Clothes Dryers


Clothes dryers include both standard- and compact-sized electric and gas dryers. Most clothes dryers are vented, where the exhaust air is vented outside, whereas ventless dryers are common in space-constrained applications (e.g., apartments). Manufacturers have also recently introduced ventless heat pump clothes dryers to the US market, which can reduce energy use by up to 50% or more compared to a conventional electric resistance dryer.


The current standards for clothes dryers took effect in 2015. The standards were based on a consensus agreement between manufacturers and efficiency advocates and specify a minimum combined energy factor (CEF) for each type of dryer. The minimum CEF levels for standard-size electric and gas dryers are 3.73 and 3.30, respectively. The current standards represent energy savings of about 5% relative to the previous standards, which took effect in 1994.

In 2024, DOE finalized amended standards for clothes dryers based on a joint recommendation from manufacturers and efficiency advocates. For both standard-sized electric and gas dryers, the standards are equivalent to the current ENERGY STAR levels and represent energy savings of about 40% relative to the least-efficient products on the market.     

*CEF is expressed in terms of pounds of clothes dried per kWh of energy consumed.


Clothes dryers often represent the third largest energy user in a home behind only heating/cooling equipment and water heaters. About 80% of US households have a clothes dryer, and of those, about 80% utilize an electric clothes dryer. 



Fact Sheets



ASAP Press Releases



Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2022
Updated DOE Standard Due 2019
3rd Federal Standard Effective 2015
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2013
3rd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2011
2nd Federal Standard Effective 1994
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 1991
1st Federal Standard Effective 1988
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 1987
NAECA Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 1987

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.