Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

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Comments

  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric
    Gooserider wrote: »
    Would sound to me like a good place to put a water detector / alarm! Gooserider

    You’re not kidding. We did after the first failure. I had one in our basement but didn't think of it with the "new" washer on the second (main) floor. After the washer failed that first time we put one in and we did use one of the ones with about an 8 foot lead with sensor and mounted the alarm just above and behind the washer on the wall. It saved us the next two times for sure!

    I would recommend everyone using a washer have them, unless it's in a basement on a concrete floor with a nice drain ;)
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Actually I have one wired to kill my well water pump in case of a major leak in the house. Did have a pipe burst about to years ago and flood the basement. Now the pump will just shut off, preventi8ng a flood, which is great.
    Wayne
  • GooseriderGooserider Solar Expert Posts: 48
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Well ours are limited in that they require someone to be home and hear them, but it would be hard to do much to change that, as none are in a setup conducive to automatic shutoffs...

    1. Under kitchen sink mostly to catch drain problems...
    2. In bucket under T/P valve on water heater - again leak detection, we had a defective burner at one point that kept getting stuck on...
    3. In sump pit located above turn on point for primary pump, below turn on for secondary - if the main pump fails, the alarm will sound intermittently as the pit fills to turn on the backup pump.

    Gooserider
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    I know you are running a Staber, which is quite efficient, but consider an old fashion wringer type washing machine. I know that our ringer (honda powered) gets way more water out than any conventional washing machine. ( Never used a Staber. We use the ringer and hang out, (or in if needed)

    Your S.E. AK location makes air drying a bit a problem much of the year.

    Good luck,

    Icarus
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    I remember as a kid, that "out in the country" (Ha, I was from a very small village in the country) some people still didn't have electricity, and some of them had wringer washers powered by a little Briggs & Straton gas engine, probably 2 or 3 HP, that poked partly out from under the skirt of the washer. They were used outside on the "back porch" and of course only on sunny mornings. They were at that time still available through Simpsons-Sears, the Canadian version of Sears-Roebuck. Wish I had seen one operating.
    Haha, just remembered in those early days, one of the big hazards of using a wringer washer was getting ones fingers caught in the wringer. Seems it was rather common that occurred while feeding the cloths into the rollers. My mom always had a little stick she used to poke the cloths in. She was a Nurse and saw a few of the results of such accidents. As kids, we were always warned to keep our fingers away from the wringer if we wanted to keep them, now they warn not to stick our heads into the spinning drum of front loaders. Haha :)
    Wayne
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    i missed this thread!
    I have a unit thats a combo washer/dryer , an LG like one of these:
    http://www.lgwasherdryer.com/

    at the time (3 yrs ago?) it was one of the most efficient, fairly rated units around. it also has the super fast 1400 rpm spindown, and dries by convection, so even though its electric it only uses high wattage to pump some hot air in every few minutes, and somehow it forces the water out. its pretty low power but havent measured it exactly.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    AFAIK, these are called "condensing driers". They use a small heater and fan, plus they use the cold water faucet to keep a condenser cold.

    Fan moves air past heater, hot air circulate into cloths, removes water, air circulates past condenser (running cold water to keep cool), water drops off into drain/pump...

    PDF of system here...

    They are somewhat energy efficient--but I honestly don't know how much better than an electric drier they would be. And, in any case, check the extra water usage during the dry cycle too--that may be an issue for some people.

    If you have gas/propane, a separate drier would probably be cheaper (or go with alternate drying methods--such as line drying).

    I don't know if running a washer/condensing drier is a great idea for solar or not. I guess a yellow energy tag could tell us more (or measure power with a kill-a-watt meter through the cycle).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Bill

    theyre exceptionally better (lower powered) than an electric drier. thats why i mentioned it. I had researched these extensively, it was in the top 10 list at the time.. very cheap to run. dont forget its only 115v too. they're designed to be a minimum of 39% BETTER than energy star ratings. these werent as energy efficient as the italian ones (forget name) but these had better reliability ratings. our measely 1.9kwdc solar runs 90+% of our yearly electricity usage for family of three, you know i dont have any big loads doing that.

    still, ill measure.. a full wash/dry cucle sometime soon if anyones curious.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    I am glad it is working well for you... I have heard about them before, and they are supposed to take 3-4 hours just to dry--so a fair amount of energy is still used for the internal electric heater(s) and drum motors.

