Good news for LG. The South Korean electronics manufacturer announced last week that its EcoHybrid dryer—which uses a heat pump system similar to those found in air conditioners and dehumidifiers—has received the EPA's 2014 Energy Star Emerging Technology Award.
Typical dryers use electricity or gas to generate heat, then vent hot air out of the appliance. A heat pump dryer captures that hot air, removes the moisture from it, then reuses that already-hot air to dry more clothing.
The technology is already fairly common in the rest of the world, but LG's EcoHybrid is actually the first heat pump dryer commercially available in the United States. The MSRP for this model (number DLHX4072) is $1,599 in white or $1,699 in graphite.
Dryers use far more energy than other household appliances: The typical dryer consumes almost a megawatt-hour of energy per year, while refrigerators—once the average home's biggest energy draw—typically consume half that.
Last year's Energy Star Emerging Technology Award went to Samsung for their DV457 dryer, 2013's most efficient according to the agency.