How to choose a laundry dryer

7 minutes of reading Tips & Tricks
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Combined or independent? Condensation or ventilation? Do you want the best dryer and keep hesitating which one it is? Read our advice and choose one that will serve even 10 years from now.

Article contents

  1. Why it’s worth having a dryer
  2. Difference between condensation and ventilation types
  3. Classic condensation dryers vs. ones with a heat pump
  4. Advantages of combined washers and dyers
  5. Key selection parameters
  6. Other clever functions
  7. Opinion of AP Servis as to which dryer to buy

7 reasons why it’s worth having a laundry dryer

Hot air drying has a number of advantages compared to classic air drying. The clothing comes out soft and smooth, ready to be put away. The filters capture dust and pollen and the high heat kills most microbes. You will also avoid the trapping of odours in the clothes.

  1. Saves time spent hanging and removing clothes from the line.
  2. The era of ugly racks and hanging wet clothes around the house is over.
  3. It gets rid of dangerous humidity which evaporates when drying clothes in the room.
  4. Clothes are not just dry, but also softened and smooth.
  5. Most clothes do not need any ironing.
  6. The high temperature while drying destroys allergens and virus particles.
  7. Clothing retains its original colour, unlike drying in the sun.

How a laundry dryer works (difference between condensation and ventilation dryer)

It simply removes all the moisture from washed clothes within 35 to 80 minutes. It leaves only hot air. The appliance needs to get rid of it somehow. There are two basic ways:

  • Classic condensation dryers: They transform (condense) hot air into water and drain it into a tank. In most models, you connect the air duct to the drain and that is all. If this isn’t possible, simply empty the tank with the condensate by hand.
  • Ventilation dryers: They conduct hot steam straight out through a pipe. They dry very quickly and cost less, with minimum operating costs. The disadvantage is that they must be placed somewhere where high humidity is not a problem, or require building modifications for the ventilation pipe.

Classic condensation dryers vs. ones with a heat pump

Increasingly more condensation dryers are fitted with a heat pump. This technology was originally intended for demanding operation, e.g. at hospitals. Today, the end price is equal to classic models with a heating element, with plenty of advantages.

Dryers with a heat pump

They work on the principle of a reverse refrigerator - they return excess heat to the circuit and use it for drying. This makes them far more effective than classic dryers.

  • These models are particularly suitable for drying very delicate garments.
  • They also have 50% or lower consumption than classic condensation models. For illustration: They use only 1 to 2 kWh per one cycle. This means that drying clothes costs maximally 8 CZK.

Classic dryers with a heating element

They do not use residual heat created during drying - they conduct it straight out. They need more energy for drying that those with a heat pump.

  • They dry faster than models with a heat pump.
  • They (sometimes) have a lower purchase price, but up to 3 times higher operating costs compared to models with a heat pump.

Combined washer and dryer: Saves times and space

An increasingly more popular option is the combined washer and dryer. This “2 in 1” appliance saves space in the bathroom and above all your time. You don’t have to reload the clothing into a dryer. Just choose the right program and take out the laundry washed and dried. It does have one catch - the capacity of the drum for drying is lower than for washing. For instance, if you wash a full load of 9 kg, then you have to take a part out after drying it and dry it in two cycles.

Combined dryers work on the principle of removing the condensate into a tank. Hence, no structural modifications are needed. The appliance is connected like an independent washer.

Thanks to the connector, the dryer will not take up floor space

Don’t feel like drying laundry in two cycles? Get a separate washer and condensation dryer. For drying, choose a drum capacity of about 2 kg more than for washing. This will guarantee that you can dry the entire load at once. Place one appliance on top of the other using the safety connector. As a result only one will take up floor space - usually the washer which is used as the base.

TIP: Find out how to connect the washer and dryer using a clever connector.

Important selection parameters

For most households, condensation dryers with a heat pump  are the best option. What parameters should you consider?

·      Drum capacity

Smaller dryers of up to 7 kg are suitable for 2-member and smaller households. Classic 7 to 9 kg dryers are best for 3-4 member families. If you have a larger family or wash large items (bedspreads, curtains, drapes), you will appreciate a larger drum. But be careful not to choose a larger appliance than you really need. It is an unnecessary waste of money and drying in a half-empty drum is no good for the appliance either.

