Laundry can be expensive. Between the washer and dryer, electricity, water, and soap the costs really add up if you do 5 loads a week like my family does. In this three part series , the Art of Being Cheap looks at ways to cut your laundry costs to save big money. In part 1 we look at saving money on washing machines, in part 2 we look at how to save money on a dryer, and in part 3 we look at saving money by making your own laundry detergent.
Unlike washers, there is not much real difference between a low end dryer and a high end dryer. According to energystar.gov, the most efficient dryers only save about 10% electricity versus the lower end models. So save your money on dryers and go with a high rated cheap model rather than a more expensive one sold as a set with a front load washer.
If you really want to save money on a dryer, maybe you don’t need one at all. Most of the world’s population dries their clothes by hanging them up. This would be more work for you, but would also save money. This drying rack is only $24 at amazon.com , which is much less than you could usually find an electric dryer for on Craigslist. As far as ongoing energy costs, the estimates I found says it costs about $.25/load to dry with a gas dryer, or about $0.57/load with a electric dryer. Use this table to see how much you could save in a year by not using an electric or gas dryer:
I suggested this to my wife, but she reminded me that I wear dress clothes to work which would have to be ironed if they didn’t go through the dryer. I hate ironing, so $150/year isn’t enough to keep me from using the electric dryer, but maybe it would work for you.