    Looking forward to your kill-a-watt measurements.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    First I have heard about these things ... googled a bit and the only hard information I found was

    http://www.creativelaundry.com/product_line/washer-dryer-ventless.cfm#5
    How much energy does it consume?
    This will vary, depending on the size of the machine and the load. The condensing dryer saves an enormous amount of electrical energy by returning the already warm air to the drum, requiring only a few degrees bump in temperature, instead of heating room temperature air to the level needed to dry the clothes. Conventional dryers exhaust 200 cubic feet of air per minute from the residence, condensing dryers do not. This is 10,000 cubic feet per cycle that does not need to be heated or cooled to room temperature, an enormous saving in not only residential utility costs, but in the stress placed on the air intake systems of the building

    There as NO energystar rating on dryers, so no hard numbers and all the models I saw on my search were 220v/20a or 30a. Id be interested if there is some hard energy savings data, seems like a solid approach to drying clothes
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    But research the brands/models... I have read quite a few complaints about multiple failures (across multiple brands) once the units get some age.

    But, the accuracy of self reported problems is always up for question...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Looked up a LG WH3632 condensing washer drier on EnergyStar.gov and it came in at 199-222kWhr per year.

    My Fisher Paykel (washer) comes in around 208-220 kWhrs per year--So my guess is that the Energy Star rating is only for the wash cycle...

    On wash/dry, the LG washer/dryer I looked up seem to have 15 lb capacity for washing and ~8 lb capacity for drying... So, if you run full loads, it, in theory, should take about 6-8+ hours to dry a load of cloths (in two batches).

    :confused:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    (Continuing thread drift) Ok, we did purchase the spin extractor http://www.laundry-alternative.com/products/Spin_Dryer.html We typically get about 1/2 gallon of water out per load before putting them in the dryer. If it is all cotton we get more, close to 3/4 gallon less cotton we get 1/3 gallon. It noticeably shortens the dry time on the sensing cycle on the dryer.

    The down side is we can only get about half the washer in the spin dryer so it takes two spins, but they only take min each max.

    So how much energy does it take to remove 1/2 gallon with heat?
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    If you can weight the cloths after spin dry, after extraction (or just the amount of water removed), and how much they weigh after dried.

    Would give a a good idea of how much water is is left in the cloths vs how much the extractor is removing.

    You could go farther and run a kill-a-watt on the drier (if 120 VAC) and go out to your meter and see if you can tell how much gas is used (if natural gas)...

    But who would go that far to check a drier load... Not one of us. :p

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    actually posted that info here back when i first bought it a few yrs ago.. in the meantime there's some ratings for mine (WD-327*RHD) and lots others on this list (also posted once upon a time :)

    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=clotheswash.display_products_html

    the ratings for mine i dont think are entirely correct as this is a listing of clothes _washers_ not driers, and since mine is both i am guessing the numbers are for washing only. still, ill measure a full load sometime soon... often we just line dry as the clothes can be wrinkly sometimes.. they have a new bigger model out with steam cleaning and im thinking of getting that at some point.

    fwiw: the brand i couldnt remember the name of is equador and you can see form the list this italian company's all in one washer/dryer products are super efficient but ill share that they got lots of bad points for poor reliability
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    I know that quite a few of the front loading machines (including your LG Washer/Drier combo) include an element to heat the hot water up to ~160 degrees F.

    Apparently very nice for washing whites--but a cycle/feature that should probably be avoided if trying to conserve electricity (such as off-grid solar, etc.).

    I agree--the kWhr/year numbers appear to only be for the wash function--and do not include the drier cycle.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Bill I know a ½ gallon of water is right about 4 lbs, that was pretty typical for what we extracted. Since we are still living at my parent’s house with the 4 kids waiting for our house to be done I don't want to mess with their dryer to check consumption ;) If it were my house I would have TED setup to meter the whole thing. I would assumer the power to dry off the ½ gallon or 4 lbs is about what it saves energy wise. I can't image the extractor takes much, I will put a kill-a-watt on it for kicks.
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    I just did a load of wash , with the setting on maximum spin speed 1400rpms (mucho water extraction so drying time is shorter) and it used about .13kwh for a wash load including the spindown. yes theres lots of options you can play with for each type of wash that affect efficiency. we always use the cotton setting which has maximum spindown speed (driest clothes without drying). i have experimented with having it wash with cold water vs warm but it was too hard to determine of there was an advantage either way when electric drying. i was going to leave the clothes in for dry but wife informed me that load had to be line dried..yes it takes 3-4 hrs to dry.. something to consider when getting one: you have the advantage of saving energy,and being able to throw a load in in the morning, come home from work and its not only clean but dry. downside is if you need clothes dried quick youre out of luck. ours is i think over 3 yrs old now and is reliable. its funny that things like this have been in widespread use in europe for a decade (like tankless water heaters) and continue to be unpopular here.. we line dry our clothes most of the time because this unit wrinkles the clothes quite a bit, but i still would buy it again (and am secrely glad we "have" to line dry them most often). still, as a favor to the wife im probably going to get the larger unit with steam when we need a new one. i never really compared it directly with a staber as we have a space issue and this is perfect. i will be back with a measurement of a full wash/dry cycle's power usage. (although this number varies: synthetic materials will dry much quicker than thicker wools/cottons).

