Dryers Become the Next Energy Star

energystarsappliancesThe Environmental  Protection Agency announced this spring the first-ever Energy Star dryer label.

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.

Energy Star Dryers

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 6 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.

Whirlpool brand Duet® model WED87HED steam dryer

Whirlpool brand Duet® model WED87HED 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.

50 Shades of Gray Laundry Pairs

The appliance world has been rocked by gray recently, especially in the laundry room.

But it’s never “gray.”

These washers and dryers – whether front-load or top-load – are called pretty much every other name but looking just as sweet and trendy.

Here are the 8 iterations I could find.

Electrolux-laundry-pair

Sia, eat your heart out. I am (Electrolux) Titanium.

stainless steel asko washer

Asko gray-colored washer, also monikered Titanium.

Maytag changed the name of this finish to Graphite after initial testing showed low response to "Pencil Lead."

Perhaps Maytag changed the name of this finish to Graphite after initial testing showed low response to “Pencil Lead.”

stainless steel washing machine

LG’s lead pencil + metal, aka Graphite Steel.

samsung dark colored washer and dryer

Samsung’s Onyx, which also features WiFi controls through a smartphone app.

maytag maxima colored laundry

Perhaps to match the countertops in your kitchen comes Maytag’s Granite. Nevermind that true Granite comes in a huge variety of colors.

electrolux-stainless-steel

Let’s just call a spade a spade with Electrolux Stainless Steel.

GE Right Height Washer and Dryer

It’s the reason I was set up with my now-fiance: height. He’s tall, I was told. But I digress…

I’m not the only one who thinks height matters. GE just got taller.

GE’s newest laundry innovation acknowledges that only 60% of consumers buy the washer dryer pedestals recommended to front-load laundry owners to prevent uncomfortable bending and hunching when loading and unloading.

white laundry pedestal

The RightHeight washer and dryer’s built-in risers raise the machines 7 inches off the ground, making it just under 4 feet tall. A traditional laundry pedestal will raise the top of the machine to about 4-½ feet tall, which GE argues limits the function of the top of the machine to storage space instead of a folding surface, as illustrated below:

laundry-pedestal

*Disclaimer* Laundry-doing man & well-behaved child sold separately.

There are a lot of other features that are worth considering, but my favorite is single-item wash, promoted like this:

“Ditch the environmental guilt with this uniquely designed cycle that offers great wash performance for single items.”

In my house it’d be more like:

“Stop feeling like a failure for never getting around to the laundry and just wash outfits on demand!”

Perhaps most importantly, the RightHeight washer and dryer come in fun colors that either match a beautiful, trendy laundry room or grant respite from a hideous basement dungeon area like mine. Introduce some tall and handsome to your dark laundry room 😉

Clean Clothes in Under Half an Hour

It’s an hour till game time and you’re searching for your kid’s jersey only to find it in a ball, covered in dirt.

Sound familiar?

Before you give into being “that mom” with the dirty-shirt kid, you should know that someone created a get out of jail free card for this situation.

The Electrolux Perfect Steam washer and dryer boast the fastest wash & dry time, totaling 29 minutes. Electrolux dryer showing fast dry time - 14 minutes

That’s faster than the first half of your kid’s game. The Electrolux steam washer washes in just 15 minutes, and the Electrolux steam dryer gets your clothes dry in just 14 minutes.

Plus, the Electrolux laundry will actually get it clean. All the grass and dirt stains and sports drinks spills will be gone without a second thought from you.

Those of us without kids who just happen to be as messy as a child can also appreciate the last-minute, life-saving abilities of the Fast Wash/Fast Dry cycle.

And if it’s simply wrinkled, the steam dryer can refresh it in 15 minutes — eliminating odors too! How handy is that?

How To Check Your Dryer for Lint Buildup

If your dryer’s not drying, troubleshoot your vent before calling for dryer service. Especially if you’re running your dryer twice to get clothes dry.

If your dryer’s vent system is clogged, moist air won’t exhaust as well and it will take longer for your clothes to dry.

Is There Dryer Lint Buildup?

Follow these steps to check for dryer lint buildup.

  1. Run your dryer for at least 5 minutes
  2. Find your exhaust hood on the exterior of your home. It will look like one of these

angledhood

boxedhood2
dryervent-9
Use your hand to feel for air movement. If it’s less than a hair dryer on high speed, clean the lint from the entire length of the system and exhaust hood. This should be done about every two years anyway.

Ready for a new dryer? Shop here.