cost to run tumble dryer

How much does it cost to run a tumble dryer?

Want to know how much it costs to run a tumble dryer? Enter your details into the tumble dryer electricity cost calculator below to find out.


(Weekly Cost)


(Monthly Cost)


(Yearly Cost)

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How much electricity does a tumble dryer use?

Tumble dryers use anywhere between 1.1 kWh and 6 kWh depending on the make and model. Check the details of your tumble dryer to get the most accurate electricity consumption and cost figures.

How to use the calculator

  • Power Consumption (kWh): Enter your tumble dryer’s energy consumption in Kilowatts per Hour.
  • kWh Cost (Pence): Enter the cost per Kilowatt you’re paying, in pence. For example, if you’re paying 29p per kWh, just enter 29.
  • Usage Time (Minutes): Enter the number of minutes you will be using the tumble dryer.
  • Cycles per week (Required): Leave this as 1 if you just want a one-off calculation per cycle. If you use the dryer multiple times per week, change this number to the number of times you use the dryer per week.

How to calculate tumble dryer running cost

Electricity cost calculator

First, you need to know the energy consumption of the tumble dryer, which is typically measured in kilowatts (kW). This information can often be found on a label on the dryer or in the user manual.

For this example, let’s assume your cost is 29p per kWh, the tumble dryer has a power rating of 5.2 kWh, and you’re using it for 45 minutes per cycle.

Cost estimation

Energy consumption per cycle:

  • Energy Consumption (kWh) = Power Rating (kW) × Duration (h)
  • For a 5.2 kW dryer used for 45 minutes (which is 0.75 hours):
  • Energy Consumption = 5.2 kW × 0.75 h = 3.9 kWh per cycle

Cost per cycle:

  • Cost per cycle = Energy Consumption (kWh) × Energy Rate (£/kWh)
  • Cost per cycle = 3.9 kWh × £0.29 kWh = £1.131 per cycle

Estimate the weekly cost:

  • Weekly Cost (£) = Cost per cycle (£) × Number of cycles per week
  • Weekly Cost = £1.131 × 3 = £3.393 per week

Calculate monthly and annual costs:

  • Assuming 4 weeks per month: Monthly Cost (£) = Weekly Cost × 4 = £3.393 × 4 = £13.572 per month
  • Annual Cost (£) = Weekly Cost × 52 = £3.393 × 52 = £176.436 per year

Types of tumble dryers

There are three main primary types of tumble dryers available, the type you choose will have a direct impact on your overall running cost.

  1. Vented Tumble Dryers: These models expel moist air through a venting pipe and require installation near an external wall or window. They are often less expensive to purchase but can be costlier to run.
  2. Condenser Tumble Dryers: With these dryers, the moisture is condensed into water and collected in a tank. They offer more flexibility in terms of placement within your home but still have moderate running costs.
  3. Heat Pump Tumble Dryers: These are the most energy-efficient models, using a heat pump to recycle air and extract water. Although typically more expensive to buy, heat pump dryers can be more economical over time due to lower energy consumption.

Energy efficiency ratings

Energy efficiency ratings are crucial to understanding the potential electricity cost and environmental impact of a tumble dryer. In the UK, these ratings range from A+++ (most efficient) to D (least efficient).

A higher rating indicates a more energy-efficient model, which translates to lower running costs and a smaller carbon footprint for you.

When comparing tumble dryers, consider the following:

  • Tumble dryers with an A+++ rating are currently the most energy-efficient, and while they may have a higher initial cost, they tend to offer the lowest running costs.
  • The energy rating should be a key consideration alongside the type of dryer, as it provides a clear indication of the long-term costs associated with running the appliance.

Maintenance and usage tips

The way you maintain and use your tumble dryer can also contribute to cost savings:

  • Full Load: Always dry a full load rather than multiple smaller loads to maximise efficiency.
  • Sensor Drying: Utilise sensor drying technology to prevent over-drying and save energy.
  • Lower Temperatures: Select lower temperature settings when possible to reduce energy use.
  • Ventilation: Ensure your dryer is well ventilated during cycles; this helps improve efficiency for vented models.
  • Maintenance: Regularly clean the lint filter and check the vent pipe to maintain optimal performance.
  • Tumble Dryer Balls: Consider using tumble dryer balls; they can improve air circulation and reduce drying time.