    edit: although its yearly kwh rating on the list is 140 i think we probably run more loads than the estimate with a kid and dogs dirtying everything they looks at
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 934 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    BB,
    Our Kenmore front loader has a mix of water temps to choose from. On reading the manual i found that 3 of the choices will make the warm and cold waters definite temps, not just what comes out the pipe (cold) or mixed 50:50 (warm). There's no heating element, just a temp sensitive mixing valve. I think Cold is 70deg F.

    Ralph
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Ralph,

    Our Fisher Paykel washer also can mix water temperatures too to obtain a setting (for example, in cold weather it will set 70F too)... However, it does not have an internal electric water heater element like many of the upper end front loaders do...

    One of the theories for proper washing is to start with just warm water for the biological cleaning, then increase it (via the electric heating element) for the detergents to work best.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Finally got to it, my little all in one can use between 2 and 3 kwh's per wash/dry cycle. thats a full load of washing,spin drying, and electric by condensing dry. it was more than i expected it to be. depends alot on the materials being dried, it has a "sensedry" thing that usually is accurate (it shuts down when dry) but certain loads throw it off. for example some nylons will make the thing think theyre not dry when they are, and vice versa if its stuffed too full. its wierd to watch the realtime wattage during dry, it will run up at around 1400watts, then bump down to 30w occasionally. it spent more time than i thought it would on the higher settings. so seeing how mucha cycle can use has pushed us into action and we're setting the maxium dry time instead of autosensing so we can be sure not to have expensive/energy inefficient miscalculations. still ,we dry alot so just using it for washing is very very almost (dare i say it) unnoticeable amounts of power.
    8)
    BB. wrote: »
    I am glad it is working well for you... I have heard about them before, and they are supposed to take 3-4 hours just to dry--so a fair amount of energy is still used for the internal electric heater(s) and drum motors.

    Looking forward to your kill-a-watt measurements.

    -Bill
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    We have a new energy efficient, digital control, propane dryer. Seems to use little fuel to maintain drying cycles.

    According to my wife clothes come out without any yellowing.
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF Custom House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • jeannie812jeannie812 Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    To Josh,

    You can vent your electric dryer inside your house. You heat your house while your laundry dries. You can't do this with a gas/ or propane dryer.

    I vent my electric dryer inside my house. I bought a Heat Saver which is simply a plastic box with lint screen. It cost $10.00 from hardware store. It has a toggle switch on it. You just hook it up to your dryer's vent hose. You turn the switch to vent inside the house in winter, and turn the switch to vent the heat outside in summer. In summer you also have a outdoor clothes line, unless it's a rainy week. If you have a mobile home you can vent your dryer under the house in winter to thaw pipe freezes, and if the temps won't be zero, then set the switch to vent inside house. In winter I always schedule my wash at night. I let the wet laundry sit in dryer overnight. In morning I just push the ON button on dryer and dryer heats the house while it dries the laundry I washed the night before.

    I too heat my house with wood stove. I am always looking for ways to cut down my energy bills.

    Another option with your electric is to ask your electric company if they offer Time of Day service. I am on this plan with my electric company. I use my electric during Off Peak hours. I power down during Peak hours. I save $100.00 per month by using Time of Day service.


    Hope this helps.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Venting your dryer into the house comes with some peril,, especially in high humidity areas. In the real world, you are introducing a huge amount of moisture into the air in a short amount of time. In some climates, especially in the winter, this may be desirable, in many areas not. A better solution would be to vent the dryer into a air/air heat exchanger, capturing the heat back into the house,,while venting the moisture out of the house.

    Tony
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    jeannie,
    welcome to the forum.
    this thread is nearly 4yrs old now, but input to a thread is ok to do as long as you realize that some have not been on the forum for some time.
    as to venting indoors, that is ok to a point, but you reach a point in the humidity levels that can get uncomfortable and could cause some damage if it condenses in certain places. even molds and mildews may rear their ugly heads.

    you beat me to it tony.:p
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    jeannie812,

    Just to let you know--We are not really using the Blog software just yet (brand new software upgrade to forum). At this point, don't want to run duplicates with posts in the forum and on the Blog side.

