Wondering which option is actually the more economical when using an
electric clothes dryer with heavy weight items like towels or jeans:
1. High heat to dry faster?
2. Lower heat which in turn requires a longer time period.
Does the draw of the high heat setting exceed that of the motor and such
running for a longer period?
You want to know how many kWh it takes to dry a load of cloths on high
heat and low heat to compare them.
a) turn off major intermittent electric users
b) look at your electric meter
c)look at your electric meter an hour later
d) determine the electrical usage of your house w/o the drier
e) run a load of cloths on high heat
f) look at your meter, subtract baseline usage to determine kWh-high
g) let the drier cool
h) look at your electric meter
i) run a load of cloths on low heat
j) look at your meter, subtract baseline usage to determine kWh-low
k) report back to us
Hope this helps,
PS: If you really want to save money use a gas drier.
you can reassure yourself of the results by running through this
Weigh the clothes dry, then weight them again out of the washing machine.
This gives you the amount of water to remove. You probably want to chart
how full the dryer is as less full will give better air flow. Now run the
machine at different temperature settings and periodically weight the load.
Or, just take the recommendations that the manufacturer put into developing
the best combination of time and temperature and air flow.
The low temp setting is intended for protecting delicate clothing not saving
energy. If the savings were significant enough to make a difference, you
can be assured the manufacturer would have bragged about it in the marketing
More than likely, the normal (high setting) dries the clothes more
efficiently. My reasoning, it takes the same amount of heat (or energy, in
joules) to vaporize a fixed amount of water regardless of the rate at which
you do it. If you use the low setting, the motor will need to run longer,
thus offsetting the balance in favor of the high setting.
On the other hand, the increased volume of air used in the longer (low temp)
setting may offset the loss of energy contributed by the heater by taking it
from the atmosphere instead. Both settings may be very similar in the end.
Additional offsets can be concieved to account for weather, clothing density
and fabric type, load size and cloth surface area. You can get very nit
picky and still conclude the two settings are close enough not to worry
Select the setting based on the clothes you are putting in and nothing else.
Only a few controlled experiments will answer this sufficiently
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