Tumble dryers have not yet become widespread with us – and in vain. An automatic tumble dryer speeds up the process of drying laundry, saving space and time. Unfortunately, a lack of knowledge and some persistent myths about this type of technology are holding back many from buying a dryer. This guide aims to acquaint readers with the characteristics of dryers and their capabilities.
Advantages of the dryer
Allows you to reduce ironing. Many items after washing can be used immediately or folded for storage without ironing. Socks, bedding, T-shirts and sweatshirts can be worn straight out of the dryer. And the towels are generally so soft and fluffy, as in the commercial. The main thing is not to overdry the laundry and not leave it in the drum for a long time – then it can be very wrinkled. Well, not all items can be used without ironing – shirts, skirts, trousers will have to be ironed, as before.
Remove dust and hair. Most of the hair and dust particles are not washed off during washing, but stick to the laundry. After drying on a rope, dust can enter the air, creating problems for allergy sufferers. In the dryer, the air-blown laundry is constantly stirred, dust particles and hair are separated from it and remain in the filter.
In the dryer, the laundry remains fresh, does not absorb foreign odors, as can happen when drying on a rope.
You can dry bulky items with fillers such as soft toys, pillows, down jackets without the risk of clumping of the filler or insulation.
The drying cabinet is a sealed vertical cabinet in which the movement of hot air is organized. In such a dryer, linen is not wrinkled, it can be immediately folded on the shelves or hung on a coat hanger. But drying cabinets take up a lot of space and are expensive.
In tumble dryers, the laundry is folded into a drum similar to that used in a washing machine. During the drying process, the drum rotates, stirring the laundry and ensuring that it dries evenly. If creasing of the laundry is undesirable, it can be dried on shelves installed in the drum.
Drum machines are more compact and cheaper than drying cabinets, but they are less delicate with linen.
Dryers are divided into two types – ventilation and condensation.
Ventilation machines simply blow excess moisture out, therefore, they require connection to the ventilation duct. If the air outlet from such a model is not connected to ventilation, it will greatly raise the humidity in the room during operation. In addition, the ventilation dryer consumes more electricity, since a large part of the heat simply goes outside with the blown air.
Condensation machines condense the evaporated moisture, collecting it in a separate container or draining it into a sewer. Condensing machines are more expensive, but more convenient to use, as they do not require connection to ventilation.
In a conventional condensing dryer, the air is heated by a heating element, passes through the laundry, absorbing moisture, then cools in the condenser, giving off moisture. The condenser is then cooled by contact with the environment. The efficiency of such a scheme is low and further decreases with increasing room temperature.
Heat pump machines contain a small refrigeration unit with a compressor, condenser, evaporator and system.
The evaporator temperature in such a system is much lower than in free cooling, so the drying efficiency is higher. It would seem that a machine with a heat pump should have higher energy consumption, but this is not so. Cold air after the evaporator is heated in the condenser radiator of the refrigeration unit and takes away excess heat from the compressor, so it needs to be heated much less with a heating element. The heat pump transfers heat from moist air to dry air, so the energy efficiency practically does not suffer, but the drying speed increases noticeably.
Dryers with an inverter motor are more economical and quieter. Inverter motors do not have a brush assembly, so you do not have to change worn out brushes every few years. But the inverter motor significantly increases the price of the machine, so it’s not worth talking about economy – even if you use the dryer every day, it will take you ten years to recoup the price difference.
The presence of a filter from small particles
An important element of the dryer, which significantly reduces the amount of dust in the indoor air. Washing and drying does not remove most of the dust from laundry. Dust adheres well to wet clothes, and when things dry, it gets into the air and scatters around the house. If the dryer is equipped with a filter, the dust that separates during drying will remain in it.
Regular drying of bed linen in the dryer can significantly reduce the amount of dust in the room.
Variable direction of rotation of the drum
If the drum rotates only in one direction, the laundry may stay in one position, causing folds. The variable direction of rotation of the drum prevents wrinkling and increases the amount of laundry that can be loaded into the drum at a time.
The maximum load of the dryer directly affects its price, so you should not take a model with a load larger than necessary. Focus on the maximum load of your washing machine. But keep in mind that wet laundry from a washing machine weighs 30-50% more than dry laundry. Therefore, take as a basis a value that is 1.3-1.5 times the load of the washing machine.
The larger the volume of the drum, the more air it contains and the more efficient the drying process.
