Thread Number: 74900  /  Tag: Modern Dryers
Has anyone tested the EcoDry Option on a SQ Dryer for Energy Savings?
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Post# 987087   3/18/2018 at 01:48 (188 days old) by sq9series (seattle)        

My SQ dryer has an EcoDry option that I can add to my cycles. I have been using it on all my cycles. I believe the EcoDry option decreases the temperature of the cycle setting by 10% after the initial temperature setting has been reached.

I am unable to determine how much energy this actually saves over the course of a drying cycle. I don't think I will get 10% savings over the entire drying cycle because I don't believe the energy savings starts until after the initial temperature setting has been reached. I also have been thinking that the energy savings for the remaining portion of the cycle with reduced heat might be less then 10%. I am wondering if reducing heat by 10% may slightly extend the drying time using a lower heat setting which might offset some of the savings of reducing heat.

I wanted to test this myself, but my Kill-A-Watt monitor doesn't work for 240 volts. Has anyone else tested this option out?

Post# 987090 , Reply# 1   3/18/2018 at 02:09 (188 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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I have no clue as to whether it works or how it works, but it would seem o me that the best way to save energy would be to INCREASE the temperature rather than decrease because the cycle would complete faster and the constant energy use factor of the motor for tumbling and fan would spend less time running. It is all about water evaporation and the higher the temp, the faster and more efficiently that happens.

Just my own guess/opinion.

Post# 987107 , Reply# 2   3/18/2018 at 07:16 (188 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        
Exactly the opposite, speedqueen

Yes, the motor is a constant load, but only of 300-400W, tops.

The heater has 4500W, or more.

So for 1h of heater operation, you get 10h of motor runtime. Thus, airflow is cheaper then heat.
In theory, a vented dryer could dry without any heat probably about as efficent as with normal heat.

The biggest amount of savings is the first period after the initial heating. There is a longer pause of heating while still drying quickly.

And you have to keep in mind that the energy needed to heat the air is dependent on the difference to room temperature. Thus the lower the target temperature, the lower the difference, the lower the usage.

And - last but not least - SQ dryers do not temper the heat towards the end of drying. The EcoOption basicly does that tempering verry early in the cycle.

Does it save 10%? Probably not. Does it save some? Yes, for sure, otherwise the option wouldn't be existent.

And as it certanly is more gentle to clothes, I would use it whenever you're not in a hurry.

Post# 987113 , Reply# 3   3/18/2018 at 09:18 (187 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

With the use of thermisters instead of the old heavy metal thermostats, there is no longer the big lag of "heat off" time after the heat cycles off before the heat cycles back on. Old heavy metal thermostats cooled much slower than the air flowing off the damp load. With the thermisters, the heat cycles on very quickly, sometimes in less than a minute, in response to the air temperature drop once the heat cycles off. No longer does the air temperature have to drop 30 to 50 degrees before cycling the heat back on.

Longer running time at a lower temperature can be a real energy sucker if you are operating the dryer in a climate-controlled part of your dwelling or building because you are sucking heated or cooled air out of the home as your dryer pulls around 150 cubic feet of air per minute that you have paid to heat or cool through it to the outside. This already heated or cooled air has to be made up from the outside and the air from the outside has to be heated or cooled once it is in the building.

Post# 987118 , Reply# 4   3/18/2018 at 11:01 (187 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Happened to check the sister's dryer last weekend upon replacing the blower housing thermal cut-out (and thermistor for good measure). Ex Low temp (with no clothes for buffering) rang 160F-ish cut-out to 115F cut-in. I was surprised at that much differential. It's a Samsung so there's that. Initial check was high temp, reached 175F and climbing so I had concern the board relay was stuck or whatever and it was gonna blow the fuse again and shut it to air to cool, rechecked on Ex Low. Meat thermometer from a gas grill so maybe not much accuracy.

Post# 987122 , Reply# 5   3/18/2018 at 11:32 (187 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

Long cycleing however reduces the number of switchings the relay has to do, thus is still used. Cycleing in a 10 window is unnecessary stress on switching components and the element (thermal expansion).

And yes, the whole wasted air argument has always been there.
When I brought that up about heatpump dryers I've been told most people do not have their laundry appliances in airconditioned locations.

Post# 987124 , Reply# 6   3/18/2018 at 11:59 (187 days old) by sq9series (seattle)        

Hi Tomturbomatic

I never thought about heat loss using a dryer in conditioned space. My dryer is used in conditioned space. I live in Washington state and the state requires a dwelling to be negatively pressurized through mechanical ventilation to keep the interior air quality healthy. I run my laundry room fan 24/7. As a result, I don't consider the loss of heat through the dryer a problem because it can also help with keeping the indoor air clean.

For those that do care about heat loss in conditioned space, I am thinking it would be too difficult to measure as everyone's house is different. I really would like to know what the energy savings is for the dryer itself when I use this option.

