying, which can cause shrinkage, generate static electricity, and shorten the life of your clothes).
- Faster spin speeds can result in better water extraction and thus reduce the energy required for drying. Mechanical water extraction by spinning is much more efficient than thermal extraction (heating clothes in a dryer).
- When drying, separate your clothes and dry similar types of clothes together. Lightweight synthetics, for example, dry much more quickly than bath towels and natural fiber clothes.
- Don’t over-dry clothes. Take clothes out while they are still slightly damp to reduce the need for ironing–another big energy user.
- If your dryer has a setting for auto-dry, use it.
- Don’t add wet items to a load that is already partially dried.
- Dry two or more loads in succession, taking advantage of the heat still in the dryer from the first load.
- Clean the dryer filter after each use. A clogged filter will restrict flow and reduce dryer performance.
- Dry full loads when possible, but be careful not to overfill the dryer. Drying small loads wastes energy. Air should be able to circulate freely around the drying clothes.
- Check the outside dryer exhaust vent. Make sure it is clean and that the flapper on the outside hood opens and closes freely.
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