Next to the refrigerator and some flat-screen televisions, the clothes dryer is the biggest energy-hogging appliance in many homes, costing up to $85 a year to run, according to one California Energy Commission study.
"Because you won't find significant differences between brands with respect to the amount of energy they use, clothes dryers do not carry the yellow Energy Guide labels nor are they a part of the Energy Star program," said Carolyn Forte, director of home appliances and cleaning products for the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.
While the government doesn't have Energy Star standards for clothes dryers, gas dryers tend to be more efficient than electric dryers, but they often cost as much as $100 more. To use a gas dryer, you have to have professional installation and natural gas service, of course.
Among the dyers on the top-rated list are the Frigidaire FASG7074LR (pictured), with an energy-saver option that promises 35% cost and electricity reductions ($863 at amazon.com); and the Samsung DV520AEP/XAA, which boasts sensors to prevent unnecessary tumbling after clothes are dry ($1,319 at amazon.com).
Of course, if cost-savings and energy efficiency are your primary goals, invest a few bucks in a clothes line or clothes rack, and you'll save a bundle.
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