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Electric dryer energy & cost per Load

Written by: England, Richard on Nov 11, 2012

So how much does it really cost to dry your clothes with an electric dryer?  [The answer is below] There are plenty of estimating tools out there, but estimates are... well... just estimates.  Its not real measured data. So when a client expressed the need for real measured dryer use data for a project, I was happy to go digging and get it.  But there are wrinkles (no pun intended) in getting a good estimate. For instance, some people run the dryer on a fixed timed cycle, because they can't stand any dampness that remains from an automatic (dampness sensing) drying cycle.  Some runs are shorter because there are fewer clothes in the dryer.  Some runs are longer because the dryer is overloaded. And what about consecutive runs? I've frequently heard that running one dryer load after the other (while the dryer is hot) will use less energy. So whats a true average? I decided to measure a number of runs and then take an average.   Here's what I learned:

Number of Dryer runs: 37

Average Dryer run time:  49 minutes.   (Min)10 minutes. (Max)82 minutes.

Average measured Dryer Consumption:  2.0 kWh   (Min)0.3 kWh  (Max)5.8 kWh

Electricity cost per kWh: $.10  Note: Your rate will differ so use your cost/kWh and multiply it by the kWhs!

$Cost / Run:  $0.20 (2.0 kWh x $0.10)   (Min Cost/Run) $0.03  (Max Cost/Run) $0.58

The graph below shows that the heating element in the dryer is not on all the time.  It runs more frequently at the beginning of the cycle and less frequently at the end of the cycle. Here are the stats:

- Dryer runs at full power for only 15 minutes (31% of the run)

- Dryer uses between 4,500W and 2,500W for only 8 minutes (17% of the run)

- Dryer uses between 2,500W and 1,000W for only 8 minutes (17% of the run)

- Dryer uses less than 500W for 17 minutes (35% of the run)

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