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Maytag MDE5000AYW huge expense to heat it!

My electric bill just soared. we have checked everything and it comes down to the dryer. What is the typical usage? What do I need to check to see why it is malfunctioning and going so high?

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Typical Dryer Heater wattage is around 5,000 watts or 5KW multiplied by the amount of time you run it. For instance 5000 watts for one hour is 5 Kilowatt hours multiplied by your electric rate. This gives you a cost for running it for one hour.

However, your heater runs more when the clothes are wet but less and less as they dry. A thermostat turns the heaters off around 160 Deg and back on at about 135 deg for normal heat. As your clothes get closer to dry the heater reaches 160 faster and 135 slower so that the on time is continually decreasing.

All this cycling translates to a heater on time of about 70% total I'd guess. Even if your vent line was blocked your heater on time would decrease due to safety systems turning the heater off to prevent fires.

All that being said you can approximately calculate electricity use as 5 KW multiplied by the amount of time you ran it and that number multiplied by 70% to account for heater off time. For a 5000 watt heating element that would be 3.5 KW multiplied by your electricity rate per KW. Adding a 5 amp motor that runs all the time would make the figure about 4.1 KW.

If you're still following me you need to keep track how many hours you dry clothes for the month and multiply the final number from above by that.

Let me point out the things that use a lot of electricity and you can hopefully pin down one or two you can affect. The things that use the most power have heating elements in them:

  1. Stove
  2. Dryer
  3. Electric Heating
  4. Air Conditioner
  5. Electric Water Heater
  6. Dishwasher with heated water and heated dry
  7. Refrigerators and freezers with self-defrost feature
Keep in mind that having company for a week or lots of family members will affect all the numbers. Your utility company usually offers a free (part of the rate structure) service that will help you track down high usage if you have an unusually large bill. Consider asking their assistance.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009

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