A clothes dryer uses about the same amount of energy and money as a washing machine -- sometimes more, sometimes less. Note that clothes dryers aren't listed in the ENERGY STAR database. This is because clothes dryers all work the same way and their energy usage doesn't vary much between models. However, you can choose between a gas dryer and an electric dryer. Typically, a gas dryer costs more initially, but will cost less to operate over time. When you're in the market to purchase a dryer, pick one with a moisture sensor in the drum -- the dryer will automatically shut off when clothes are dry, saving energy. Also select one with a "cool down" period -- the last few minutes of the cycle will use cool air instead of heated to finish drying your garments. Make sure you clean the lint filter regularly to keep the machine efficient. Of course, if you really want to save money on drying clothes, why not just invest in a clothesline?
A typical dishwasher uses about 600 kWh per year, with a cost of around $50 per year. Some people believe that dishwashers are unnecessary energy-hoarders. Why bother with a machine when you can wash dishes by hand? The truth is that a dishwasher uses uses 37 percent less water for one load of dishes than if you washed those dishes in the sink. Of course, your dishwasher is most efficient if you run it only when it's full. To get the most out of your dishwasher, turn off the "heat dry" option and use "air dry" instead. Use energy-saving cycles like "short wash" to save more water and energy. And, if possible, try not to install your dishwasher near your fridge. The heat and moisture from the dishwasher will actually make your fridge work harder to stay cool.
For more information on saving money and energy, check out the links below.
- "About ENERGY STAR." Energystar.gov. 2010. (June 30, 2010) http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_index
- "Dishwashers." Consumer Energy Center. 2010. (June 30, 2010) http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/appliances/dishwashers.html
- "Dryers." Consumer Energy Center. 2010. (June 30, 2010) http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/appliances/dryers.html
- "Estimating Appliance and Home Electronic Energy Use." U.S. Department of Energy. March 24, 2009. http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/appliances/index.cfm/mytopic=10040
- "History of ENERGY STAR." Energystar.gov. 2010. (June 30, 2010) http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_history
- "How Appliances Can Save You Money." News Channel 8. 2010. (June 30, 2010) http://cfc.news8.net/affinity/affarticle.cfm?id=70
- "How to Buy an Energy-Efficient Home Appliance." Federal Trade Commission. April 24, 2009. (June 30, 2010) http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/homes/rea07.shtm
- "Refrigerators and Freezers." Consumer Energy Center. 2010. (June 30, 2010) http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/appliances/refrigerators.html
- "Washers." Consumer Energy Center. 2010. (June 30, 2010) http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/appliances/washers.html