August 2005
Laundry the Natural Gas Way

Drying clothes isn't cheap. With natural gas, laundry can be done fast and efficiently, because time is money. You want a dryer that gets the job done without using a lot of energy.

In 2001, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated the costs for running a natural gas dryer. They estimated 15 to 20 cents per load. Consider that the price of natural gas has gone up since then.

Natural gas eases the hassle of laundry.

It's efficient.
Natural gas dryers instantly heat to the desired temperature. Gas dryers directly draw air into the burner to heat, and then circulate the heat through the garments.

Today's natural gas dryers use an electronic ignition system rather than a pilot light to reduce energy consumption. Gas dryers also include different drying cycles to choose from depending on the type of fabric and desired temperature.

If you're drying delicate fabrics, you can select a delicate cycle, or the automatic termination cycle to prevent over-drying.

It's convenient.
You already have a continuous natural gas supply to your home-why not use it to its fullest! In case your natural gas piping isn't connected to your laundry room, have a licensed heating contractor extend your gas piping. The contractor should also vent the dryer to the outside of your home.

It's fast.
Natural gas dryers get the job done quickly. The less time it takes to dry your clothes, the less energy used. Gas dryers instantly heat the clothes to remove moisture. Here are several tips for doing laundry quick and efficiently:

Top 10 Dryer Efficiency Tips

  1. Avoid overloading the dryer. Too many garments require more work on the dryer and more natural gas. You also want to dry full loads. Small loads waste energy.
  2. Dry several loads consecutively to save energy since the dryer is already warm.
  3. Avoid over-drying laundry. This wastes energy and wears out your garments.
  4. Shake wet garments before placing in the dryer.
  5. Avoid opening the dryer door and allowing heated air to escape when in use.
  6. Clean the lint screen after each use. Dirty screens hinder air passage causing more work on the dryer.
  7. Use the permanent press cycle to reduce wrinkles.
  8. Natural gas dryers should always be vented to the outside of your home.
  9. Have a licensed heating contractor install your natural gas dryer.
  10. Have a licensed heating contractor annually inspect your natural gas connection and check the dryer's venting to the outside.
When shopping for a new dryer, consider the benefits of using natural gas. Consider the current market pricing and the cost of the appliances.

The size appliance you buy should depend on your family's needs. Choose the proper size dryer that holds the capacity you need, any extra wastes energy. Compare features like the number of drying cycles and temperature.

Your family's safety is also important. Install a carbon monoxide detector near your natural gas dryer to protect your family from a gas leak. Have a licensed heating contractor routinely inspect your gas connection.

Log on to the Department of Energy's website for more energy-saving tips

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