Trying to walk the talk, i did not want to buy a gas-fired dryer, but i was worried about what kinds of electric dryers might be out there, and how much they might cost.
After a little bit of research, I learned about heat pump electric dryers. These have been used in Europe for many years (so, they have worked out the kinks) and have been sold in the US for a number of years.
These devices are quite amazing.
Before I tout the advantages, let me be upfront with the problems.
They are more expensive in terms of first cost, than conventional dryers.
Doing a quick google search, these things range between $800 and $1400 for a new one. I have not been able to find any rebates to help pay for these.
BUT, they deliver so many benefits:
1. Much cheaper to operate - they save energy and money every time you use them. I have not done the calcs, but various national organizations, using national averages, say that they are equivalent in life-time cost with conventional dryers, and better than that where energy costs are higher (energy costs in California are higher than national average, so we should do better overall, with these devices). (HERE is a great overview.)
2. They don’t require venting to the outside, and they don’t require ventilation for the room.
3. They save at least 28% on energy consumption.
4. They are ALL-ELECTRIC, and run on a conventional 120 volt outlet.
5. They work at lower temperatures, and are gentler on clothes, so they last longer. Clothes come out softer, and with fewer wrinkles.
6. They generate water, which they condense out of the air. You can capture this water, and use it to flush toilets, thus helping to also reduce your water consumption.
All in all, these things are pretty amazing (of course, I am an engineer, and so effective technology is especially exciting to me!)
I have written in the past, that, as our appliance wear out, we should be moving to all-electric. One of the challenges with doing this is that, often, electric appliances require upgrades to the wiring and/or service panels in our homes. A great benefit of this technology is that no upgrades are required. So, it is an especially great way to move towards electrification.
I’ve had mine for about a week now, and have dried several loads. I love it, and it feels good to take another step towards decarbonization.
Remember, when you need to replace any appliance in your home, you will be ahead of the game when you make it electric, and not gas.
(By the way, you can also hang your clothes out to dry, which is even MORE inexpensive, and even MORE environmentally friendly!!)
Thank you for your efforts to make our community, and our world a better place.