Report: Outdated dryers wasting billions annually - FOX 13 News

Report: Outdated dryers wasting billions annually

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Your dryer is living in the 80's, and it's costing us billions.

That's the budget-draining conclusion found in new research produced for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In a report issued Thursday, the NRDC said electric dryers consume $9 billion worth of energy annually -- about $100 per homeowner -- a cost that is higher than it should be due to lagging appliance innovation.

“While major appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, and even clothes washers have undergone significant energy efficiency improvements during the past 20 years, unfortunately the amount of energy wasted by clothes dryers in the United States has received little attention,” the NRDC concluded.

The NRDC figures the drain on our electric bills totals as much as $4 billion annually.

Compared to its siblings, the electric dryer appears to be an power hog. The NRDC said electric clothes dryers often consume as much energy annually as a new refrigerator, clothes washer, and dishwasher combined.

The problem is that dryers regularly run too long, researchers said.

“Some dryers on the market today have poorly designed auto termination sensors, meaning those models continue to run (and waste energy) for up to 20 minutes after the clothes are dry,” according to the NRDC.

And that technological shortcoming costs you money on every single load.

The U.S. needs only look overseas for a solution. The NRDC says updated electric dryers sold in Australia, Europe, and Asia are “dramatically more efficient,” and might save Americans as much as $4 billion if they were sold here.

The NRDC said it hopes the new research spurs modernization among appliance manufacturers and, ultimately, a reduction in the amount of pollution caused by power plants.

To conserve energy, consider:

1.) Running your dryer on the faster spin cycle

2.) Stopping the cycle early -- when clothes are probably dry

3.) Buy Energy Star certified appliances, which NRDC says are 20 percent more efficient

4.) Consider gas dryers -- which costs 50 percent to 75 percent less to run

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