A dryer is an essential appliance when taking care of your clothes at home. When shopping for one, think of the variety of features you will use, before making a final decision. Here's how to find the best one for your particular needs.
Do I Need An Electric or Gas Dryer?
When it comes to selecting the best dryer for your home, it is necessary to be aware of the pre-existing connections available. All dryers require electricity to run, however, Electric Dryers as you may have guessed, use electricity as their main source of power. Gas dryers, on the other hand, use electricity to power the lights and the internal computer but use gas to provide the heat. Most people when looking for a new dryer can tell the type they have based on the pre-existing dryer's model number. Electric dryer model numbers will typically have an "E" for electric within them, whereas gas dryer model numbers have a "G" for gas. If you have just moved into a new home that only has a laundry hook-up, you can still easily figure out which type of dryer you can install by looking at the existing outlet. The best rule of thumb is to make sure you take a picture of the pre-existing connection to show your salesperson, that way you will be sure to get the correct dryer.
Electric Dryer Outlet / Electric Receptacle Types:
Electric dryers require more power than your normal receptacles can provide, receptacles are more commonly known as wall outlets. You can quickly observe whether a receptacle is made for an electric dryer because you won't be able to plug any other of your normal electronics into it, for example, your phone charger will not be able to be plugged into it. There are two commonly used receptacles amongst electric dryers. Homes built before 1996 will most likely have a 3-pronged outlet, while homes built after 1996 are required to have a 4-pronged outlet. One thing to keep in mind, if your home currently has a 3-pronged outlet, it is not necessary to upgrade to a 4-pronged outlet.
Gas Dryer Outlet / Electric Receptacle Type:
Gas dryers require, propane or natural gas as a heating element, and they also require electricity to power the drum and other important components. Electricity is provided through a standard 110/115 V outlet, just like the one you plug your toaster into. If you do not have a preexisting dryer, it is very easy to tell if you have a gas dryer hook-up because there will be a capped off gas line and a conventional outlet.
There are two types of dryers to choose from, either electric or gas, depending on the power source you have in your home. Most traditional dryers are front loading, but you also have the option of stackable models for smaller spaces. Some models also offer a pedestal that raises the height of the unit and makes it easy to load and unload while providing an extra storage drawer.
Electric dryers require a dedicated three- or four-prong, 240-volt outlet. Generally, they're slightly more expensive than their gas counterparts to operate and run long term, while also using twice the strength of an ordinary household electric current. The electric dryer is great for budget shoppers looking for a simple, low-maintenance drying solution.
The initial cost of gas can be slightly higher than that of an electric dryer, but it's typically less expensive to operate. It usually takes only a year or two to make up the purchase-price difference due to energy savings. Gas dryers will use either natural gas or propane as a heat source, and also require a dedicated gas hookup. If one does not exist in the space you would like your dryer, a professional will need to come out and install a line.
Taking into consideration how often you clean your clothes and the size of your household, it will help you decide on a capacity size. If you are in a household by yourself or with another individual, you will not need a dryer with a large capacity. You will be spending more money than you need.
However, if you are in a larger household, you may benefit from having a larger capacity dryer. Clothes that are not bunched into the dryer will dry quicker and require less energy due to much more tumble room.
Controls are really a personal choice. Whether you like touch dial, turning knobs, or touch-sensitive controls, that is all up to the user. An easy-to-read control panel is important, as it is just as necessary to have a clear understanding of what each feature does.
Today's machines do most of the work for you when it comes to laundry. This section will help you in deciding which cycle features will work best for your particular needs.
Inside dryers with sensor dry, is a moisture sensor that knows just how wet your laundry is and will dry the clothes accordingly. This is extremely effective as an energy saver, as your clothes do not use any additional dryer time than necessary.
Dryers with eco-cycle use a lot less energy than normal cycles by monitoring the dryness of clothes. Some models may even have a monitor on the console that displays the energy use and efficiency of different drying cycles. This will save you money on energy bills, and will lengthen the lifespan of your clothing.
The steam cycle is a newer feature introduced that assists in the drying of your clothes. Steam cycles can refresh an outfit you've already worn by relaxing wrinkles and removing odors. During this cycle, a small amount of water sprays into the dryer drum after several minutes of tumbling with heat, so it uses a minimal amount of water and energy. It's great when you need a quick fix on certain clothing right away.
The delicate cycle uses an ultra-low temperature to safely and gently dry lightweight garments, as well as any loosely woven fabrics. This will help your clothes last longer and maintain their color.
This dry cycle uses large blowers for increased airflow so laundry can dry a lot faster than usual.
Dryer Features to Consider
The next few features have been added to alleviate the hassle of doing laundry, while giving you the biggest bang for your buck.
Sleek and stylish, digital displays offer an updated and modern appearance to any laundry room. Some benefits may include things such as cycle countdowns and child locks.
By tumbling the clothes at regular intervals, this feature keeps clothes fresh and wrinkle-free for a longer period of time, especially if one can't make it to the load in time.
The National Sanitary Foundation rates machines based on their ability to destroy allergens and bacteria on fabric. This is something to look into if you're worried about cleanliness and staying healthy.
Vent Blocking Indicator
This feature let's users know that it's time to clean out the dryer vent, as sometimes it's easy to forget.
The drum rack is attached inside the drum for flat, heat-aided drying without the tumble.
An illuminated interior helps you catch every last article of clothing in the load.
This allows users to mute the end-of-cycle signal on machines located close to living and sleeping areas.