How Much Does it Cost to Run a Tumble Dryer in the UK?

Tumble dryers are notorious for being one of the most expensive household appliances to run, but they have become more energy efficient in recent years so this reputation isn’t always deserved.

In this article we’ll be looking at how much running a tumble dryer will add to your energy bill, and which different factors affect running costs.

How much does the average tumble dryer cost?

The average tumble dryer uses roughly 4.5 kWh per cycle. The Energy Saving Trust estimate that the average cost of energy in the UK is 14.37 pence per kWh, so a tumble dryer would cost you roughly:

  • 67p per cycle
  • £80.40 per year (assuming you use it 120 times in a year)

What affects how much tumble dryers cost to run?

  1. Energy efficiency rating
    Some tumble dryers are much more energy efficient than others, so their running costs are much less. Energy efficiency ratings range from D to A+++. The most economical tumble dryers in the UK can cost less than 25p per cycle to run, while the least economical could cost over 70p per cycle.
  2. Drying capacity
    The drying capacity also affects how much a tumble dryer costs to run. As you would expect, bigger machines with bigger capacities use more energy per cycle.
  3. Tumble dryer type
    Tumble dryers come in three main types: vented, condenser and heat pump. Heat pump dryers tend to be the most energy efficient and therefore the cheapest to run.
  4. Maintenance
    Looking after your tumble dryer can make it cheaper to run. One of the most important things to do is to clean the filter every time you use it to allow maximum airflow.
  5. Usage
    The way you use your tumble dryer also affects how much it will cost to run. Here are some tips:

    • Spin clothes for longer in the washing machine before transferring them to the dryer. Spinning is more energy efficient than tumble drying.
    • Dry similar fabrics together so you don’t over-dry certain fabrics unnecessarily.
    • Try using tumble dryer balls or tennis balls to separate laundry while it’s drying (though it’s disputed whether they have much effect)

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