The Basics of Buying a Tumble Dryer

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So in the UK, we all know that the weather isn’t the most reliable of things. When you have a large family, or even when you just need one outfit for a night out and it’s dirty, you want things to dry quickly. You can put clothes on the line, just for it to start raining as soon as you get back inside. What you need is a fast, reliable way to dry your clothes.

When considering buying a tumble dryer you need to look carefully at all of your options. Which type of tumble dryer do you want or need? How large a load does it need to take? How energy efficient do you want it to be? These are all questions best answering before you start to look, however you might need to know a little more about the options before you decide.

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Types of Dryer

There are a lot of differences when it comes to types of dryers. The main difference you will want to consider from the start is whether you wish to purchase a washer dryer combination or a dedicated dryer. Dedicated dryers tend to have larger load sizes and be more cost effective as they are usually cheaper than combinations.

The second difference in types of dryer is the ventilation type. A condenser dryer has a section where the damp air from the drum of the dryer and is converted into water. The water is then drained via a water pipe or is collected in a tray and manually removed once the drying process is over. With vented dryers the moisture is removed by heated air blown into the drum. This air dries the clothes and the humid air that is left over is passed through a vent, usually via a hose which is fed through an external wall.

Vented dryers are usually the cheaper options, however having a vent for the hose to feed into can be an additional expense and can be difficult. The vent will need to be installed into a wall or a window and pumping out the humid air is not very environmentally friendly.

Dryer capacity

Capacity, expressed in kilograms, is important when choosing your tumble dryer. The larger the capacity the more clothes you will be able to dry, however it is not advised to have too large a drum size if it will not be being used effectively.

Due to the air that is needed to dry the clothes tumble dryers need a larger drum size than washing machines, so if you have a 3KG washer which has been filled, you will need around 5KG dryer drum to dry the clothes efficiently. A dryer with a capacity of around 8KG should be effective for an average family.

Energy and cost

Obviously you wish to keep the running cost of your tumble dryer down, and do your bit for the environment in the process. Tumble Dryers come with energy ratings between A+ – G, with A+ being the most energy efficient. The higher up the alphabet, the more your dryer will cost, but it will be more effective both cost and environmentally in the long run. Keeping the load sizes to the same as the capacity or slightly lower and drying similar fabrics together will also keep running costs down.

With a combination washer dryer the running costs are remarkably higher than dedicated dryers as they use water during the drying process. Remember, spending a little more now and making the right choices will work for you in the long run.

About the Author

This article was written by Gus Christopherson, who spent way to much time looking for a new dryer to accompany the washing machine purchased a few  years ago.

Updated: May 27, 2013 — 7:21 am