Clothes Dryers Added to Energy Star Program
The Environmental Protection Agency announced May 27 the first Energy Star label for clothes dryers. An EPA press release states that if all residential clothes dryers sold in the U.S. meet these new requirements, the utility cost savings will grow to more than $1.5 billion each year and more than 22 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented.
According to the EPA, the new Energy Star specification will recognize a selection of electric, gas and compact dryers that will use approximately 20% less energy than required by the minimum efficiency standards effective in 2015. Dryer models that meet the new specification are likely to have improved auto termination sensors, which help reduce energy use by more effectively ending the drying cycle once clothes are dry, and may include heat pump dryers, which recapture the hot air used by the dryer and pump it back into the drum to dry more clothes.
The new specification also establishes optional “connected” criteria for residential clothes dryers, the press release states. Energy Star dryers with connected functionality will offer features such as an alert indicating there is a performance issue or feedback on the energy efficiency of different cycle selections. These products will also be “smart grid” ready, meaning they will give consumers the option to connect their dryer with their local utility to save money on their energy bills and facilitate broader electric power system efficiency.
The EPA notes that to earn the Energy Star label products must be certified by an EPA-recognized third party based on testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory. In addition, manufacturers must participate in verification testing programs operated by recognized certification bodies.