Laundry And The Environment: Part Two, The Dryer

Drying your laundry in a tumble dryer uses a substantial amount heat, and heat is generated by energy. Running a dryer 200 times a year is the equivalent of roughly half a tonne of CO2 emissions. Implement these easy fixes to lessen your CO2 emissions and reduce energy bills.

Clean your lint trap between each load.  A full lint trap can reduce your dryers efficiency by up to 30%.  That’s 30% more CO2 emissions and, 30% shorter lifespan on the appliance.  

Proper Loading.  Overloading your dryer means there is not enough air to circulate and it takes longer for the clothes to dry.  Additionally, an oversized load is hard on the drum motor, causing unnecessary wear and tear, thus shortening the lifespan of the appliance.

Separate Loads.  Separate your fabrics by weight.  This will ensure even drying time, rather than over-drying some fabrics because a few heavier items take longer to dry.

Spin Well.  A load of wet laundry can contain half a gallon of water.  Ensuring max spin on your clothes in the wash reduces the water in the laundry, and results in a shorter dry time.

Sensors.  When replacing your appliance, choose one with a sensor for moisture so that the dryer will stop when the clothes are dry.  This means your dryer is only using the energy it needs, rather than a set time.

Cool Down.  Many dryers have a setting which allows clothes to continue drying during a cool down period, with the remaining heat in the dryer.  While the machine is still using energy to spin the drum, it is not producing additional heat.

Time It.  Doing your dryer loads back to back means that you are maximizing on any remaining heat from the first load, thus using less energy to create heat for the second.  

Line Dry.  Whenever possible, line dry.  In addition to the environmental considerations, and cost savings, line drying has some benefits of its own.  

To step up your laundry game, please read our article on how you can lessen the environmental impact of your washing and why you should line dry your clothes.