Factors to consider before buying a clothes dryer

December 27, 2014

Clothes dryers today are more energy efficient and versatile than their predecessors, and they’re able to handle many different materials while saving you money. Here’s how to find a clothes dryer for your home and budget.

Factors to consider before buying a clothes dryer

Types of dryers

Electric dryer: This is by far the most common laundry dryer and comes with the widest selection of features.

Gas dryer: All dryers have electric motors, but these dryers use natural gas as the heat source. Natural gas dryers are more expensive and require professional installation, but they cost less to operate than electric models.

Compact dryer: Best for very small spaces. If you already have a compact front-loading washer, an apartment-size dryer can usually be stacked on top to save even more space.

Washer and dryer set: Matching laundry units suit dedicated laundry rooms, and you often save money when you go for the set. For smaller homes and condos, stackable washer-dryer sets are best, often fitting inside a closet designed for the purpose.

Dryer features

  • Moisture sensor: More accurate than a thermostat, it cuts down operating times to save money and keep clothes from unnecessary wear.
  • Control panel: Touch pads and touch screens are easier to use and more accurate than traditional dials.
  • Dryer lint trap: Often found inside the drum but newer models have top-mounted lint traps that are easier to empty.
  • Pedestal: These raise your dryer for easier access and the pedestal drawer adds storage space.
  • Clothes dryer rack: For items that don’t need tumbling, like shoes, a dryer rack prevents items from spinning with the drum.

Dryer cycle settings

Temperature settings: Multiple temperature settings can handle various fabrics from cotton to silk.

Steam/sanitation cycle: A steam setting reduces wrinkles and remove odours and allergens left in your clothes.

Cycle complete signal: If you tend to forget about your laundry, a light or sound will remind you when it’s ready.

Extended tumble: Extended cycles keep your laundry moving without heat. This option helps stop wrinkles from setting in until you can get to your dryer.

Other features

Capacity: If you have a large family with a lot of laundry, you’ll need a bigger dryer. Consider how much laundry you expect to do weekly and how much time you have to do it. A larger dryer can save you time and money.

Energy usage: Energy-efficient electric dryers will cost you less to use per load and are often worth the extra money. A natural gas or propane dryer is cheaper to run than most electric dryers, even the energy efficient models.

These tips may help you choose a dryer for your family that will save you time and money on laundry day. Whether you go for an electric or a gas model, today’s full-feature dryers are efficient and economical to use.

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