Solutions

How to buy the perfect tumble dryer for your needs

LIM TSIAO HUI gets the low-down on what to consider when shopping for a tumble dryer.
 

Tumble dryer tips D

TYPES OF DRYERS
Beyond just having the ability to dry your laundry, today’s tumble dryers come with so much more – think energy efficiency, smart features, functionality and design. All you have to do is decide on one that fits your needs and budget.

Vented Dryer
Warm air from the machine is drawn out via a venting hose that should be stuck out of the window. Therefore, it’s best to place it next to a window. You could also detach the hose and allow the air to be vented out into the laundry room but this will make the room warm and humid.

Condenser Dryer
Warm air is cooled and condensed within the machine. The residual water accumulates in a tank that should be emptied after each drying cycle.

Condenser Dryer with Heat Pump
This machine comes with a heat pump that reheats warm air in the machine and re-circulates it in the drum to dry the clothes. It is the most energy efficient as the warm air is reused, meaning less energy is needed to generate heat. It’s generally the most pricey type of dryer.

IS AN EXPENSIVE ONE NECESSARILY BETTER?
Condenser dryers with heat pumps top the price chart while vented dryers are the most budget-friendly. But the trade-off is that condenser dryers are generally more energy efficient and use less electricity than vented ones.

Features like a delicate drying programme, child lock, and tumble-dry and sensor-dry options are the norm in most dryers. But expect to pay extra for features like a steam function to reduce creases or a drying rack for woollens.

“For Miele tumble dryers, the hardware, like the material of the drum, is the same (for both premium and entry-level models). It’s just the software that varies,” says Grainne Styles, marketing director of Miele.

So, before shelling out money for a dryer, decide if the features of the more expensive ones are necessary for your needs.

LOAD SIZE
5-9kg is the load most tumble dryers can accommodate, and refers to the weight of dry laundry. When choosing a dryer, pick one that is of the same capacity or higher than your washer.

THE MONEY FACTOR
$61 to $235*. That’s how much you can expect to fork out a year to run a dryer at home.

*Based on an estimate by the National Environment Agency, with thrice-a-week usage and an electricity tariff of $0.27 kilowatt per hour. To get an idea of the estimated annual operation cost of the dryer you are eyeing, check out this link: http://bit.ly/1QgR7Ly

TOP DRYING TIP
Dry clothes of the same material together and choose the right setting.

Clothes of different fabrics and thickness take varying timings to dry – a load of synthetic laundry may take 90 minutes to dry while cottons can take up to two hours.

Mixing the two may result in laundry that doesn’t dry properly or is over-dry and rough. Even with programmes that rely on the sensor to determine the drying duration, combining different types of laundry may confuse the sensor and leave you with less-than-optimum results, explains the marketing team at Brandt.

 

This story was originally published in Simply Her, July 2015.

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