·      Dimensions

Classic dryers have dimensions of 59.5 - 60 cm width and 63 - 66 cm depth.

Don’t forget that some space has to remain around the appliance - ideally 15 cm at the back and 5 cm on the sides.

·      Capacity of the condensate tank

Even if you conduct condensate to the drain, it is a good idea to check the size of the tank. It should be 4-6 litres. The larger it is, the less often you need to empty it. As soon as the tank becomes full, the appliance automatically switches off. Therefore, it is better to remove the water after every cycle.

·      Built-in option

Do you have the option of building the appliance into the kitchen or hiding it in a cabinet in the hallway? Do it! This solution is particularly popular for combined washers and dryers.

·      Energy consumption

Don’t just look at the energy class - the vast majority of appliances today are in energy class A or higher. Also check the average annual energy consumption per 160 cycles. The best appliances in energy class A+++ have a consumption of about 180 kWh per year. Cheaper dryers can reach 3 times as much.

Why doesn’t a cheap dryer pay off?

 

Cheap dryer

Mid-range

Top model

Acquisition cost

7 490 CZK

12 990 CZK

17 900 CZK

Energy class

B

A++

A+++

Capacity

8 kg

8 kg

8 kg

Annual consumption (160 cycles)

560.2 kWh

318.4 kWh

176.5 kWh

Cost per 1 load (at a price of 3.80 CZK per 1 kWh)

13.30 CZK

7.60 CZK

4.20 CZK

Annual operating costs

2 129 CZK

1 210 CZK

671 CZK

Operating costs (10 years)

21 290 CZK

12 100 CZK

6 710 CZK

Acquisition price + operating costs (10 years)

28 780 CZK

25 090 CZK

24 610 CZK

TIP: Whirlpool is so confident about its silent motors that if offers a free extension of the warranty to 5 or 10 years. Check for the “5/10 years guarantee” icon on selected appliances, for instance the popular HSCX 70311 dryer from the Supreme Care series.

Other clever functions

·      6th Sense technology

Thanks to this technology, the appliance determines which cycle settings will be best for optimal drying of the given drum load. It adjusts the program continuously to reduce energy consumption and time. Advanced 6th Sense technology is featured mainly in Whirlpool dryers.

·      Drying based on remaining moisture

The remaining moisture indicator allows you to remove the clothes as dry as you need it - from slightly moist for ironing to completely dry for wearing.

·      Change the direction of door opening

Some dryers - unlike washers - allow changing the direction of door opening by 180 degrees.

·      FreshCare aeration / steam drying

Do you often forget the laundry in the drum? Do you need to refresh it from the closet? With steam aeration, you can put your clothes on in a few minutes without having to wash it. Steam drying also straightens the fibres - ideal for those who don’t like ironing.

·      Door size / Drying larger laundry items

For instance, modern Whirlpool Supreme Care dryers offer an extra-large door and special program for large items - blankets, bed linens or drapes.

Dryer installation

You can place a condensation dryer practically anywhere you have space: in the storage room, closet, or hidden in your kitchen cupboards. The only requirement is power supply. A water drain is also suitable.

You can place the dryer in a room with a temperature between 15° C and 20° C. If the temperature in higher, ventilate the room.

Connecting a condensation dryer is easy:

  1. Remove all the packaging material including the protective film.
  2. Place the appliance on a flat surface and straighten it by adjusting the front feet.
  3. If you want to connect it to a pipe or drain, proceed as you would when installing a washer.
  4. If you have already connected the washer to the drain, don’t worry - this is solved with a double elbow pipe which leads both appliances into the drain.
  5. Connect the cable to the power supply. Do not use extension cords or splitters.

Never install the dryer in extreme conditions - a room without ventilation or where the temperature reaches freezing point or exceed 35 degrees Celsius.

Which dryer to buy? AP Servis opinion

Most modern households consider a condensation dryer with a heat pump to be the best choice. It is quiet, fast and ideal for very delicate garments. It can be installed anywhere within reach of power supply. No complicated adjustments are needed. For large-scale facilities, we recommend semi-professional ventilation dryers, which can easily handle all-day loads.

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