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Energy-saving tumble drying tips

By Matt Stevens

Discover how much the cheapest and most expensive-to-run tumble dryers cost - and how much you're paying to power yours.

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Tumble dryer energy ratings range from A+++ for a really efficient heat-pump condenser model right down to G for a proper energy guzzler. 

Most tumble dryers have an official C-class energy rating - but energy use between models with the same rating can still vary by around a third. 

When we test tumble dryers, we check how much each will actually cost you to run. The most efficient dryers will cost around £23 to run a year, the least efficient will cost you more than £140.

Which tumble dryer is cheapest to run?

Use our tumble dryers energy costs calculator to find out how much your machine will cost you to run over its lifetime, including the purchase price and energy costs. Our energy calculations are based on each tumble dryer being used three times a week to wash a 70% full load of cottons.

Are tumble dryers efficient?

Compared to drying clothes on a washing line, no they're not. However, if you choose the right type - some are cheaper to run than others - and model, it won't cost a lot when you consider the potential convenience. 

They are cheaper to run than washer-dryers though - the average washer-dryer will cost around £75 a year to dry clothes, while the average tumble dryer will cost around £67.

What are the most energy-efficient types of tumble dryer?

The most energy-efficient tumble dryers on the market are gas-vented dryers and condenser dryers with heat pumps. 

Both these types of dryer have running costs of as little as £23 a year, while regular condenser and vented dryers have typical running costs of just under £100 a year.

Want to know which tumble dryer is best for you? Take a look at all of our tumble dryer reviews - and look out for our 'energy saver' logo, awarded to the most efficient dryers.

Thrifty tumble-drying tips

  • Choose a more efficient tumble dryer to keep your bills down.
  • Try to fit the maximum load in your tumble dryer every time.
  • Use a high spin speed on your washing machine to make your washing as dry as possible before using your tumble dryer.
  • Clean the lint filter every time you use the machine - a blocked filter prevents the hot air from circulating freely, so clothes take longer to dry.
  • Position your dryer in a well-ventilated room to stop the tumble dryer from overheating.
  • Dry clothes for ironing together with other clothes - start the load on an iron-dry setting, remove the clothes that need ironing, and then put the rest on a cupboard-dry program.
  • Make the most of good weather by drying your clothes outside and leaving the tumble dryer switched off.
  • Fasten duvet covers to stop small items getting trapped inside the cover and staying damp.
  • Untangle everything between taking it out of your washing machine and putting it in your dryer - large knots of washing take longer to dry.

Visit our page on the top five most efficient tumble dryers to find a model that's both cheap to run and does an excellent job of evenly drying your clothes.

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