How much does it cost to run a tumble dryer?

In light of energy bills rising, we found out how much it costs to run a tumble dryer and how you can lower costs

Person removing clothes from a tumble dryer
(Image credit: Getty images)

With energy bills on the rise, how much does it cost to run a tumble dryer on cold and wet days when you can’t dry your washing outside?   

The price guarantee introduced by the government has fixed energy prices at £2,500 for two years from October, increasing your energy bills by £529 per year. 

For tumble dryers, the energy price guarantee means instead of paying the current 28p for every kWh of electricity, you will pay 34p per kWh from October. 

Almost three in five f households in the UK own a tumble dryer, according to Statica. So, as easy as it is to turn to the tumble dryer, you first need to consider how much it costs to run a tumble dryer and how much energy it uses, so you can keep costs down.


The cost of running a tumble dryer varies depending on the type of tumble dryer you have, its weight, energy consumption and its energy rating. 

Based on an average 8kg load tumble dryer, from October it will cost you between £91.80 and £198.90 to run. 

There is a big range in which your costs can differ because there are three types of tumble dryers:

  • Heat pump
  • Condenser 
  • Vented

With the kWh change from October to 34p per kWh, we look at how much it will cost to run a tumble dryer based on an 8kg model.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
TYPE OF TUMBLE DRYERCOST PER USE (Before Energy Price Guarantee)COST PER USE (After Energy Price Guarantee)
Heat pump61p74p
Condenser £1.57£1.99

Here’s how the three types of tumble dryers differ: 

Heat pump: These tumble dryers are energy efficient and cost less to run, according to Homeserve. Heat pump tumble dryers give out warm air to your laundry and then a condenser separates the water by collecting it in a water tank. The warm air is then recycled and pumped back into the drum to dry the rest of the laundry. These tumble dryers only reach a maximum of 50 degrees. 

With the new price cap effective from October, a heat pump tumble dryer will cost you around £91.80 to use per year. 

Condenser: The main function of a condenser tumble dryer is to take out all of the moisture from the laundry and then re-circulate the air in the drum to dry the garments. The good thing about this tumble dryer is you can place it anywhere and don’t need to worry about external ventilation. Condenser tumble dryers are more affordable than vented tumble dryers but use more energy than a heat pump one. 

With the new price cap effective from October, a condenser tumble dryer will cost you around £190.40 to use per year. 

Vented tumble dryer: The heat in a vented tumble dryer comes into the drum from your home, so from outside the dryer. But this means you need to keep in mind where you will place the tumble dryer in your home, as it needs to be near an external vent.

These tumble dryers tend to be the cheapest to buy but it is the least energy efficient of the three types of dryer.

With the new price cap effective from October, a vented tumble dryer will cost you around £198.90 to use per year.


  • Choose a high spin cycle on your washing machine. Vijay Bhardwaj, Marketing Director at Beko plc says: “Selecting a high spin cycle on your washing machine will reduce the amount of water left in your garments, reducing the time it takes for your clothes to dry in the tumble dryer.”
  • Chuck in tumble dryer balls into your load. This will help circulate the hot air around your garments and reduce its drying time. 
  • Clean the lint filter. Tumble dryers have a lint filter which can get clogged up with fluff from your garments, blocking any hot air from entering the drum. This means you will have to use more energy to dry your laundry properly. Cleaning the filter regularly means hot air can circulate efficiently. 
  • Use the dryer overnight. If you’re on a flat rate, running your tumble dryer overnight is off-peak and costs you less. 
  • Try to only run on full loads. Whether you put in a full or small load, it will use the same amount of energy to dry both. So it’s better to wait for a full load to make the most of your money. 
  • Untangle your garments. When placing items into the dryer, make sure they are untangled so the hot air can reach each piece properly.


Check the energy efficiency rating. Tumble dryers use energy labels from A+++ to D, A+++ being the most energy efficient and D being the least. Not only do the different energy labels influence the price of tumble dryers with the more efficient ones being costly, but it also gives you a big saving over time. According to Energy Saving Trust, buying an A+++ tumble dryer over a D energy rated one can save you approximately £980 over its lifetime, and it’s worth noting that tumble dryers have a long lifespan. 

Only go for what you can afford. The price label is just as important as how much the tumble dryer costs to run. If you’re on a budget, a heat pump tumble dryer is sensible as it is an affordable choice to buy and run. 

When shopping around, look for the sensor drying option on a tumble dryer. “When selecting a drying cycle, be sure to use sensor drying programmes if present on your machine. By identifying the level of moisture in the drum, this technology automatically stops the cycle when the optimal dryness level has been reached, avoiding over-drying and saving money on your energy bills, as well as protecting your laundry,” Vijay adds. 

Think about where you place the tumble dryer. Especially if you have a vented tumble dryer that depends on external heat, it’s important to place the tumble dryer in a well ventilated place.

Look at the maximum temperature of the tumble dryer. Low temperatures is a good sign as it uses less energy, which means the dryer will cost less to run. For example a heat pump tumble dryer only goes up to 50 degrees.

Vaishali Varu
Staff Writer

Vaishali graduated in journalism from Leeds University. She has gained experience writing local stories around Leeds and Leicester, which includes writing for a university publication and Leicester Mercury. 

She has also done some marketing and copywriting for businesses.

When she is not writing about personal finance, Vaishali likes to travel and she's a foodie.