Knowledge Base

How Many Watts Does a Dryer Use? (Power Consumption Test)

By:Michael Johns

clothes dryer with grey towel half in

On this page, you will find out how many watts a dryer draws.

An electric clothes dryer is one of life’s great conveniences. You can even get the feature built into your washing machine. You throw in dirty garments and out come clean dry clothes. That’s the dream. What you might not realize is how much power these appliances consume!

Below we will discuss and test dryer wattage, explain how to work it out for yourself, and calculate the total electricity required.

How Many Watts is a Clothes Dryer?

A dryer uses an average running power of between 1800 and 2200 watts. In addition, a dryer will have a much higher peak wattage of 3000 to 4000 watts when heating up.

The exact number depends on the size and model of your dryer. For example, a smaller economy dryer averages at 1800W during a cycle while larger drum appliances reach a running average of over 2200W.

You should understand that the power draws peaks and falls during a cycle. It is not always constant. It will be higher when heating up and drop during a gentle spin. This means there is a big contrast between the peak and average wattage.

Finding the running watts of a dryer can be tricky as it is not always listed. You might come across several numbers to take into account including:

  • Peak Running Watts – The highest power a dry reaches.
  • Average Running Watts – The average power draw during a cycle.
  • Total Energy Consumption – The amount of electricity in kWh used per cycle.

How to Find Out Your Dryer Wattage

There’s 3 ways you can work out the wattage of a dryer.

  1. Check Product Specification

The quickest way is to look at the dryer’s specification. The watts (W) is sometimes written on a sticker on the base of the appliance. If not, you can check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website for technical details.

dryer power spec
  1. Use a Wattmeter

A wattmeter is brilliant for getting a live wattage reading and tracking total energy usage of any appliance. You can simply plug it into your dryer to get instant information. 

I used one to test my dryer which gave a reading of 2653W during the start of a cycle!

clothes dryer watt test showing 2653W
  1. Wattage Formula or Calculator

If you know the amperage and voltage of your dryer you can use this to find the maximum watt rating. Simply use the formula Amps x Volts = Watts. Or you can head over to the ‘Watt Calculator’ to work this out.

Clothes Dryer Wattage Examples

Let’s take a look at specific examples of how many watts a dryer draws. Below is a collection of modern dryers with their listed power ratings.

Dryer ModelAverage Running Watts
Whirlpool – WED5620H1737
GE – G78E_1_NB 1820
Maytag – MGD7230H2209
GE – H41E_5_M2248
LG – DLG71012075
Electrolux – EFMG5272652
Samsung – DVE52M771983

As you can see, the power ratings vary between different dryers. So you should take the time to check your own appliance.

How Much Electricity Does a Dryer Use?

You can use clothes dryer wattage to work out how much electricity it uses. Plus this can be useful in understanding how much it costs to run your dryer.

dryer yellow

A watt (W) is a measurement of power at a single point in time. A watt-hour (Wh) is the total amount of electricity used in an hour. For example, a dryer drawing an average 2000W would use 2000Wh when running for an hour.

Happily, electricity bills are recorded in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A kilowatt is simply 1000 watts. So a 2000W dryer running for 1 hour uses 2kWh.

In reality, you might use a dryer 3 times a week. This means a dryer uses about 6000Wh or 6kWh electricity a week. That’s 25.8kWh a month and 567.6kWh a year. 

That’s an electricity cost of $3.87 a month or $85.14 a year to dry your clothes 3 times a week.

Using a Dryer Off-Grid

If you’re planning to use your dryer in an off-grid situation like a power outage, RV, boat, or similar, the information above is crucial. It allows you to select and install the correct electrical equipment, plus understand runtime.

You can either use a power inverter, portable power station, or generator to generate electricity. 

To make sure everything runs smoothly you should check two things on this equipment – wattage capacity and total energy capacity. 

Your power source, like an inverter, should have a wattage capacity of at least 20% more than your dryer’s peak running watts. This ensures it will be able to deliver enough power as they are never 100% efficient. To dry clothes, you will likely need at least 4000W of power capacity!

Secondly, you need to ensure your energy source, like a battery, has enough energy to run the dryer for the required amount of time. As we already know, it will use about 2000Wh electricity for each cycle. This is the equivalent to 166Ah on a 12V battery.

To be honest, a dryer uses a serious amount of power and it is probably best to avoid it when you have limited access to electricity. 

How Many Watts Does a Dryer Use Summary

I hope you now have a clear understanding of how many watts a dryer uses.

As you have discovered, these appliances draw a huge amount of power. This combined with an average cycle running for 1 hours means the energy usage is also heavy. When monitoring the power draw of a dryer you will notice it peaks and falls during a cycle. It will be high when heating up and drop during gentle spins. All of this leads to a vast difference between the peak running power and the average wattage. Take the time to look at your own appliance to ensure you get the correct information.