Energy Guide: Are Hair Dryers Drying Up Your Savings?

Written by: Gautam Sajja

Whether you have luscious locks of hair or a few precious strands, we have all at one point or another used a hair dryer. They are simple enough machines that heat our hair causing evaporation of the water. But have you ever taken into consideration the amount of money that that heat is costing you? Let’s break it down. Using a hair dryer on a high speed setting will generally cost you around $0.50 to $0.75 per hour, or more simply 1¢ per minute. These numbers will depend on your electricity rates, as well as the wattage of your blow dryer.

Just 1¢ per minute? I can already hear you scoff, that is everyday pocket change! But, that is relatively significant for such a small appliance. Hair dryers are surprisingly powerful, able to generate air speeds in excess of 50 mph, meaning they require a significant amount of electricity.

When used on the highest settings most general purpose hair dryers will use between 1900 and 2400 watts. Quite obviously, the higher the wattage the more expensive it is to run. If you are unsure about the wattage of your hair dryer, the number can be found on the label attached to the chord.

If you feel that your hair dryer is more powerful than you want it to be, an alternative option can be a low-wattage hair dryer. These dryers use less power than most general dryers and will, in turn, take longer to dry your hair. If these wattages are getting confusing, just remember that for the average person 1800 watts should be enough to quickly get your hair dry while using the least amount of power. Even some of the cheapest blow dryers are some of the most substantial on the market, so be careful when buying one.

I hope this article was somewhat helpful. Hair dryers may not be the most riveting topic and they aren’t a huge energy waster in the home, but, for those who use one every day, now may be a good time to look at how much energy you are using versus how much energy you need.


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