Heated clothes airer versus a tumble dryer – which costs more to run?

Heated clothes airer versus a tumble dryer – which costs more to run?
Would you get the heated airer instead of using your tumble dryer? (Photo: Shutterstock)

The heated clothes dryer from Aldi is getting a lot of attention online, but is it any more cost effective than running a tumble dryer?

These are the facts and figures surrounding the energy used by the clothes airer and a tumble dryer and which one is more cost effective.

Energy and cost

All energy is measured in watts (W) and then the number of watts exceeds 1,000 then it is measured in kilowatts (kW).

Once you know the watts and kilowatts that your appliance uses, you’ll be able to figure out how much the energy is costing you per use.

There are ways to calculate the cost of running your appliance yourself, but there are also websites that will calculate the energy and cost, such as Sust-it. You’ll be able to enter what energy tariff you’re on as well, otherwise the default tariff it uses in its calculations is the UK average from December 2018.

Running the heated clothes airer

According to the Aldi website, the heated airer uses a wattage of 230W.

It comes with 20 separate heated bars for you to hang your clothes on and is big enough for sheets and towels as well. It also comes with a three year warranty.

Using Sust-it to figure out the cost of running the heated airer, it would cost 4.09p for 60 minutes of use for an appliance with an energy consumption of 230W.

Over the course of a year, assuming you used the airer once a week for an hour, it would cost £2.29 to run.

However, on a forum from Money Saving Expert discussing the airer, one poster stated that it took eight hours for the clothes on the airer to become “just about dry”.

Taking this into consideration, if you were to use the airer for eight hours a day, once a week, over the course of a year it would cost £18.32 to run.

Running a tumble dryer

The cost of running a tumble dryer will depend on certain variables – the brand of tumble dryer, how often you use it, how full the load is etc, but there are some ways to figure out a rough figure.

According to comparison website Choose, the average tumble dryer uses between 2-3kW of energy. You can check how much energy your brand of tumble dryer uses by googling the brand.

According to Sust-it, an appliance using 2kW running for 60 minutes will cost 35.56p. Assuming you use your tumble dryer for 60 minutes each week, over the course of a year that would cost you £19.91.

However this can vary, as Which? has found that the best tumble dryers can turn 1kg of wet laundry to dry in 15 minutes.

Using this calculation, 15 minutes in the tumble dryer would cost 8.89p to run. Over the course of a year, using the tumble dryer for 15 minutes once a week would cost £4.98.

Which is more cost effective?

When trying to figure out the cost of running the heated airer from Aldi versus a tumble dryer, these are the key points to consider:

  • How often are you going to be drying clothes
  • The volume of clothes that you’re looking to dry
  • How quickly you’d like the clothes to be dried

The airer probably won’t be able to hold as much as a full load in the tumble dryer, and it won’t be able to dry things faster. If doing large loads of washing and having them dry quickly is a priority, then the heated airer might not be the best option.

However, the heated clothes airer from Aldi certainly wins in the convenience category – for many people, especially for those renting their property, buying and installing a tumble dryer isn’t a conceivable option. On the other hand, a slightly larger clothes horse would easily fit in most people’s living space.

This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News