How much does a clothes dryer cost to operate?

“My daughter runs our clothes dryer every morning for one hour at medium temp. Can you estimate what the daily cost would be?” asked a member recently.

A drying rack is one alternative.

The dryer is one of the higher users of electricity in a home. It can consume up to about 5,000 watts, but let’s say it uses only about 3,500 watts on “medium.”

  • 3,500 watts / 1,000 watts = 3.5 kilowatts (3 kW)
  • 3.5 kW X 1 hour = 3.5 kWh
  • One kWh costs about $0.20
  • $0.20 X 3.5 kW = $0.70

This means that it costs about $0.70 every morning to run your dryer for an hour. One month would run your electric bill up $21.

Of course there are alternatives to dryers, but they aren’t as convenient. For example, a good drying rack can be picked up at many local retailers for between $25 and $50. While you’ll have to wait longer for dry clothes, you won’t use any electricity.

Another tip: Always keep the lint screen clean. A full lint screen causes the dryer to work harder therefore using more energy.

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