Clothes Dryer Buying Guide

Laundry can be a daunting task if you do not have the very best dryer to get rid of all moisture in your clothes. However, there are many types of dryers and many features available, making choosing the right dryer for you a difficult decision to make. Consider all that is available and then look to this article for expalantions of the top types and features to look for.

Types of Clothes Dryers

Tumble

The tumble dryer is one of the most popular types, but is also environmentally expensive. Tumble dryers pull in cold, dry air from their surroundings and cycle it through the tumbler. Then, the hot, humid air is sent out into the environment without being reused. One way to take better advantage of the surroundings is to install ducts that draw down hot air from the attic for use in the dryer.

Spin

Large centrifuge dryers, called spin dryers, spin the barrel faster than any clothes washer can and get rid of more moisture in just a few minutes than tumble dryers can in twenty. Although they cannot dry clothing completely, they are great for large businesses like hospitals to save time and conserve energy. Some businesses, such as gyms and swimming pools, may also offer smaller spin dryers to their clientele to dry gym clothes or a swimsuit. This saves a gym bag from becoming a wet mess, but need not dry the clothing completely as clients generally wash the clothes when they get home.

Condenser

Like in a traditional dryer, condenser dryers pass air through the barrel to dry the clothes. However, these dryers also have a heat-exchanger which cools the air and releases the moisture into a catch basin before heating it again to cycle back through the barrel. These clothes dryers usually use ambient air as their coolant; thus, the heat produced by the dryer enters into the immediate environment rather than outdoors. Because of the increased moisture in this type of dryer, they usually need more time than a traditional dryer

Heat Pump

A closed-cycle heat pump dryer uses a heat pump to dehumidify the air that is processed through the interior. The hot, humid air passes through the heat pump where the cold side condenses the water vapor into a catch tank or water pipe, and then the hot side reheats the air afterwards to be reused in the dryer. Because heat pump dryers cycle heat through their systems rather than releasing it into the surroundings, this type of dryer can use half or less the energy of either the condensation or traditional dryer.

Convectant

Only slightly faster than line drying, a convectant dryer consists of a heat element at the bottom, a vertical chamber, and a vent at the top. As hot air rises naturally, it comes in contact with the clothes and slowly dries them. The hot air escapes out the vent and more heat is produced by the heating element. This is a relatively energy efficient, but quite slow.

Pay Attention to

Size

The worst thing that can happen is buying a nice brand-new clothes dryer and getting it home to find out it does not fit in the space you have available. It is utterly important to measure the space you have available before buying a new dryer. You also need to measure the smallest doorway between your dryer entering the home and the laundry closet or location you will place the dryer in.

Control Panel

The control panel can be made up of dials, buttons, or a touch screen. There are many different features that can be found on the control panel, from timed drying to split air/heat drying. Take your time to get to know the different features on the dryer you are considering and make sure any must-have features are there.

Capacity

Clothes dryers' capacity is measured in pounds, but you may want to think of it as the number of full-size bath towels you can fit in the dryer. A larger dryer can fit twenty to thirty full-size bath towels, or about thirty to thirty-five pounds, whereas a smaller dryer can hold around twenty pounds or ten to fifteen bath towels. You may want to consider a larger dryer if you have queen- or king-sized comforters to wash, but if you do not have the room; you can always bring those larger items to a laundromat.

Power Source

The most common power sources for clothes dryers these days is electricity or gas, though there are some solar dryers as well. Gas clothes dryers cost more at first, but they conserve energy and money in the long term, whereas electric dryers cost less at the start and use large amounts of electricity and become more expensive in the long term. Gas dryers are also faster at drying your clothes than electric dryers, but all gas dryers require a vent on the outside. Electric dryers, on the other hand, do not always require a vent to the outside.

Warranty

Clothes dryers usually come with a five- to ten-year warranty. There are some that come with a lifetime warranty, but you will want to check the fine print to find out what they consider a lifetime warranty as this refers to the life of the dryer, not your lifetime. Clothes dryers break down, sometimes easily, and a warranty is an important part of buying a dryer.

Top Brands and Product Lines

Kenmore

Kenmore made its debut on sewing machines in the late 1920s, but since has made household appliances such as refrigerators and clothes dryers. The first dryer by Kenmore came out in 1949. These days, there is the Kenmore Elite clothes dryer, a nine cubic foot electric dryer that has dual sensors to stop the dryer before overheating damages your clothing. It also has a drying rack that is good for delicate or small items and is touted as the perfect dryer for a family.

Frigidaire

Celebrating its ninetieth anniversary in 2016, Frigidaire ranks third in American manufacturers of large home appliances. One of their current models is the FFSG5115PA, a seven cubic food electric dryer, a classic stackable with steam technology.

Whirlpool

The oldest of the three companies mentioned, Whirlpool was founded in 1911. They started by trying to add on an electric motor to a manual clothes washer. Nowadays, their washers and dryers rank as one of the highest quality available. One of their top products is the WED72HEDW, a 7.3 cubic foot electric dryer with a touch screen panel and advanced moisture sensors to stop the dryer when the moisture is gone.