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Dryer costs tumble as technologies improve

 

•  ToptenUK.org reveals the long-term benefits of best-performing dryers
•  B and C rated models lag behind heat pump dryers

Times are changing for tumble dryers with energy label ratings of B or below.

New figures from ToptenUK.org, the best in class home appliances site run by Energy Saving Trust, shows that picking the top-rated A+++ models can save you more than £750 in running costs over their lifetime.

Based on 160 cycles a year, it’s a saving that is tough to ignore.

Product manager Stewart Muir commented: “There is simply no economic case for a B or C category tumble dryer any more. They use significantly more energy than modern heat pump machines and will end up costing you hundreds of pounds more over the course of their lifetime.”

energy efficient appliances with energy label overlay

Long-term costs under spotlight

While there’s no doubt that tumble dryers are still among the most expensive items to run in the home, technological developments have seen running costs of the best performers fall more into line with dishwashers, and even some washing machines.

To paint a more realistic picture of the overall cost of ownership, it’s worth factoring in how much it costs to run different models.

For example, while the B-rated Hotpoint Aquarius TCM580BP Condenser seems like a bargain with the up-front cost of around £240, lifetime costs, in reality, stack up to £1,413. Compare this to the Grundig GTN38267GCW Heat Pump, which has a more prohibitive purchase price of £650, but just an £981 lifetime cost.

If you can’t line-dry, look at the label

Of course, line drying of clothes will always prove the winner if savings and sustainability are your priority. But if you really need a dryer, there are plenty of options to reduce the damage on your energy bill – it just requires a bit of consideration.

Muir explained: “Before you hit the market, consider what you need practically from a machine. If you have an existing tumble dryer, what size drum does it have? The smaller load you need, the cheaper it is to both buy and run.

“After that, the only real consideration is cost and the first place you should look is the energy label.”

Technology progress means age matters

Shopping around is important as ever – and if you’re replacing an old model, you’re likely to find some pleasant surprises. As recently as 2011, the majority of tumble dryers sold on the EU market were C-rated, but times have seriously changed.

Muir added: “If you have an older machine, there’s a greater chance that they will consume more energy than even C-rated machines on sale today, so the more economical machine you can buy now will result in even bigger savings in future.”

Visit ToptenUK.org to get the low-down on the best energy performers, from dryers to freezers, vacuum cleaners to TVs

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.