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How Much Power Does a Dryer Use? Facts & FAQ

woman using the dryer

The modern dryer is an important home appliance, as it helps you finish your laundry quickly and prevents your clothes from smelling bad. However, when it comes time to purchase a new unit, many people worry that it will use too much power, resulting in high electric bills. The average dryer in the Unites States uses 1,500 to 6,000 watts to get your clothes dry. That said, many factors are involved, so keep reading as we help you determine how much power a new dryer will use and how much it might cost.

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How Much Power Do Dryers Use?

Even though dryers are becoming more efficient, they can still use between 1,500 and 6,000 watts to dry clothes, which is more than what many other appliances use. For instance, a coffee pot typically uses about 1,000 watts, like a hair dryer, while a desktop computer will only use 100–200 watts. Different settings on your dryer can also cause it to use more energy. For instance, regular and heavy settings will use more power than the permanent press.

pillow near a washing machine
Image By: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

How Do I Know How Much Power My Dryer Is Using?

Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine how much power your current dryer is using unless you still have the owner’s manual, or it is relatively new, and you can look it up online to find out how many watts it uses. Large-capacity driers often use more power because they can dry more clothes. Older dryers also tend to be less efficient, so they will use more energy than a newer model.

How Do I Know How Much Power a Dryer Will Use Before I Purchase It?

It can be challenging to determine how much power your new dryer will cost because energy efficiency ratings for dryers aren’t as popular as they are for other devices, like washing machines. Most advertisements don’t include many watts the device uses. We recommend researching any devices you are interested in to see if you can figure out how many watts it uses. That way, you will have an even clearer picture of how much it will cost.

person operating dryer
Image By: Piqsels

Determining How Much Electricity a Dryer Will Use

The best way to determine how much electricity a dryer will use is to look at the watts that it consumes. For instance, the CTT Electric Mini Portable Compact Laundry Clothes Dryer is a 1,500-watt machine.

Next, consider how long you will run the dryer each week. Most loads take 30–45 minutes, so if you do two loads per week, the dryer will run 60–90 minutes each week and 240–360 minutes (4–6 hours) per month.

Multiply the number of hours that you run the machine each month by the number of watts that it consumes, then divide by 1,000 to get the kilo-watt hour (kWh). In this example, we run the dryer for 6 hours each week, so 6 multiplied by 1,500 watts equals 9,000, and when we divide that by 1,000, we get 9 kWh per month.

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How Will the Electricity That My Dryer Uses Affect My Electric Bill?

Your electric company charges you by the kWh. The current average¹ of electricity in the United States is $0.14 per kWh, so you can multiply your dryer’s monthly power use by the cost of electricity to make an educated guess about how much it will cost. For instance, the CTT Electric Mini Dryer uses 9 kWh per month, so it would cost (9 multiplied by $0.14) about $1.26 per month.

man using dryer
Image By: Zivica Kerkez, Shutterstock

As another example, the SAMSUNG DVE45T3200W Dryer is a 3,200-watt machine, and if we use it for the same amount as the CTT dryer (6 hours per month), it will end up costing about $2.69 per month: (3200 * 6 = 19,200) (19,200 / 1000 = 19.2 kWh) (19.2 * 0.14 = $2.69).

COSTWAY Electric Portable Clothes Dryer is a 1,700-watt machine, and at 6 hours each month, it costs $1.43 per month.

The Sentern Electric Portable Clothes Dryer is a 1,400-watt machine, and it will cost $1.18 to run it for 6 hours each month.

Model Watts Monthly Cost w/6-hr Runtime
CTT Electric Mini 1,500 $1.26
SAMSUNG DVE45T3200W 3,200 $2.69
COSTWAY Electric Portable 1,700 $1.43
Sentern Electric Portable 1,400 $1.18

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Your dryer typically uses between 1,500 and 6 000 watts to dry laundry. Units that use more power will likely dry clothes faster, but they will also be more expensive to purchase and run each month. We recommend researching any dryers that you are interested in to see if you can find out how many watts it uses, then use the formula here to find out what it will cost to run. The good news is that you will probably overestimate your cost slightly because many modern units have energy-saving features that reduce the machine’s power drain as the clothes dry by lowering the temperature. By the end of the month, you will likely find that the dryer used fewer watts than you calculated, resulting in a lower electric bill.

Featured Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock


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