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robmandu's avatar

Which dryer setting is more energy efficient?

Asked by robmandu (21203 points ) January 14th, 2011

Running at high heat for a shorter time or at medium heat for a longer time?

I’m sure there could be all kinds of variables related to make, model, electric vs. gas, type of fabric, ambient humidity, yadda yadda yadda. Consider all those kinds of thing equal.

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7 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know the answer to this question, but do have a tip: Run your washing machine’s “spin” cycle an extra time after the washer is done. A couple of extra minutes on spin gets a lot of extra water out of the clothes, saving time in the dryer. I’m thinking those extra minutes in the washer are more energy efficient than extra drying time.

funkdaddy's avatar

I would think medium heat for a longer time would be more efficient, but I’m not sure with a dryer specifically. If we look at some other things I think it would make sense.

* running an engine at a lower rpm will generally use less fuel even for the same number of revolutions
* if you think of boiling water on an electric stove, which is pretty similar, instinctively I think a lower temperature would lose less energy to other factors

So generally I think the lower settings let time “do the work” instead of electricity.

Remember the most energy efficient setting to dry your clothes is “off”, they’ll dry by themselves.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Can’t say one way or the other. However, this will make both setting way more efficient if you live in the right climate.
We live in a cold, dry climate so we vent our dryer indoors. All the heat and humidity stays right in the house. Our wood burning stove does not have to work so hard. The humidity inside is still only about 37–39% (I have a hygrometer upstairs and downstairs checking.)

robmandu's avatar

< < jealous of your household humidity… we run a humidifier in our bedroom at nite and it struggles to reach 25–30%

janbb's avatar

I answered this before it was edited. As Isaid then, we always use the cold water cycle to save energy and the clothes come out just fine.

simpleD's avatar

I agree with @funkdaddy. I’ve often thought about a similar idea: Which uses less gas—driving faster and getting to your destination sooner, or driving slower and arriving later? My Subaru’s estimated MPG meter tells me that driving faster is less efficient — the car burns more gas per mile to achieve greater speed.

john65pennington's avatar

And remember, a hairdryer eats killowatts like it was going out of style.

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