Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Heat Pump Clothes Dryers

Our 1970s era clothes dryer is a bit more noisy than it should be. It is pretty easy and usually low cost to repair. My area appliance store has a number of these machines in service yet, but, I've been researching  heat pump dry clothes dryers back before they were available in the U.S. Now, they're here and it might be time to upgrade.  It was harder to justify buying a new dryer when the replacement would consume just as much electricity as the old unit and repairing our current one was more cost effective than purchasing a replacement. 

My rural electric coop doesn't have much info about heat pump dryers, but about 3 years ago, I found a link from their national association that wasn't very kind to the new tech. The title -
"On the Way: A $2,000 Clothes Dryer"  was kind of the first clue they would rather you stayed with the  higher KWH consuming dryer, though in the article, a price point of $1000 to $2000 was mentioned. Looks like the title price was off a bit. 

After listing many good features, lower energy costs, no outside venting, so lower fire risk,and  lower environmental impacts, the REC  program manager then noted “If you have a large family, no way in the world can you get a device that takes twice as long to dry your clothes.”. He concluded by suggesting that members who wanted to save money should hang their clothes outside to dry. Given this curmudgeon like advice, It was refreshing to see the new found love for energy star dryers (including heat pumps) from the RECs in my latest coop newsletter


Who knows, maybe the REC's can also change the "get off my lawn!" attitude they display towards members who want to generate their own electricity, because a lot of them will want to do just that!   

 As for dryers, since we haven't purchased one yet, here's a gentleman who has been living with a heat pump dryer for a while, and he's put much more info together than any of the utility programs I've been able to find

About the only items I would add. to his excellent blog post, is that retail electric rates will probably continue to rise over the life of this appliance. Also, many consumers will be replacing dryers with much less drying capacity than the new dryer, resulting in many less dryer loads annually . Given these items, consumers might see slightly improved economics than listed .   


No comments:

Post a Comment