I know what you’re thinking:
“Wait, you mean there wasn’t an Energy Star label for dryers before?”
I know, right? However, the popular thinking was that dryers couldn’t vary much among each other in energy use therefore, there was no reason to call them out.
But about three years ago, the EPA began to take steps to expand the program and reported on ways that clothes dryer efficiency could be improved.
The new label will recognize highly efficient gas and electric dryers that use about 20% less energy than required by 2015 federal standards.
Over 80% of U.S. homes have a clothes dryer, and these appliances account for approximately six percent of residential electricity consumption.
So far, one brand has already jumped on the new category. Whirlpool announced an Energy Star rated Duet steam dryer.
Many of today’s dryers already use temperature or moisture sensors to shut off the dryer once clothes are dry and cease using energy past its usefulness. Dryer models that meet the new Energy Star requirements are likely to improve upon these “auto termination cycles.”
From Energy Star:
Among the more efficient gas and electric dryers that will earn the Energy Star, consumers should expect to encounter a promising new technology. Heat pump dryers recapture the hot air used by the dryer and pump it back into the drum to dry more clothes. By re-using most of the heat, it creates a heat pump dryer that is more efficient and avoids the need for ducts leading heat out of the laundry room.