Buying a clothes dryer might be one of the trickiest purchases these days: there are so many brands and models competing for your attention. So we thought we’d clear the path a little bit by giving you a quick rundown of some of the major differences you would encounter amongst different tumble dryers.
First things first: most dryers currently on the market have a wet weight capacity range from 4kg to 8kg, making it easier to pick one that suits the size of your household. After size, the next question to ask yourself when purchasing a tumble dryer is: to vent or not to vent? Basically, clothes dryers are traditionally vented but in recent years brands have offered us ventless alternatives, known as condenser dryers.
Vented clothes dryers are more common than condenser driers, mainly because they are simple and sometimes more reliable. As you can tell by their name, the hot air these produce is blown out through a vent at the front of the machine. If your home is on the smaller side and you don’t have a separate laundry room or one that is well ventilated, the moisture from the dryer will fill up the room. This is where condenser dryers come in – they won’t mist up your laundry room.
Condenser dryers don’t require external vents but rather pass air through two loops, essentially cooling, reheating and reusing it. The steam created during the drying process is condensed into water and drained away into a tray or tank that then needs to be emptied periodically, plus they need to be hooked up to the main house drain for cold water. While condenser dryers are typically less efficient than vented dryers, their main benefit is that they are easier to install due to being ventless.
If you know you’ll be moving homes at least a few times in the next few years then a condenser dryer is recommended because they’re easier to relocate. However, condenser dryers are slower and the condenser unit needs to be regularly rinsed out because residue gets caught in it. A vented dryer is a good choice if you are concerned about efficiency and energy costs, but the downside is that the vent hose tends to get blocked with lint.
Finally, another factor to consider is the settings. It’s easy to get excited when presented with a wide range of drying settings but it’s important to think about how useful they all really are, keeping in mind that the flashier ones use up more energy.
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