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We’ve done the heavy lifting to provide insight on Dryers that make most sense for your individual needs. Our dryer reviews take many factors into consideration including: size requirements, dryer efficiency, types of dryers, various cycles, dryer brands, price, reliability and overall quality. Below you find some general Dryer Buying Guide information as well as links to our Dryer brand pages which feature individual product reviews. We hope you find the dryer review format informative and easy to use.
Dryers tend to use more energy than washers and for this reason become a common upgrade for people looking to increase their overall appliance efficiency. To make this even more tangible, a clothes washer has a typically wattage of 350 – 500 Watts, whereas a Dryers typical wattage is between 1800 – 5000 Watts. By exploring some of the newer high efficiency dryers in today’s market, users can realize some significant cost savings. You can run some quick calculations to see if an upgrade makes sense:
Energy Use Calculation:
( # of Watts x estimated hrs run per week x 52 weeks ) / 1000 = total kWh used
= total kWh used x local cost per kWh
Types of Clothing Dryers:
Features and Size are the main differentiators in dryers. Most traditional dryers are front loading with standard size drums that hold average size loads with regular spin speeds and gentle tumbling action. Stackable models are available and work well in small spaces. Some models offer a pedestal which raises the height of the unit and makes it easy to load and unload while providing an extra storage drawer for laundry supplies. Here we explain the basic difference in types of dryers most buyers consider:
Full Sized Dryers – Most Common
Full-sized dryers are usually between 27 and 30 inches wide. In this category most brands will describe their dryers as being Large or Extra Large capacity. Considering that most dryers range from 6.5 to 7.5 cubic feet in volume, the difference is really quite minimal and most dryers on todays market should accommodate a full size load from even the largest capacity washers. Full sized dryers can range anywhere from $200 to $1,500 in price, all depending on included dryer features (link). You can get some great dryers around $600.
Most common type of dryer on the market which equates to a great deal of choice
They offer many features
Available from most major brands
Stackable with compatible washers for additional space savings
Freedom of choice allowing users to match the best dryer with the best washer
Space Saving or Compact Dryers – Great for tight spaces
Most compact dryers are 24 inches wide or less. Although very common in Europe, they see less use in North America due to limited volume and inability to accommodate wash loads from most stand along washers. Users with tight quarters or considering and in-kitchen dryer solution will be best served by this category of dryers.
Great for single users
Excellent solution for tight quarter installations like apartments, kitchens or closets
Easy to transport
Small load handling
Small doors make it difficult to access and deposit clothing
Washer & Dryer Combo – Great for tight spaces
Combo washer & dryer units are also commonly called stacked washer & dryer or fixed washer units. The tend to be very narrow, around 24 inches wide and are great for tight space installations or even as backup units.
If one unit fails, less easy to replace
Best suited for small load volume requirements
Dryer Features to Consider:
Capicity: Dryers generally range from 3 – 7.5 cubic feet in volume. If you have a larger washer, then you’ll want to consider a larger dryer.
Steam: Some dryers offer steam infused cycles to help reduce garment wrinkling during the drying process. Test have shown that this really works and is a great choice for users washing button down clothing and items that generally require some level of ironing post drying. Some dryers even use steam to help reduce static electricity levels.
Drying Programs: More expensive dryers will offer more settings for different materials and colors.
Moisture Sensors: Measure moisture levels throughout the cycle and automatically adjusts the drying time.
Stackability: Lets you know whether or not a dryer can be stacked with a washer for space savings. Stackable dryers may have stronger frames to support additional weight of stacking and mounting kits to keep washer and dryer connect during cycles.
Vent Block Indicators: Help identify vent obstructions and be a great added safety feature.
Controls: This option varies considerably with price and can include anything from manual dials to high-end digital touch screens for navigation. Skys the limit in this area, so be sure to read specs to see whats included in your dryer.
Drum Rack: A simple removable rack used to keep items from tumbling, great for drying shoes or heavy items.
Door Styles: There are two types of dryer door styles including drop down and side opening. Higher end models tend to have side opening for larger doors and easier access for loading and removing clothing.
Stabilization: Some physical or digital systems added to reduce vibration, excess noise as well is reduce overall wear on the unit. More expensive dryers will boast more features in this area.
Top Dryer Brands:
Whirpool, Sears Kenmore, GE, Maytag, LG, Samsung, Frigidaire
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