I agree with henene4 that the option does save some energy or the option wouldn't exist, however, I would like to know what that savings is, is it near 10 percent or could it be as low as 1 or 2 percent. I contacted SQ about this and could not get a specific answer other than that the option will save energy.

Post# 987126 , Reply# 7   3/18/2018 at 12:14 (187 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        
You learn something new every day

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Thanks Henene4, so running a dryer on gentle heat will actually save money?

This post was last edited 03/18/2018 at 17:46
Post# 987158 , Reply# 8   3/18/2018 at 16:59 (187 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

I can't speak for vented dryers in general, and it would be different from load to load...

It really is a small margin of error with US dryers. 1 minute of heating difference can be more then 1% change in energy usage, and that could be as much as 50Wh probably.

For condenssr dryers, low temp usage is higher due to the lesser condensation rate.
For heatpump dryer the same goes.

For vented ones however it could go both ways.
I know of a vented dryer once sold in the UK. Usually, a simmilar dryer had a C energy rating. That particular dryer however had an Eco dry cycle which eliminated heating all together. Its rating cycle took 8h with a 200W motor and thus reached efficency class A.

It's really about heat management.
At the verry begining, you need to heat up the laundry quick to drive out thebulk of the moisture in a short amount of time.
If there is less moisture, to much heat just overheats laundry and bakes it out.
So you want the perfect balance to keep evaporation rates steadily high with minimal heat input.
In a perfect scenario, you could exactly predict when a load would be perfectly dry and switch of the heat so that the second the load is dry the laundry is also cooled down perfectly.

Such balancing solutions are a verry delicate process and verry hard to generally predict.

Post# 987238 , Reply# 9   3/19/2018 at 09:15 (186 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"delicate process and very hard to generally predict.

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Hence the reason for all the computerised sensors.

I was wondering: How effective is a 'heat-pump' dryer in a cool environment?

My old standard condenser dryer is on its lasts legs. It works wonderfully well in the cold kitchen during the winter, with wind whistling in through the kitchen window. Conversely, it does not like the hot, humid, still weather of a damp British summer day - in this case, it really bakes the clothes.

I'm torn between getting a standard dryer - possibly by going back to a less hassle, vented model with 'hose out the window' job - or maybe a heat-pump machine. But I don't want one that has a tendency to clog its condenser unit, and I need to know that the heat-pump machine will work in my cold kitchen.

Post# 987240 , Reply# 10   3/19/2018 at 09:21 (186 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

I just have a washing machine in my apartment, but I use the commercial condenser dryer in the building to dry my clothes, during the winter it works and I have dry laundry in 57 minutes... summertime especially during hot days it can take 1,5 hour or more.. sometimes it even just sit there saying the condenser compartment needs emptying which is weird since its connected to a drain

Post# 987242 , Reply# 11   3/19/2018 at 09:35 (186 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Perhaps it has a clogged tube?

I know that in my machine, sometimes the fluff which has been drawn through the condenser, adheres to the manifold area between the slatted condenser, and the closed-circuit suction fan. At the bottom of this area, is a water lagoon, which drains into the removable bottle at floor level (its a 20 year old model). The lagoon has a rear stopper which can drain away by gravity, via an optional hosepipe.

Post# 987245 , Reply# 12   3/19/2018 at 10:17 (186 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

Rolls_Rapide - I've tried to have a look but it's a bolted and stacked dyer with a washer underneath, I usually have to email the contractor for the washer and dryer and they come and "fix" it.. Nothing lasts for more than a few weeks before they're back lol the washer out there makes the same noise as a jet-engine and everything comes out dripping wet.. (working condition according to them) That's why I got my own washer lol

Post# 987263 , Reply# 13   3/19/2018 at 12:16 (186 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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With conditions like that, I don't blame you for getting your own machine.

Post# 987326 , Reply# 14   3/19/2018 at 21:12 (186 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Our Samsung (gas) dryer has the EcoDry option, which as far as I can tell, greatly reduces the drying temperature, lengthening the cycle considerably. Default time for Very Dry on Normal is 1:00, medium heat (not adjustable). With the EcoDry option selected, it defaults to 1:35 and can recalculate for an even longer cycle. Much much lower temperature, I would consider it to be set on extra low. I don't use it all the time, but will select it if I want a lower temperature or for the last load of the day (that doesn't matter how long it takes) I'm not sure if it's actually saving anything, but the pretty blue light next to the EcoDry button looks nice ;) It does tend to make the laundry come out softer, probably from the longer tumbling time.

Post# 987371 , Reply# 15   3/20/2018 at 08:24 (185 days old) by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"longer tumbling time..."

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That's the thing that rankles me. Surely all that extra tumbling will wear out the clothes quicker?

Post# 987461 , Reply# 16   3/20/2018 at 20:15 (185 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

While I use the Normal/Eco cycle on the Speed Queen washer all the time (after a proper warm or hot fill) I have no interest in very low temp drying due to the substantially longer cycle time.

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