Appliance Parts and Appliance Tips – How To Choose a Dryer
All dryers spin clothes around and blow hot air on them. How to select a dryer depends on your needs. Chances are, you read our article about how to choose the washing machine that is right for you, front loader or top loader. We decided to write an article for you about how you can find the right dryer for your home and your family. The details are what drive the choice of a machine:
Energy source: Whether you choose gas dryers or an electric one will be based largely on what kind of hookup is available at the new dryer’s location. Gas appliances usually cost slightly more initially, but tend to be more energy- efficient. A leading consumer affairs magazine estimates that a gas dryer costs 30 cents less per load to operate.
Capacity: Since manufacturers define capacity differently, one “extra large” dryer might not be the same as another.When choosing what dryer to buy, compare capacity using the cubic foot measurement. If your space is limited, stackable washer-dryer units are available.
Coordinate the capacity of your dryer with that of your washer. You’ll defeat the purpose of increased efficiency if you have a super-sized dryer but a washer that can only supply a half-capacity load (or vice-versa). The general rule is to have about twice as much capacity in the dryer than in the washer. So if you buy a 3.3 or 3.5 cu. ft. washer, you will need a 7 cu. ft. dryer. (You need more dryer space because the clothes need room to flop around.)
When in doubt, err on the side of larger when choosing a dryer. More dryer capacity will allow the clothes to dry more quickly, which saves money on your energy bill and is better for the environment. Like most large appliances today, a dryer will last for years. Plan for the future and consider possible changes in your family size when buying a dryer.
Controls: As with washers, controls on dryers have become more sophisticated, yet easier to use. Digital displays and one-touch selection can be programmed and preset to meet your drying needs. For a simpler operation, choose dial or push-button controls.
Temperature settings: Different fabrics require different drying times and temperatures. Your clothes will look newer longer, plus have fewer wrinkles, if they are dried using the correct settings. At a minimum, most machines offer “cotton” and “permanent press” settings, with “more dry” and “less dry” options. Choose dryers with settings that meet your needs.
A cool-down cycle will keep the drum spinning for a certain amount of time after the clothes are dry in order to prevent wrinkling.
Noise level: Choose a quiet machine if it will be in or near a living area. Some newer models have additional insulation and reinforced frames to reduce operating noise.
Moisture sensors: While older dryers use thermostats or timers, newer models have moisture sensors that stop the cycle when the humidity in the drum falls below a certain level. This prevents over-drying and extends the life of your garments. This feature can also make ironing easier and save energy.
Drying rack: This feature allows you to dry heavier or bulkier items — such as canvas shoes — without tumbling.
Drum light: Socks and other small items can “disappear” in the back of the machine. A drum light makes it easier to find them.
Lint filter: Higher-end models have sensors that warn you when the lint filter is blocked. Whichever model you choose, make sure to vent the dryer properly and clean the lint filter regularly to avoid a risk of fire.