Help! I have to run my clothes dryer at least twice to dry my clothes – a story from a SRP energy audit
During my APS energy audits and SRP energy audits I occasionally run across a home that has high utility bills but as I am going through my inspection of the air leakage, duct leakage, insulation, room pressures, HVAC system and ductwork there is not a huge problem identified. In one SRP home in Gilbert, I fell back on the homes motors, pumps and appliances and started exploring other options to pinpoint the cause. During this home’s SRP energy audit the homeowner informed me that she was running the dryer three to four times just to dry a load of laundry. It can be frustrating when it takes longer to dry your clothes than it does to wash them, especially if you have a couple loads of laundry to do. I know what that’s like, having bought a 1995 home in Phoenix with all original appliances. I hated having to run my dryer 3 or 4 times just to get my clothes dry! If you are in the same situation or you may even have a new washer and dryer set – before you go out to buy a brand new dryer here is a quick tip I found can save you literally hundreds a year on drying costs.
Your dryer is actually the second biggest energy using appliance after the refrigerator. Plus if you are having to run the dryer twice or more to get your clothes dry then it is using even more energy. The washer actually doesn't use that much energy, the costs for the washer come in when it needs to use hot water (try buying cold water detergent and seeing how your clothes come out). Your dryer vents can be anywhere from a couple inches to 20 feet of ducting to get to the outside. All that ducting collects lint inside and could clog the vent and decrease the efficiency of the dryer. By cleaning dryer vents at least once a year you will increase the efficiency of the dryer and help prevent the risk of fire. A good way to clean the dry vent is to use a shop vac or leaf blower and suck all the lint outside. You want to be sure to snake the whole system to prevent a buildup.
In this case the SRP energy audit recommendations was mostly around the home’s pool pump run time, recirculation pump, 4 combined refrigerators and freezers and the clogged dryer rather than construction defect upgrades. This homeowner was still able to take advantage of the SRP rebates available for the variable speed pool pump and the refrigeration recycling program as well as the duct sealing rebates.
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