Clothes Dryer Buying Tips

1. Gas or Electric Dryer?

There are two types of dryers: gas and electric powered (however, we will be focusing mostly on electric models as they are dominating the market at the moment and will continue to do so in the future).

The most powerful models will require 240V almost all the time; which makes them very effective but also costly when compared to smaller ones that run on 120V.

2. How long does it take to dry the clothes?

One of the first things the you will want to know is how long a dryer takes to effectively dry a full load of clothes. Most brands do not give this information by themselves, so you will have to look for it in other users’ reviews.

If a dryer takes too long to dry, it won’t be preferred by many (unless there is a reason that justifies this, such as being a 120V appliance, more on that below).

Normally, people would expect the machine’s drying cycle not to be longer than the washing machine’s cycle (so that they can dry a load while the washing machine washes another); so, as long as the dryer can keep up with the washing machine, it will most likely be OK.

3. What’s the dryer capacity?

Another very important factor is the capacity. Different dryers on the market offer various capacities ranging from 3 to 8+ cu. ft.

Most consumers believe that the higher the capacity, the better it is for them. While this is true to some extent — It really depends on the load size that you need. For a small family a modest capacity (say around 5 or 6 cu. ft.) may be adequate 99% of the time so there’s no need to spend extra for 7 or 8 cu. ft. (In fact, most people don’t ever use more than 6; so, why pay more for something that you’ll most likely never use?)

4. Is there a steam setting/wrinkle prevent option?

Some advanced models have steam dry/wrinkle prevent and odor removal options that are supposed to offer much better drying. However, most models do not offer visible results when these options (steam dry and wrinkle prevention) are used and even though they can be good in removing odors, users are generally left with more wrinkles when they use it.

5. Is there a moisture sensor?

The moisture sensor is a very cool feature to have. It basically senses the amount of moisture on the clothes and adjusts the cycles accordingly. This serves a two-fold purpose: 1- it doesn’t subject clothes to heat any more than necessary, and 2- it renders the dryer much more energy efficient.

6. Are there auto-dry cycles? Are they good?

Some advanced models have specific auto-dry cycles for different types of clothes and materials. They offer preset programs for all sorts of fabrics, including gym gear, stuffed animals, pet beds, etc.
If the dryer you are reviewing has these features and if they function well, it can be a huge plus for anyone.

7. How sophisticated are the controls? How many cycles and temperature settings? Is there a timer?

The number of controls on the dryer will most likely depend on the number of cycles/functions the machine has to offer. Basic models will have a few, while advanced models may have lots of controls including cycle selections, temperature selections, steam, wrinkle removing controls, etc.

In addition, some models will have timers and some others will not. Having a timer is always a plus since it offers a higher level of precision and flexibility.

8. Is there an extended tumble option?

Another nice feature that adds to the convenience is the extended tumble option. What this feature basically does is to continue tumbling without applying heat or steam after the drying cycle is completed. This way, clothes don’t wrinkle even if the user forgets to pick them up.

9. Is the lint filter easy to reach and clean? Is there a filter warning light?

Clothes will surely leave lints on the machine and those lints will get caught in the filter. So, it’s essential to have an easy to remove and clean filter for convenience. Plus, some dryers have filter warning lights that warn the user when the filter needs cleaning.

10. Is it top or front loading? If it’s front loading, is the door drop-down or side-opening?

Most models nowadays are front loading and they are preferred by many since they don’t require to lift a heavy basket to put the laundry in.

If the model is front loading, you will want to know if the door is side-opening or drop-down. If it’s drop down, you can use the door as a folding shelf for added convenience. If it’s side-opening, make sure to find out if the direction can be changed (from left to right and vice-versa).

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