Dryer Wattage & Energy Usage [Most Efficient Revealed]

How much electricity does a dryer use? Find out here. And get key information on dryer wattage for both 120V & 240V dryers. Plus, see which is the most energy efficient dryer on the market.

Very few household appliances use more electricity than dryers. As a result, it’s important to get a good sense of dryer wattage, electricity usage over time, and energy efficiency. 

And that’s what you’ll get from this article.

Spoilers:

  • Dryer wattage ranges from 825W to 7,200W – 5,271W is average, and 5,600W is most common.
  • On average, dryers use 1.95 kWh of electricity per load, 46 kWh per month, and 551.61 kWh per year (assuming 283 cycles).
  • Consuming just 0.44 kWh per load (close to 80% less than average), the most energy efficient dryer is the Bosch WTW87NH1UC (see product details on The Home Depot).
  • The average amount of electricity used by a clothes dryer per load is equivalent to the amount of electricity used to run a ceiling fan for nearly 3 days.

Continue reading to see which dryers achieved the coveted “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” label. Also, see how dryer wattage and electricity usage differs between 120V and 240V dryers.

Note: the data used (291 dryers in total) for this post was sourced from ENERGY STAR, The Home Depot, GE Appliances and various other manufacturer websites. The data relates to electric tumble / clothes dryers only, not gas.

Dryer wattage image containing an electric dryer on a washing machine in a utility room

Dryer wattage

On average, dryers use 5,271W, but 5,600W is most common.

Dryer wattage ranges from 825W to 7,200W.

However, actual consumption is likely lower for dryers with a 7,200W power rating.

Dryer wattage varies by dryer and dryer type. 

The standard 240V dryers are most common and use considerably more watts compared to 120V dryers.

The figures above are for both 240V and 120V dryers. But let’s break these out to get a better sense of wattage.

240V dryer wattage

On average, 240V dryers use 5,480W. The most common 240V dryer wattage is 5,600W.

240V dryer wattage ranges from 2,520W to 7,200W.

240V dryers are the most common on the market due to the amount of power required to dry clothes.

120V dryers, often referred to as portable dryers, are not as common but are a great option for smaller homes or where installations don’t have a dedicated 240V dryer circuit.

120V dryers consume considerably less power than 240V dryers. Next, let’s take a look at how many watts a 120V dryer uses.

120V dryer wattage

120V dryers use 1,360W on average.

The most common 120V dryer wattage is 1,500W.

120V dryer wattage ranges from 825W to 1,800W.

Note: it’s important to run the correct voltage dryer on the appropriate circuit. Running a 240V dryer on a 120V circuit is dangerous – get more details about dryer voltage here: Dryer Voltage Explained [6 Ways To Check Voltage + Safety Tips].

Dryer wattage summary

To summarise, the table below lists the average, most common, highest and lowest wattage for all dryers, 240V dryers and 120V dryers.

Dryer wattage240V dryer wattage120V dryer wattage
Average5,271W5,480W1,360W
Most common5,600W5,600W1,500W
Highest7,200W7,200W1,800W
Lowest825W2,520W825W

Next, let’s take a look at dryer components that consume the most watts.

Related: see how much it costs to run a dryer, here.

Dryer wattage breakdown

The vast majority of watts consumed by dryers goes to heating, followed by running the motor and then for moving air.

Overall, dryers use approx. 5,000W when heating, while the motor uses roughly 250W to spin the drum.

Dryer fans can use approx. 30W to move air for ventilation purposes.


A brief side note on dryer fans:

Dryer fan CFM

Dryer fan CFM refers to the amount of air, in cubic feet per minute, that a dryer moves.

Dryer fan CFM is approx. 100 to 150, according to ENERGY STAR.

Check out how dryer fan CFM compares to the CFM of various other fan types, here.

(I just thought this was interesting – end of side note).


Low wattage clothes dryer

Dryer fans use a substantial amount of watts to run. They are one of the biggest energy guzzlers in homes.

Because of this, let’s briefly take a look at the lowest wattage clothes dryers.

The 240V dryer with the lowest wattage is the Bosch 800 Series – see more details on The Home Depot site, here.

This ENERGY STAR certified 240V dryer uses just 10.5 amps – that’s nearly 1 third of the average for 240V dryers.

For more details on dryer amperage, visit: How Many Amps Does A Dryer Use [Breaker Size & Adapters].

The 120V dryer with the lowest wattage is the RCA 13 lb. Compact Clothes Dryer – get product details on The Home Depot, here.

This space saving, efficient portable dryer uses just 7.5 amps. Unlike 240V dryers, this dryer does not require a dedicated circuit – it can run off of a standard household outlet.

Both the 120V and 240V lowest wattage dryers are stand out dryers in terms of energy efficiency. However, having the lowest wattage does not mean that they are the most efficient.

I go into detail about the most energy efficient dryers below.

But first, how much electricity, in kWh, does a dryer use?

How much electricity does a dryer use

Now that we know how many watts a dryer uses, let’s take a look at how much electricity (in kWh) they use over time.

On average, dryers use 551.61 kWh of electricity per year. This works out at 46 kWh per month.

These figures assume 283 cycles annually, which is typical.

Per load, dryers use 1.95 kWh on average. The most common amount of electricity used by a dryer per load is 2.15 kWh.

The lowest amount of electricity that a dryer uses is 0.44 kWh per load – continue reading to get more detail on this dryer.

The table below summarises how much electricity dryers use over various durations – the results are split into average, most common, highest and lowest categories.

