Will heat pump clothes dryers be the next big thing in energy efficiency?
LG Electronics is getting attention in the U.S. with its EcoHybrid Heat Pump Dryer, which was just recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency with its 2014 Energy Star Emerging Technology Award.
Heat pump dryers like LG’s capture heat leaving the dryer, remove moisture and then send the warm air back to the appliance to be used again. They’re fairly common in Europe and elsewhere in the world, but until now their higher price tag hasn’t made them economically feasible here in the States, where energy is cheaper.
The annual Energy Star award is given to innovative technologies that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing features or functionality.
The EcoHybrid Heat Pump Dryer (model DLHX4072) is available in limited markets and is expected to be available nationwide in the fall. The suggested retail price is $1,599 to $1,699, depending on color, but utility company incentives and rebates may be available that bring the price down.