As with any new appliance purchase, consumers are concerned with energy efficiency when they choose a model. When looking at clothes dryers, choose one that has automatic sensors that shut the dryer off when the clothes are dry.
Electric versus Gas Dryers
Generally speaking, gas dryers cost about half as much to operate than electric dryers. Your local appliance store should have information about the operating costs for both gas and electric on the model you are considering.
By law, all dryers must be vented to the outdoors; not the basement, attic or craw space. The combination of heat and moisture can produce mold which is harmful to your health. It can cause damage to the walls and ceilings in your home. If you have a gas dryer there is also a carbon monoxide concern.
Proper Venting Code
The dryer exhaust duct should be 4 inches in diameter and have a smooth interior. It should be made of rigid metal, not flexible foil or vinyl. Short and straight is the rule for dryer venting for optimum air-flow. 45 degree and 90 degree turns slow down the air-flow and put stress on the dryer. A very long duct also slows down air-flow.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
There are tools available for homeowners to purchase for cleaning their dryer ducts. One is a brush that attaches to a long, flexible rod. There is also a vent cleaning augur brush that rotates on a cordless drill. Dryer lint also accumulates inside the dryer, around the drum, motor, heating element, etc...
Some dryer vents are short, straight and easy for the homeowner to get to. Others require special tools and the expertise of a dryer vent cleaning professional.
No matter how energy efficient your clothes dryer is, it will cost an additional $200 - 300 per year to operate if it does not get proper air flow. You must have a proper dryer vent and exhaust system for your dryer to operate efficiently.
Gary Collins, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard of Greater Cleveland specializes in dryer vent cleaning, maintenance, repair and alterations, while educating consumers on preventing clothes dryer fires. Visit http://dryerventcleaningcleveland.blogspot.com/ for more information.