August 19, 2014 2:21 am
Regular readers know I talk a lot about new developments and technologies related to home appliances. But despite great strides many manufacturers have voluntarily made creating more energy efficient appliances, clothes dryers that still play an important function in millions of homes across the nation are still a major energy concern.
According to a Natural Resources Defense Council report released in mid-June, clothes dryers in U.S. homes are wasting up to $4 billion worth of electricity annually because energy-saving standards for the common appliance have not been significantly updated for almost 30 years,
The NRDC report, “A Call to Action for More Efficient Clothes Dryers,” finds that today’s typical electric clothes dryer can easily consume as much energy as a new energy efficient refrigerator, clothes washer and dishwasher combined.
Noah Horowitz, director of NRDC’s Center for Energy Efficiency Standards believes it is time to bring U.S. clothes dryers into the modern era and achieve some of the massive efficiency gains all the other major home appliances have seen.
The NRDC’s analysis suggests incorporating existing technology used abroad and adopting recommended technical and policy changes could slash U.S. dryers’ $9 billion annual electricity bills by 40 percent. And it can prevent roughly 16 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to taking three coal-fired power plants offline.
A key reason for the energy waste is that U.S. dryers continue to use decades-old technology that bakes water out of clothing with brute force, wasting a lot of energy and blowing hot-air exhaust to the outdoors.
NRDC’s report recommends steps consumers can take in the interim to cut laundry-related energy use and utility bills:
- Use the washer’s maximum spin speed to lessen the amount of water remaining in the clothing before reaching the dryer
- Choose cold water in the washer will also save up to 50 cents per load in energy costs
- Select dryer cycles like delicate that reduce energy use (but increase drying time)
- And no overfilling the drum, this gives clothes more room to tumble dry more quickly
Read the report at http://www.nrdc.org/energy/efficient-clothes-dryers.asp.
Published with permission from RISMedia.