With an equal load, you should prefer the machine in which the volume of the tank is larger – it will dry the laundry faster and wrinkle it less. The optimal volume of the drum of modern machines is 110-120 liters.
Possibility to connect to a drain
In condenser dryers, the moisture taken from the laundry is collected in a condenser. If the machine has the ability to connect to a drain, it will send the collected moisture to the sewer. If this is not possible, you will have to periodically remove the container with accumulated moisture and drain it yourself. Depending on the type of laundry and the mode of washing used, the container can be filled either in one drying or in three to five.
Compatible washing machine for stacking
Although the dryer is more compact than the clamshell dryer, it still takes up space. Therefore, the dryer is often installed on the washing machine. This reduces the footprint by half and increases the convenience of drying – you just need to move the laundry half a meter up. But just putting a dryer on any washing machine will not work – they may not match in size and may not have appropriate fasteners. Compatible washing machines allow you to assemble a column of two machines reliably and aesthetically.
Energy consumption is one of the main arguments against dryers. Indeed, with natural drying, laundry dries for free, and using a dryer costs money. By evaluating the electricity consumption per cycle, you can imagine exactly how much you will pay for each drying and how much it will cost approximately per year. For example, if you consume 5 kWh per cycle and the price of one kWh is 5 rubles, you will pay 25 rubles for one drying cycle. Washing clothes twice a week, you will spend 2,600 rubles in electricity per year.
To minimize costs, pay attention to the energy efficiency class. Machines of class B (and, even more so, C) are uneconomical and will spend more electricity on the same amount of laundry. Cars of classes A, A +, A ++ and A +++ are the more economical, the more pluses, but the more expensive.
Total number of programs
The more programs, the easier it will be for you to choose the drying mode for each specific load. The drying mode depends on the type of fabric, its moisture content (what kind of spin was in the washing machine) and on the required residual moisture. For “smart” machines with many sensors, there may be fewer modes: 7-9.
And for the rest, it is desirable that there be at least 10 programs, including iron drying, normal drying, drying by type of linen, type of fabric for different humidity, and so on.
Determining the moisture content of laundry
Overdrying of clothes is one of the main reasons for the frustration of dryer users. Overdried linen looks crumpled and is difficult to iron.
If the machine has a humidity sensor, it will take care to prevent overdrying. But if there is no sensor, you will have to choose the right drying program yourself and monitor the moisture content of the laundry.
Delay start allows you to start drying not immediately after loading, but after a specified period of time. This is due to the fact that dryers can be quite noisy, so it is better not to run them at night, but to postpone drying until, for example, you will be at work. Or, on the contrary, turn it on at night, when the electricity tariff is lower.
Smartphone control helps you control your dryer without being near it. Now you don’t have to worry that the clothes in the dryer will be forgotten and remain caked up – the dryer will send you a reminder to your smartphone after drying. And with control from your smartphone, you can not worry about the state of the car when you are not at home.
Determination of the presence of laundry in the drum
The sensor for the presence of laundry in the drum will not let you forget about the laundry after drying. This option is especially useful for machines with an opaque door.
Although the dryer does not fill with water, it is still not recommended to open the hatch during operation – hot air circulates in the dryer drum, which can burn. Although most modern dryers are equipped with a lock, it is not mandatory in this type of technique, so pay attention to this option when choosing if you have children.
If there is no fault indicator, you will not be able to understand why the dryer refuses to work. Perhaps something is broken, or perhaps you just did not close the door tightly or put too much laundry. The presence of the indicator will allow you not to worry about trifles and spend money on calling the master when this is not necessary.
Not all dryers are equipped with a temperature control system, and their operating conditions may vary. With prolonged use in summer, the temperature in the dryer can rise to a critical level. In this case, the overheating protection will turn off the dryer – if it is, of course.
If you have the ability to connect to a ventilation duct, you can purchase an inexpensive ventilation dryer . But keep in mind that its energy efficiency will be low, since part of the heat will go with the air into the ventilation.
Dryers that are assembled in a column with a washing machine save space and are more convenient to use.
In the drying cabinet , laundry can be immediately hung on a coat hanger or folded on a shelf.
If you need the ability to dry your laundry as quickly as possible, choose among heat pump tumble dryers . They are much more efficient than conventional condensing ones.
If you do not want to periodically drain the collected condensate into the sewer, buy a dryer with the ability to connect to a drain