Energy efficient whitegoods: New trends in dryers

How you can find an energy efficient dryer

The Energy Rating labelling on whitegoods (and other appliances) has been in effect for many years now, and government bodies at both local and federal levels have been actively driving Australians to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. Part of this push is helping Australian households to choose an energy efficient appliance when considering an upgrade to existing whitegoods in the home.

In store, the stars on the Energy Rating label provide a quick guide to help you compare the energy efficiency of different models at a glance. The ratings indicate the energy efficiency of the model, and a maximum of six stars can be awarded to the most energy efficient appliances. The energy consumption labels also indicate how much gas or electricity an appliance will use - generally measured over a 12-month period.

Before you head in store, it’s worth visiting the Energy Rating Web site as it contains detailed information about the Energy Rating scheme, along with energy ratings and approximate annual energy costs across a range of appliances. You can even use the handy search and compare tool to review the products listed in the Energy Rated product database to shortlist the most energy efficient appliances for your household.

As the cooler months approach, many of us will need to turn to a dryer to ensure that our clothes dry quickly, especially if you live in a cold or wet climate. It is worth calculating how much an energy smart purchase can save you. If you purchase a washing machine with at least 3.5 stars, you’ll save 25 percent on your running costs with every extra star. And even a dryer with 2 stars will save you 15 percent on its running costs!

New heat pump technology

Dryer technology has traditionally been given a bad rap in terms of energy efficient operation, but a new range of six star rating dryers are now on the market locally, and they offer gentler, quieter and more energy efficient operation.

Traditional vented and condenser dryers use a resistive heating element to drive the moisture from your clothes. The new heat pump technology now on the market in selected products heats the drying air and reuses it to dry the clothes. Interestingly the heat pump works in a similar way to air conditioner and refrigerator cooling systems.

Sensor technology

Early dryer technology used to mean popping your clothes in, turning on the appliance, and hoping they didn’t come out burnt to a crisp. Many dryers now offer sensor-controlled custom settings, with advanced technology to monitor the level of drying — with settings such as cupboard-dry, iron-dry or extra-dry. This is ideal for drying shirts and blouses, high-tech fabrics, and even delicates and wool garments – items that were not recommended to be dried in traditional dryers.

Some dryers will have a sensor that detects when a load has reached a preset dryness level and automatically switch off – great for not over-drying the clothes, and saving energy and money. Some auto-sensing dryers may have a manual timer as well.

Other features

Caring for your clothes when using a dryer also means you need to consider the what type of drum is used, and the tumbling programs offered to make sure that gentle fabrics are handled with care. For example, a reverse tumbling feature means the drum reverses the direction of tumbling at regular intervals to minimise tangling while evenly drying clothes.

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Tags dryerswhitegoodsenergy efficiencyenergy efficienthome appliances

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Amanda Conroy

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