Tumble dryers are immensely useful things in the winter months but choosing one can be a conundrum. There are hundreds of models all offering different things. We’re going to look at the main features to look out for if you’re looking to buy a new tumble dryer, so you find the perfect machine.
What type of machine?
There are three main types of tumble dryer available. Here’s what to expect with each type:
- Heat Pump Tumble Dryers – this type of machine works by recycling hot air inside the drum. This means they are amongst the most efficient tumble dryers. They will save you money but they will take significantly longer to dry your clothes, so keep this in mind
- Condenser Tumble Dryers – this type of machine works by removing moisture from clothes and condensing the moisture into a removable tank. This kind of dryer is ideal if you can’t ventilate your dryer. You have to remove the tank and empty it after every cycle
- Vented Tumble Dryers – this type of machine works by removing moisture from your clothes and expelling it from the machine via a hose, which should be connected to an external vent. They are supplied with a hose to do this, but you might need to add an external vent to allow the moisture to escape
Things to consider
Tumble dryers come with different drum sizes. The larger the drum, the more clothes can move around, which helps to prevent creases forming in clothes. Large drums also have a larger capacity, so if you live in a large household where you do lots of washing look for larger models. Large drums have a 9kg capacity. Smaller drums have a capacity of 6-7kg and are perfect for smaller households and are more energy efficient.
Energy efficiency is a rating that defines how much energy is lost when you use your machine. Efficient machines have less energy loss. The energy efficiency is rated by letter with A+++ being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. If a machine is more efficient, you’ll save money because less energy is wasted. Using less energy is better for the environment and will be noticeable when your electricity bill comes in. Heat pump dryers are the most efficient. If you’re an environmentalist, this type is the best type to go for.
Drying Programmes and Extra Features
Tumble dryers have various programmes that offer neat features such as anti-crease programmes, so you spend less time at the ironing board, gentle programmes for delicates and even anti-allergy programmes. These features come at a price but are useful for some people. I have seen some machines with sensor drying technology which uses sensors to work out the perfect drying time for the clothes in the machine. This stops the cycle when everything is dry. Some models also have automatic cool down phases that use cold air before the end of the cycle to ensure your clothes aren’t too hot to handle when the cycle ends.