Secret appliance can help your family save

(NC) — Households across Ontario have come to know natural gas as an affordable way to heat their homes when the temperatures dip, but there's a lesser known application for the fuel that would make any family's budget chief smile this winter.

According to findings from the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance (ONGA), homes that use natural gas to power their clothes dryer can save approximately 75 per cent annually versus those that strictly use electricity. Ontario residents who use natural gas to heat their homes are already saving up to $400 per year.

“If a penny saved is a penny earned, a natural gas dryer is an incredibly easy way for families to start earning in a big way.” says Matthew Gibson, a spokesperson for ONGA. “And the best part is, there's likely already a place for it in the laundry room.”

Natural gas clothes dryers use the fuel's instant heat to raise the air temperature in the dryer drum when the cycle begins, warming air faster and soaking up moisture more efficiently.

What's more, new models with built-in sensors feature automatic shut-off to prevent over-drying and protecting clothes in the process—an innovation which alone can save up to 15 per cent versus models that still use timed shut-off. The quicker an appliance can do its job and shut down, the more your family saves on monthly bills.

Functioning like all other dryers, a natural gas-powered unit should be vented to the outside of the home. Gibson advises, one tip is to choose a model that offers several venting options for maximum flexibility—i.e. from the back of the unit, side or bottom. Most units operate on a burner with an input rating of 22,000 BTU/hour and require regular cleaning of the lint filter with each load.

“Just about every family can stand to save a little more,” Gibson adds. “And the bigger your family, the more you'll use it—and the more you'll save.”

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