How Yoda uses a Tumble Dryer

Man and tumble dryer. Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Tumble dryers use a lot of electricity. On average, a tumble dryer uses roughly 4.5 kWh of electricity per cycle, depending on the machine. At the time of writing, each kWh of energy you use costs on average 27p and causes 0.25kg CO2, depending on your electricity provider.

This means that you’ll be paying up roughly £1.20 per cycle and producing about 1.1kg CO2, roughly the same as putting a half a litre of petrol in your car, or to put it another way, about a hundredth of your weekly CO2 pollution, if you are an average UK ‘burner’, so to speak.

To reduce this, there are a couple of tricks.

  1. sort your loads by fabric type – some take longer to dry than others. Don’t even wash wool unless it’s filthy. Wool has an amazing ability to shed odours if left to air. Heavy cotton (towels, jeans) takes ages in the dryer. Light cotton and synthetics take the least time.
  2. put the dryer on a timer to start at midnight when the power grid carbon footprint is lowest.

By Adam Hardy

Zoologist at heart. Environmentalist by necessity. Stage hand, financial trader, secretary, card payments designer, software developer, fossil fuel big data warehouse consultant. Amateur psychologist. Now climate change salvage engineer.