Smarter Living: Stuff

dryer

Photo: RubyJi/Flickr

Your 10-year-old clothes dryer has broken down again. It's cheap enough to fix, but should you just replace it? Probably not, and here's why:

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, as long as your dryer has a moisture sensor (nearly all models in operation today do), it functions at about the same efficiency as current models. Replacing a dryer that can perform as efficiently as a new model not only costs money upfront without providing any energy savings, but it also puts a dryer-size burden on landfills and adds to the demand for energy to produce and transport these bulky appliances.

A dryer's average life is about 13 years. If yours is younger than that, you'll likely get enough good use out of it to justify calling the repairman. You can add years to your dryer's life by line drying clothes whenever possible. You'll also save money and carbon dioxide emissions by hanging your laundry out to dry.

When it is time to buy a new dryer, look for one with the moisture sensor in the drum rather than in the exhaust vent. It will shut off a little sooner and use slightly less energy.

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Salvage or Scrap: Clothes Washers

last revised 11/9/2011

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