Using a dryer at home to dry clothes is not as expensive as you might think. Assuming of course that your dryer is working properly, your vent is clear of all restrictions, and your washer is spinning the water out of the clothes properly. In addition, gas dryers are more efficient at drying clothing than electric dryers. Furthermore, there is some slight variation between manufacturers, and different model dryers within those manufacturers. However, we can still get an estimate of the cost of drying clothes in your home. All those factors determine the actual cost of drying a load of clothes at home. So let's assume for now that your dryer is working fine, your vent is clear, and that your dryer is in normal working condition.
So what is the actual cost of drying clothes in a dryer.
It is difficult to determine the "exact" electrical consumption of a dryer. The wattage of your dryer's electrical element can be between 3000 to 5000 watts. Assuming now that the average cost per kilowatt hour of electricity is 10 cents, we can then conclude that the cost of drying a typical load of laundry at home in an electric dryer is approximately 40 cents. Gas dryers will be slightly less per load, however, you must factor in the additional cost of purchasing a gas dryer along with the fact that generally speaking, gas dryers are a little bit more expensive to repair. Heavier clothes take longer to dry and cost a little more, but still the average cost of drying a load of clothes at home is still about 40 cents.
Dryer vent restriction.
A dryer vent restriction is the number one factor that will increase energy consumption, thereby increasing the cost of drying laundry at home. In addition, a dryer vent restriction is a potential fire hazard, and a carbon monoxide hazard when using a gas dryer. When a dryer vent is restricted, the air cannot exit the dryer to the outside. When this happens, the clothing in the dryer drum will tumble in hot humid air. It is almost impossible to dry a load of clothing properly when that clothing is constantly tumbling in hot humid air.
The other major factor to consider with a dryer vent restriction is the fact that when a vent is restricted, air cannot pass the dryer control thermostat. This is the case for both gas and electric dryers. When this happens the control thermostat never instructs the heater or gas burner to turn off. Therefore, both the heater and gas burner stays on until the high limit thermostat interrupts the circuit. A high limit thermostat is a safety device designed to prevent a dryer fire. In addition to that, all dryers manufactured today have what are known as safety thermostats, or thermal fuses. This type of safety device is temperature sensitive. When it gets too hot because of a vent restriction, it opens the circuit to the motor in most cases. When that happens, the dryer must be serviced. If you change a dryer safety thermostat or thermal fuse, always check for a vent restriction.
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