Shopping for dryers is very simple: All standard dryer models do a good job, and there there is only one product feature that saves energy in dryers: the moisture sensor.

Tests done by the ENERGY STAR program have found no real difference in energy use between dryer models. The only difference comes from consumer use of the moisture sensor feature.

Using a moisture sensor, and avoiding 15 minutes of overdrying on each load will save an average of $55 per year.

Here’s the straight talk on buying a dryer:

Don’t look for an ENERGY STAR label.  ENERGY STAR dryers are  hard to find! Only 25 models are ENERGY STAR certified (as of December 2015), and none of these are available at major retailers. Certified models tend to be on the large side, and save just $20 – $25 per year.

Get a moisture sensor.  And use it.  This avoids overdrying, drops electricity bills by roughly $55 per year.

Don’t look for estimated energy use data.  Companies are not yet required to provide the data. As 2015 models are released, energy data should be more prevalent.

Rank your dryer choices by customer reviews. Consumer Reports notes the standard models all do a good job. So look for good reviews. Watch the noise level, as that is a frequent complaint.

Choose a laundry pair (washer + dryer)  by the washer’s energy savings.  The efficiency of your washing machine will have the biggest impact on your bill.  The dryer just follows along.

A note on heat pump dryers:  In 2014 LG and Whirlpool introduced a new product to the US market, the heat pump dryer.  This technology is widely used in Europe, but new to the U.S.  Although it saves additional $20 – $25 per year in energy costs, the purchase price is high and the drying cycle is long. Our recommendation is to wait a few years before buying this product.