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Clothes Drying

Clothes Drying

What is a heat pump clothes dryer?

Heat pump clothes dryers use electricity to remove moisture from your clothes. Instead of generating heat via a gas burner or with electric coils, the heat pump technology moves heat from one area to another. Like other heat pump technology, it moves heat from the surrounding area into the dryer.

Unlike gas and electric resistance clothes dryers, heat pump dryers do not need an exhaust vent. Instead, heat pump dryers circulate warm air within the dryer itself. Since a heat pump dryer does not need an exhaust vent nor a gas hookup, there is greater flexibility in its placement in your home.   Heat pump dryers tend to utilize longer drying cycles,  though longer cycles  will ultimately be gentler on your clothes.

When selecting a heat pump clothes dryer, you should consider:

  • Size of the dryer;
  • Energy Star Certification;
  • Electric panel and electric outlet needs; and
  • Frequency of usage
    • If you do many loads of laundry throughout the week, a heat pump clothes dryer may not be the most time effective option for your household due to their longer drying cycles

What is an electric clothes dryer?

Electric clothes dryers use electric resistance technology to dry clothes.  They generate heat through electric resistance and expel hot air through an exhaust vent.

Electric clothes dryers are less expensive to purchase than an air source heat pump dryer but are less efficient than heat pump alternatives; they have faster cycles, but use twice as much energy. 

When selecting an electric clothes dryer, you should consider:

  • Efficiency and cost of the model
  • Placement in the home: Electric clothes dryers require exterior ventilation to work properly and safely
  • Frequency of usage: Electric clothes dryers have shorter drying cycles but may not be as gentle on your clothes than a heat pump clothes dryer

Here are some energy efficiency tips for clothes drying, regardless of model or technology:

  • Set your dryer cycle to a lower temperature
  • Dry to damp and then air dry
  • Consistently clean your lint trap to ensure safety and efficiency with the appliance
  • Note that longer cycles typically consume less energy than faster cycles

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