How to Save Energy With an Electric Clothes Dryer

Homeowners are interested in finding ways to lower energy use to save money and reduce the impact on the environment. A clothes dryer is an essential appliance for many households, but it can use a lot of energy. You can do a number of simple things to reduce the energy use of your electric clothes dryer just as you can reduce your energy use in other areas of your home.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1

Remove any dust or lint from the dryer exhaust vent outside. If the vent is clogged, the machine uses more energy.
Step 2

Check behind the dryer for dust or lint, and remove it. Pull the lint screen out completely and remove any buildup of lint that is behind it.
Step 3

Clean the lint filter each time before drying a load. Lint on the filter can cause the machine to use up to 30 percent more energy.

Step 4

Separate items that take longer to dry, such as towels and rugs, from those that are lighter weight and dry them separately.
Step 5

Dry a full load to save energy, but do not overload the dryer because articles need some space to move around to dry properly.
Step 6

If you have a moisture sensor on the dryer, use it. It will shut the dryer off when items are dry. If you do not have a moisture sensor, set the dryer for an automatic dry cycle rather than a timed cycle since that will use less energy. If you do not have an automatic dry cycle, set the dryer for less time than you think you will need, and check it before you add more time to make sure that you do not over dry.
Step 7

Use the cool-down (or permanent-press) cycle, which allows clothes to continue drying using the residual heat.

Step 8

If you need to dry more than one load, do one right after the other so that the residual heat can be used in the next load.

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