    Regarding venting to the home--When I was a kid, we had an electric dryer that vented to the kitchen. Was kind of nice in the kitchen, but made for mold problems in the rest of the home--especially when my parents tried cutting back on the heat (cold bedrooms, get musty closets. Had to put a 40 watt bulb in closet to keep dry). We lived on the coast (just below San Francisco) and had our fair share of wet winters and foggy summers under lots of trees. Eventually, moved the dryer to the garage and vented outside--Made things much nicer (on average) in the home.

    Did make for a fair amount of extra dust too.

    -Bill

    PS: Watch for lint in your hoses too. Can be a fire hazard.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • jeannie812jeannie812 Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    To niel-N3GHX

    Josh burns wood for heat as I do. The constant dry hot heat of the wood stove in winter makes the house so dry you get a static shock touching anything! Here kitty kitty! I thought it makes venting the electric dryer indoors in winter a good idea. I did say to vent dryer outside in summer.

    Sorry I posted to something so old. I was just checking propane vs. electric and stumbled on Josh's post. I didn't check the date, I just jumped in.

    I see this site deals with renewable energy?

    I wish I could get solar panels but no grants for residential in Wisconsin.. only businesses and agriculture?

    My son has the smarts to make solar panels. Wish you guys had a internet game to get him interested.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,334 admin
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Jeanie,

    Don't worry about it... Zach has not been back for something like 4 years--So he is probably not going to see your posts.

    If you have questions or suggestions for others--please feel free to start your own thread.

    And, yes, we are a renewable energy forum--Mostly about Solar Electric systems and some discussions about other "off grid" related power (thermal, wind, etc.).

    But--When people first ask us about how many solar panels and batteries for their home/cabin/etc... We first ask them to look at what they can do for conservation. So--we end up doing a fair amount of discussion about how to use less energy (it is almost always better investing in conservation measures than to just build a bigger off-grid power system).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric
    jeannie812 wrote: »
    To niel-N3GHX

    Josh burns wood for heat as I do. The constant dry hot heat of the wood stove in winter makes the house so dry you get a static shock touching anything! Here kitty kitty! I thought it makes venting the electric dryer indoors in winter a good idea. I did say to vent dryer outside in summer.

    Sorry I posted to something so old. I was just checking propane vs. electric and stumbled on Josh's post. I didn't check the date, I just jumped in.

    I see this site deals with renewable energy?

    I wish I could get solar panels but no grants for residential in Wisconsin.. only businesses and agriculture?

    My son has the smarts to make solar panels. Wish you guys had a internet game to get him interested.

    jeannie,
    if you have difficulty in keeping the humidity levels comfortable then by all means vent inside.

    no problem on jumping in as i just wanted you to be aware.

    yes, we do deal with renewables. let me ask you this, do you have power outages that can last long times? if yes, then he may be interested in a solar backups so he can continue playing his games via battery power. not cheap to do, but the pc won't get a bad shutdown and he can put other things like modems, routers, lights, etc on it for longer timeperiods. how big and how long the loads go for determines how big and costly for the system. you could have a backups without the solar too if he'd not think the outages are bad enough just as long as there is a good quality 3 stage charger to keep the batteries properly charged. some inverters have the charger built into it too.

    now he may think of the computer backups that are $29.95. we aren't talking that kind of backups as everything is of higher quality and abilities. you may even put a refrigerator on it to prevent food spoilage, but the system will need to go larger yet in that case.

    as to the solar panels being homemade, we don't recommend that as nobody can make them at home as well or as cheaply as commercially made ones and the commercial ones come with a long term warranty too.

    yes, incentives vary from non-existent to excellent depending on where you are. the photovoltaic panels, or pvs as we call them, are the cheapest right now than they have ever been. they still cost though.

    there is another method of utilizing solar pvs that is grid tied and this is usually without battery backup, but is also out there with battery backup. gt systems are the ones that get the incentives anyway. this type of system offsets your electric consumption by the amount of solar power produced and thus saves some on the electric bill. with the gt system without battery backup, when the grid goes down, as in outage, there will not be any power available from the pvs either as this is a safety precaution called anti-islanding to protect linemen from getting unexpectedly shocked.

    i know it's not easy getting kids interested in something so maybe dangle carrots to see if he bites?
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,412 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric

    Avoid the energy use at all,, and use a clothes line. Even an indoor one.

    Tony
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