A good dryer handles everything from socks to comforters and keeps your clothes looking sharp and wrinkle-free cycle after cycle. Before purchasing one, consider the frequency with which you'll be using the appliance, where you're placing it and what kinds of clothes you'll be drying.
Choosing the Right Dryer
There are two types of dryers, gas and electric. Both possess an electric motor that powers the drum in which clothes tumble, an electric fan to circulate the heated air and a vent that pushes hot air outside. Where they differ is how they create heat. Which one you choose depends primarily on where you plan to place the unit and what type of hookups are available.
Tip: For new dryer installations, remember to pick up a dryer vent kit in-store.
Gas dryers require you to have a gas hookup nearby. This is something you'll need to have a professional install if one doesn't already exist. Gas units tend to require a higher upfront investment than their electric counterparts but use less energy and can cost half as much on average to operate per load. Over time, this can present a sizable savings. Weigh the higher initial cost against long-term savings to determine if this is the right solution for you.
Electric dryers require a dedicated outlet with a 240 V current for operation. You'll need to determine if your current laundry space already has an existing power source before purchasing an electric dryer. If there isn't one available, consult an electrician to install a new outlet. Electric units are generally less expensive than comparable gas units and deliver the same options and quality of drying. Depending on the rates you pay for electricity, these dryers may be somewhat less efficient than gas dryers.
When you've got little space available and need to make the most of it, a compact dryer or combination washer/dryer might be the answer. Compact models are a few inches narrower than full-sized units, enabling you to fit them into tighter spaces. All compacts are electric, and, because they have less capacity, they use less energy while still retaining the same array of features offered by larger models.
Compact models operate on electricity and fit into tight spaces
Points to Consider
Efficient operation can significantly reduce energy costs
Available in different drying capacities
Requires a gas hookup for installation
Higher initial investment
Generally less expensive than comparable gas models
Available in different drying capacities
Requires 240 V outlet for installation
Can be less energy efficient than gas models
Fits into smaller spaces for more placement options
Provides the same features that larger models do
Only available with electric connection
Smaller drying capacity than standard units
Implement these helpful hints for more efficient operation of your dryer:
Choose a dryer with twice the capacity of your washer to maximize effectiveness
Avoid placing the unit in cold, damp areas, which reduces efficiency
Drying full loads and multiple loads back-to-back increases energy efficiency
Clean the lint filter after every load to ensure proper air circulation
Noise-reducing features are helpful when placing unit in or near living areas
Many dryers now incorporate sensors that measure moisture levels in clothes and automatically shut the unit down when load is dry, saving energy and preventing unnecessary wear and tear on clothing.
With an extended tumble feature, clothes continue to circulate on a no-heat setting once the cycle is finished, ensuring that clothes won't wrinkle if you can't take them out right away.
Speed-Dry, Less-Dry and Auto-Dry Settings
Speed-dry provides extra-high heat to complete loads quickly. A less-dry setting leaves clothes damp and easier to iron. Auto-dry senses when clothes are dry and then automatically shuts off to prevent overheating.
Electronic Touchpad Controls
Electronic touch-sensitive controls with digital displays make it easy to select different settings and set precise heat levels.
Lint Filter Warning Light
This feature lets you know when the lint filter needs to be cleaned in order to maintain efficient operation and minimize the chances of creating a fire hazard.
Socks inevitably get lost in the wash, but having a drum light will reduce the chance of missing a stray sock at the back of the dryer. It will also help spot items that may have fallen out of a pocket during drying.
If you plan to store your dryer near a bedroom, family room or any other room in which people spend a considerable amount of time, look for a model that features insulation and sound-dampening pads and barriers to keep noise to a minimum.
Dryer Rack Accessory
When you're drying a pair of shoes or your little one's favourite stuffed animal, you don't want them tumbling around. Units that include a dryer rack keep delicate items firmly in place to ensure they dry thoroughly without getting damaged.
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