HOUSEHOLDS are turning to energy efficient ways to dry clothes this winter in a bid to slash energy bills.
With energy costs still on the rise, appliances like heated airers could make a big difference to your bills.
They're cheaper than using a tumbledryer, according to experts – which is why they are becoming more popular with shoppers.
Over recent months, shoppers have scrambled to buy bargain airers from places like Lidl and Aldi.
But how much does it cost to run one, and how does it compare to a tumble dryer?
We've worked out the costs so you can decide if it's the best option for you and how much to budget for with energy bills.
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How much does it cost to run a heated airer?
Heated clothes airers are like traditional ones, but you plug them in.
The bars of the dryer heat up, shortening the time it takes to dry the clothes hanging on it.
You can buy covers for some as well, which speeds up the time it takes to dry your clothes.
The cost of running a drier depends on the wattage.
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Generally, how much an appliance costs to run depends on how much you use it, what model you have and how much energy you normally use.
But usually the higher the wattage, the more it will cost to run.
A 300w airer uses 0.3 kWh – a kilowatt hour is the unit of energy used for billing your electricity.
Based on the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), running a typical heated airer for an hour costs 16p.
So, if you had it on for eight hours, it would cost £1.28.
But this will go up in April, when the EPG will be replaced by the Energy Price Cap.
At this point, is expected that the average energy bill per year will increase to £3,000.
The cost of running an airer will depend of the model you've got.
For example, we tested how much it would cost to run a Lakeland Dry:Soon 3-tier heated airer.
Without the cover, the airer took around 20 hours to dry a full load of laundry.
Although it only costs 10.2p per hour to run, the long drying time meant it cost about £2.04 per load.
Two to three washes per week would cost around £112 over the winter.
But with the cover, the drying time nearly halved to about 13 hours – meaning it cost just £1.33 per load or £73 over a winter.
If you're on the hunt for a heated clothes airer, it's best to look around other shops first to make sure you aren't missing anything cheaper.
The prices will vary depending on the model you have.
For example, we previously covered this Aldi heated air dryer which only costs 6p to run.
That means if you use Aldi's one three times a week and keep it on for four hours, that costs £9.36 over the year.
This Lidl airer costs just 7p an hour to run and many are splashing out on the gadget, which costs £44.99 from the discount supermarket.
You should also always check possible delivery costs and return policies.
How much does it cost to run a tumble dryer?
The price of running a tumble dryer depends on what type of machine you buy.
But on average, Uswitch estimates a tumble dryer costs 85p to run per hour of use.
This estimate is based on one using 2,500w.
That means if you use it for two hours a week, you'll be paying £81.60 a year.
We've listed the cheapest models to run.
How you can reduce your bill
There are a number of ways you can reduce your bills for drying clothes.
The most obvious way to save money is to hang them out instead of using a tumble dryer.
It won't cost you a penny, but with temperatures dipping as autumn hits, keep in mind that getting your load dry could take longer.
You could also save money on washing your clothes too by reducing the temperature you wash them at.
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