Whirlpool dryers board the Energy Star train

The Whirlpool Duet WED87HED Steam Dryer marks an industry first.

Whirlpool Corporation has earned the first and only (for now) Energy Star certification for the clothes dryer category, now on the market as the Duet model WED87HED steam dryer.

The Duet dryer combines moisture sensors with dual element modulation technology to arrive at an energy-efficient drying cycle that uses no more heat (and runs for no more time) than is required. Beyond conserving energy, it also helps preserve fabrics.

"Clothes dryers are the next frontier for significant residential energy efficiency gains, and we are proud to be the first manufacturer to offer Energy Star dryers," said Nick Gillespie, senior manager of government relations for Whirlpool Corporation. "Our long history of building products that are both innovative and effective in protecting the environment is key to our ongoing success."

The Energy Star label has been available for clothes dryers since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the changes on May 27, with new specifications geared toward dryers that use 20% less energy than is required by 2015 minimum efficiency standards.

Whirlpool cited the EPA, suggesting that if all residential clothes dryers were to follow suit, U.S. residents would save over $1.5 billion per year in utility costs, as well as thwart over 22 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

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