Electricity used per load / cycleElectricity used per month (23.6 cycles)Electricity used per year (283 cycles)
Average1.95 kWh46.00 kWh551.61 kWh
Most common2.15 kWh50.70 kWh608 kWh
Highest2.15 kWh50.70 kWh608 kWh
Lowest0.44 kWh10.42 kWh125 kWh

Ultimately, the amount of electricity a tumble dryer uses depends on many variables including load size, cycle duration and energy efficiency.

The above figures are based on ENERGY STAR certified electric dryers along with some of the most sold electric clothes dryers on The Home Depot.

So, now we know how much electricity dryers use, but is it a lot?

Do clothes dryers use a lot of electricity

Yes, dryers use a lot of electricity.

They’re considered energy guzzlers.

Very few household appliances consume more electricity than clothes dryers.

It’s most common for clothes dryers to use 2.15kWh of electricity per cycle, which works out at 608 kWh per year (assuming 283 cycles).

To put this into perspective, let’s compare the amount of electricity that a dryer uses with other household appliances.

Drying 1 load of clothes in an electric dryer is equivalent to:

Annually, the most common amount of electricity that a dryer uses (i.e. 608 kWh) is nearly double the amount of electricity energy efficient washing machines consume per year (i.e. 316 kWh).

Get more details about the cost of running a washing machine, here.

So electric tumble dryers do use a substantial amount of electricity.

Next, let’s take a look at the most energy efficient electric clothes dryers.

Energy efficient dryers

The dryers that stood out in terms of low wattage are detailed above. But, as mentioned, a low wattage does not mean that the dryer is efficient. 

ENERGY STAR uses “Combined Energy Factor (CEF)” as a key energy performance metric.

CEF is worked out by dividing load weight (in lb.) by the total energy consumed (in kWh) per test cycle, which includes standby, off and active modes.

This basically gives a figure that relates to how much clothes can be dried per kWh consumed.

The higher the CEF figure, the more efficient the dryer.

Energy efficient clothes dryers have a CEF that ranges from 3 to 10.14. On average, energy efficient dryers have a CEF of 4.25, with 3.93 being the most common.

These figures are based on all ENERGY STAR certified electric clothes dryers.

ENERGY STAR also highlights dryers that stand out in terms of energy efficiency. These dryers are labeled “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient”.

Out of 233 ENERGY STAR certified electric dryers, 11 dryers received the “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” label.

The most energy efficient dryers, their electricity usage and CEF are:

DryerCombined energy Factor (CEF)Electricity used per year (283 cycles)Electricity used per load / cycle
Blomberg – DHP24400W5.7 CEF149 kWh0.5265 kWh
LG – DLHC1455*6.4 CEF133 kWh0.4700 kWh
Miele – Miele : TWF160 WP6.37 CEF133 kWh0.4700 kWh
Miele – Miele : TWI180 WP6.37 CEF133 kWh0.4700 kWh
Miele – Miele : TWB120 WP6.37 CEF133 kWh0.4700 kWh
Bosch – WTW87NH1UC6.8 CEF125 kWh0.4417 kWh
Beko – HPD24412W5.7 CEF149 kWh0.5265 kWh
Blomberg – DHP24412W5.7 CEF149 kWh0.5265 kWh
Samsung – DV22N685*H*5.85 CEF145 kWh0.5124 kWh
Miele – Miele : PDR908 HP9.75 CEF245 kWh0.8657 kWh
Samsung – DV22N680*H*5.85 CEF145 kWh0.5124 kWh

This shortlist of the most energy efficient clothes dryers have:

  • A CEF of 6.44 on average – this is a 51% improvement on the overall average.
  • An annual power consumption of 149 kWh on average – this is over 70% lower than the overall average power consumption for ENERGY STAR certified dryers.
  • Similarly, a per load power consumption that’s over 70% less than the overall average for ENERGY STAR certified dryers – 0.5265 kWh per load vs 1.95 kWh per load overall.

Let’s take a look at the most energy efficient clothes dryer in more detail.

Most energy efficient dryer

The most energy efficient dryer is the Miele PDR908 HP – visit mieleusa.com for product details.

This dryer has the highest CEF of all dryers that achieved the label “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient”.

With a price tag of roughly $4k, this professional grade dryer may be more suited for commercial use.

Also, with a per load electricity usage of 0.8657 kWh, this dryer consumes close to double the amount of electricity compared to other dryers that also achieved the label “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient”.

Consuming just 0.44 kWh per load, the dryer with the lowest power consumption, that also attained the “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” label, is the Bosch WTW87NH1UC – get product details on The Home Depot.

With a power consumption close to 80% less than average, this dryer uses the lowest amount of electricity per load out of the 233 ENERGY STAR certified dryers

Its CEF of 6.8 is also very impressive, representing a 60% improvement on the average CEF (i.e. 4.25) for ENERGY STAR certified dryers.

Its price tag is compelling too when compared to the dryer with the highest CEF – close to 1 third the price.

As a result of these factors, I’d argue that this dryer is the most energy efficient dryer on the market for home use.

Overall, the Bosch WTW87NH1UC achieves the title of the most energy efficient dryer. Find out more about this dryer, including the price, on The Home Depot.

See how much it costs to run the most energy efficient dryer, here.

While researching the most energy efficient electric clothes dryers on the market, I came across a lot of frequently asked questions. Below, I’ve listed answers to these common questions.

FAQs

Final thoughts

Very few household appliances consume more electricity than dryers.

As a result, it’s important to consider the energy efficiency of dryers.

Using a low wattage, energy efficient dryer can help you keep your electric bills and carbon footprint low.

Stay tuned, in the next post I’ll list the cost to run a dryer along with ways that you can save electricity to keep your costs and carbon footprint low.

In the meantime, check out these related posts: