Ingenious Clothes Dryer Hacks From Two Sense Customers

The humble clothes dryer can be one of the biggest energy consumers in your home. We recently heard from two people who saved money on their clothes dryers with Sense insights.

Matt Ledbetter used Sense to troubleshoot a problem with his Whirlpool Cabrio dryer. He noticed that the dryer was running much longer than usual, and the clothes came out dry but wrinkled. When he looked at the Sense app, he saw that the dryer was no longer detected, signaling that something had changed. Instead of using 5000 watts when it was turned on, the dryer now appeared to be using 2500 watts. (Even when a device is not detected, you can see how much electricity it uses while running in the Power Meter view.)

The Sense app stopped detecting the dryer in late August and it restarted in October after the new heating element was installed.

Matt surmised that one of the heating elements had broken in the dryer. He replaced it himself for about $40 and the dryer went back to working normally. With his sleuthing, Matt saved himself an expensive service call or dryer replacement. You can read Matt’s post in the Sense Community.

Sam Zelinka’s story caught our attention because he used Sense to figure out exactly how much energy his clothes dryer uses and what it costs. Using Sense, he discovered that his electric dryer used a little over 5000 watts when running, which translated into a cost of 27 cents per hour. But since he had time of use rates, the cost during off-peak hours was 9.2 cents per KwH versus 20.5 cents per KwH during peak times. By shifting more of the drying to off peak times, he could save about 20%.

Sam also discovered that the clothes dryer accounted for 20% of his electricity bill. His money-saving solution? Hang the laundry to dry instead, which could save the family $286 annually.

Sam stopped using the clothes dryer in October 2018 and had a 20% reduction in energy usage.

For more details, read Sam’s story at his blog, GovernmentWorkerFI. And keep looking for energy insights that turn into savings in your house with Sense!

Carol McGarry