Which? compared the energy costs between twenty tumble dryers drying three full cotton loads per week for a year. The cheapest was £42 a year, and the most expensive £129 a year. Over 10 years that would be £870 more, and that’s without factoring in the massive price rises in energy we are bound to suffer.
The message here is that not factoring in the energy running costs of tumble dryers when deciding which one to buy can be a very expensive mistake *.
They tested all 4 types of dryer
Four types of tumble dryer were tested, condenser, vented, heat pump, and 1 gas vented. However, all but 3 were either condenser or vented. One cheap condenser dryer (Indesit IDCA8350) cost £290 to buy, but £129 per year to run (compared with £40 for a Bosch model which was the cheapest to run), which along with other issues was so bad Which? gave it a DON’T BUY status.
To be fair, the Bosch costing £89 a year less to run did cost £738 to buy (£609 extra), but Which? also worked out what the total costs over 5 years were including the purchasing price – and there was virtually no difference. The Indesit cost £935 after 5 years, but the more expensive dryer cost £938.
So as long as you could afford it at the time, paying the £609 extra would not only have bought you a much better dryer but would cost no more than if you’d tried to save money buying the cheap one after 5 years. Over the next 5 years of course these savings would substantially increase.
What if you couldn’t afford the £609 extra?
Many people wouldn’t be in a position to invest the extra money up front in order to reap the benefits of much cheaper running costs but even amongst the cheaper dryers there can be running cost differences worth bearing in mind.
Which are the cheapest type of tumble dryer to run?
The biggest savings in running costs are to be made by carefully choosing which type of dryer you buy. The cheapest to run are heat pump condensers, followed by vented dryers, and the most expensive type of dryer to run is the normal condenser type. Gas dryers cost a similar amount to run than the heat pump type but there are very few of them around and most people aren’t interested in piping up a gas supply to a tumble dryer.
I have an article on the differences between vented and condenser dryers here – Which is best – condenser dryer or vented dryer? Also, to thoroughly research the topic further as well as anything else consider the Which? trial offer
* When comparing the energy costs of running any appliance it’s important to factor in the purchasing costs as well, which is what Which? did when they also published the 5 year running cost chart mentioned above. In other words, if an appliance is £20 a year cheaper to run but costs £500 more then it’s only going to work out cheaper to own and use if it saves well over £500 in energy which at £20 a year is going to take a long time. However, future energy costs are likely to be much higher than present so within reason it makes sense to favour appliances with lower energy costs if they are likely to be running for many years.