Load after Load

Natural gas dryers offer savings and efficiency

Clothes dryers are one of the hardest working titans in today’s household. Depending on family size, dryers may operate several times a day. Therefore, they must be reliable, efficient, and cost-effective.

Both washers and dryers are among the top energy-using appliances, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit research organization focused on energy and the environment.

When selecting a clothes dryer, consumers should first ask that age-old question: Natural gas or electricity? There are many practical benefits to choosing a gas dryer over an electric dryer, according to the American Gas Association.

While doing load after load of laundry is a necessary task, savvy consumers are interested in saving both time and money. As with other appliances, natural gas is a more cost-effective option. For the same money, a gas dryer can dry more than two loads of laundry compared to only one load with electricity. And, because they heat up and cool down faster, gas dryers can keep clothes from wrinkling; gas dryers are considered gentler on fabrics.

The Inevitable

There’s no getting around the need for a clothes drying in today’s busy home.

When shopping for a new dryer and other appliances, consumers can look for the Energy Star label. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created the Energy Star program in 1992 under the authority of the Clean Air Act. The program is a partnership between the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy and assesses the energy efficiency of appliances and products. Products that earn the Energy Star label save energy and money to help protect the environment.

According to the Energy Star program, 80% of U.S. homes have a clothes dryer, and if all dryers were Energy Star-certified, Americans could save $1.5 billion a year in utility costs.

In addition to certifying energy-efficient dryers and other appliances, the Energy Star program features tools and resources to help consumers make selections, find rebates, and learn about appliance efficiency in general.

The program offers these laundry tips for budget-minded consumers who want to get the job done while saving energy:

  • Use sensor drying, not timed drying. Dryers with the Energy Star use advanced moisture sensors and automatically shut off when clothing is dry.
  • Use the low heat setting. Longer drying cycles on low use less energy.
  • Clean the lint filter after each load to increase the dryers efficiency and improve air circulation.
  • Scrub the lint filter often. Dryer sheets can leave a film on the filter and that can reduce airflow and affect motor performance.

No matter how many loads show up in the laundry room each week, it’s wise to consider a gas dryer that saves money and is energy-efficient and environment-friendly.

This article appears in the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of Natural Living magazine, and was authored by Monica Stavish Skaggs. For more valuable information about using natural gas in your home in this issue, click here.