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Clothes dryers are now seeing the kinds of useful developments that other types of appliances have enjoyed for years. They’ve been overdue for the energy-efficient redesign that’s emerged in recent years as one of the most power-hungry gadgets in the home.
The newest clothes dryers are jam-packed with settings that improve efficiency and features that add flexibility, thanks to game-changing technology and brand-new energy standards.
All of this good stuff will help save energy and extend the life of the fabrics we dry, but it can make choosing the right machine difficult.
We’ll show you what you need and don’t need so you can choose the right clothes dryer for your home and budget. Continue reading to learn what features your new dryer needs to make your life easier and save money on electricity.
What and How Does a Clothes Dryer Work?
A clothes dryer is a very basic device as compared to a regular or high-efficiency clothes washer. Every dryer, from the most basic to the most expensive, removes moisture from clothes using a combination of heat, air, and motion.
Heat is used in any clothes dryer to speed up the drying process. Electricity, natural gas, or propane gas may all be used to power the heating unit.
The heating coils in electric-only dryers are identical to those used in ovens or hot water heaters. The coil, which is intended to generate resistance, receives an electric current. The resistance collects electrons and converts them into energy or heat.
The electron buildup causes the metal coils to become extremely hot. A blower or fan transfers the heat to the ambient air, which is then pushed in the dryer.
A pilot light ignites the gas and generates heat in natural gas or propane gas dryers. Metal plates are used in gas dryers to move the heat produced into the air. A blower circulates hot air in the dryer, this time to the wet laundry. Although gas is used to generate heat, all gas dryers need electricity to power the dryer’s other components.
The temperature inside the dryer is regulated by thermostats and thermal fuses in all dryers. These components are essential for the appliance’s healthy operation, as they avoid overheating, which can cause fires.
When one of the fail-safe components fails, it’s critical to figure out what’s causing the issue. An exploded fuse indicates that the dryer has overheated. A thorough cleaning to remove lint could be all that is required to avoid a future problem.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Dryer
When searching for a new dryer, there are a number of things to remember. How much would you like to pay in advance? How much do you want to pay per month to the power company? What is the size of your usable space? How critical is the appearance of the dryer to you? What kinds of features do you like in your dryer?
Both of these topics will be covered in this guide, but first you must decide the form of dryer is best for your home. Fortunately, there are only two choices, and in most situations, making a decision will be easy.
Types of Dryers
How much room do you have available? Dryers come in two sizes: full-size and small. Depending on the amount of room you have, decide which kind you need.
Dryers with a Heat Pump Condenser
Heat pump condenser dryers can produce excellent results while consuming a fraction of the energy required by other tumble dryers. They can be placed anywhere and they don’t need to be vented.
Heat pump dryers recycle the warm air produced during the drying cycle and use it to dry the clothes. As a consequence, the efficiency is first-rate and highly successful.
Heat pump condensers don’t need to be vented, and they don’t generate as much heat as condenser dryers since they recycle warm air. As a result, you can position these dryers anywhere you want.
Heat pump condenser dryer technology often means lower operating noise levels and less pressure on your clothes because the dryer operates at lower temperatures.
Dryers with Vents
Vented dryers heat your clothes before venting the moist air emitted during the drying process to the outside through a hose. As a result, they don’t have the same versatility in terms of positioning as other dryers.
The most popular and, in many cases, the most economical are vented dryers. They are highly efficient and maintain a comfortable room temperature when in use.
A vented dryer must be placed near a window or door in order to properly vent. You’ll need to prepare for installation costs if your home isn’t already set up to handle this.
Dryers with a Condenser
Condenser dryers are effective, simple to install, and can be used in almost any well-ventilated space in your home.
Condenser dryers collect moisture from your clothes and store it in a drawer that needs to be emptied on a regular basis. Some versions, on the other hand, can be plumbed in to directly drain waste water.
Condenser dryers do not need to be vented to the outside, giving you the freedom to position them wherever you want. Condenser dryers, on the other hand, can only be used in well-ventilated rooms because they can generate and emit a lot of heat and moisture during use.
Electric or Gas Model?
Apart from your refrigerator, your dryer is likely to use more energy than anything else in your house, and this is true for both electric and gas versions. However, the way each form of dryer uses energy differs, which can have a significant effect on the true cost of owning and running one over the other. The secret to making an educated decision is to understand these distinctions.
Size and Capacity
When deciding on the size of dryer you’ll like, make sure it’s about twice as big as your laundry machine. If you aren’t replacing your washer, this rule will help you choose the right dryer size. It takes a little longer thought to replace your washer and dryer unit.
Consider how much you’ll be doing laundry and who you’ll be sharing the dryer with. Compact dryers aren’t practical if there will be more than two people using it. How big can you go, though?
The largest dryers on the market have a capacity of about 9 cubic feet, which is enough to dry 17 full-sized bath towels. A 4 cubic foot dryer, on the other hand, can hold about 6 of the same towels.
There are two general sizes in terms of physical size: compact and full-sized. Isms like “high-capacity” and “ultra-large” should be avoided. These terms aren’t standardized, and they can be confusing, particularly when comparing brands.
When it comes to selecting a clothes dryer, efficiency is crucial because they use more energy than other appliances. Although more powerful dryers can cost more up front, they can save you money in the long run.
The efficiency of a system is graded on a scale of one to six stars. The more stars a dryer has, the more effective it is in general. In the long run, having more stars can save you money.
To relieve the pressure on the dryer and finish sooner, make sure your clothes have been spin dried in the washer before loading them. Similarly, choosing a dryer with a delay timer allows you to run your tumble dryer at night when energy is most affordable.
Functions and Features to Look For
- Noise reduction: Do you despise the racket that a dryer can make? If your computer is close to your main living area, a function like this will save your sanity.
- A well-lit control panel: Is your new computer going to be in a dark corner or basement? You won’t have to squint because of this illuminating function. A drum light will help you find stray socks and other tiny pieces of misplaced laundry.
- NSF-Certified: While some dryers claim to destroy germs and bacteria, only NSF-certified models are capable of killing 99.9% of “such household bacteria.”
- Moisture Sensor: This feature prevents over-drying, which can cause damage to your clothing. When a load is dry, machines with moisture sensors automatically switch off.
Functions and Features to Avoid
- Stainless Steel Drums: Stainless steel drums, unlike ceramic-coated steel drums, are free of nicks and scratches caused by metal zippers, buttons, and rivets. They do not, however, improve dryer quality.
- Wi-Fi Enabled: Having the ability to access your machine remotely through an app on your computer or mobile device can be extremely inconvenient. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a clothes dryer should never be used while you are sleeping or away from home.
- Touch Pads: While this clever feature saves your dryer preferences, it has no effect on machine efficiency or features.
- Variable Time and Temperature Settings: Don’t overpay for a dryer only because it has trendy names like eco-dry or athletic wear drying. A simple setting and the dryer’s timer can easily reproduce several, if not all, of these choices.
- Wrinkle Guard: Once the clothes are dry, it tumbles them for up to an hour without using any heat. However, it can increase the energy consumption of a loop by up to 10%.Steam modes aim to get rid of wrinkles and freshen up your clothes.
Clothes dryers aren’t as flashy as washers. Nonetheless, the work they do is crucial to living comfortably at home. And dryers are no longer the bulky, cramped devices they once were. Today’s dryers are larger, more energy-efficient, and, dare we say, more appealing. Some even have wired, smart features.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to repair an old dryer or buy the first one. This guide provides you with the details you need to make a purchase that is customized to your unique laundry needs, and we hope it will assist you in making the best decision possible.