12 Things You MUST know before buying a Washer & Dryer

Looking for an excellent washer/dryer for your laundry requirements? Don’t worry, because you’ve landed on the right article. Today in this guide, I’ll discuss everything you must consider before choosing a dryer for your family. I’ll explain what should be your foremost priority, and what types of dryers can get your laundry job done, without sacrificing efficiency and time consumption. So, without further adieu, let’s jump straight into this guide.

What makes an exceptional dryer?

Washer Dryer Buying Guide

If you scroll through different shopping sites, you’ll notice there are varieties of dryers, but not all are worth your bucks. Some are expensive, feature-rich and premium, whereas some are enough for daily laundry needs. However, if you’re aware of the basic functionalities of a dryer, it isn’t any harder to choose the perfect model that suits your requirements as well as comforts your wallet.

Purchasing a dryer doesn’t always have to be complicated. Therefore to assist your decision, we’ve compiled twelve key considerations that you must keep in mind while purchasing yours. We’ve categorized each functionality and explained them briefly. This will help you gain a clear idea about these appliances so that you can decide what features to choose and what to ignore. So, let’s explore them all.

What you should consider before purchasing a dryer?

Here are some of the most important factors you should consider before buying a washer or dryer but before that, you should check out our top 3 recommendations for dryer.

BEST OVERALL
  • Panda Compact Laundry Dryer
  • Lightweight: 48lbs
  • Max Spin Speed: 45 RPM
  • Material Type: Stainless-Steel
GREAT VALUE
  • hOmeLabs Compact Laundry Dryer
  • Drying Power: 1400 watts
  • Automatic Shutoff Feature
  • 3 easy to navigate responsive mechanical controls
PREMIUM PICK
  • Splendide White Vented Combo Washer/Dryer
  • Max Spin: 1200 RPM & Cycle: 10 wash/3 dry
  • Wash Capacity: 15 lbs, Dry Capacity: 11 lbs
  • Super-silent technology

1. Amount of laundry per session

Like any other domestic appliance, capacity must be your foremost consideration. This will furthermore objectify the physical footprint the appliance consumes in your home. If you’re looking for a compact dryer, then it’s evident that you’re already tight on space. But do you regularly deal with substantial laundry loads like bedding? If so, then you must prefer going with big models with 30 inches of drum diameter. If not, and your laundry requirements only reside around clothes for four people or less, then 24 inches of drum size is absolute for you.

However, if you seek my advice, I would rather prefer the sweet spot of 28 inches. This won’t consume space as much as bigger models and may serve in emergencies when you’re having loads of laundry. On the other hand, if you have enough time, you can opt for a small dryer and get your work done in multiple sessions. Either way, this decision ultimately depends on your daily needs.

2. Power Source & Power Consumption

You may wonder why I’m specifically mentioning ‘Power Source’. This is because not all dryers run on traditional electricity. In some regions, where electricity isn’t widely accessible, fossil fuels like gasoline and propane are used to generate heat energy. That’s why many leading manufacturers have respective models to fulfill the needs of both the customer bases.

Where do you live, what primary power source is available, and how much you pay for them will help you decide whether you should choose electric dryers or gas-powered ones. However, if you have ecosystem concerns, you may prefer gas-powered models, as gasoline and propane emit less carbon into the atmosphere, compared to electricity (being generated from non-renewable fuels like petroleum).

On the other hand, installing new gas pipelines can be quite expensive. But, if you already have gas pipelines running to your house and it’s cheaper than electricity, then it’s best to go with gas-powered dryers. Keep in mind that natural gas has a lower carbon footprint than coal-driven electricity

3. Front Loading Dryers vs Top Loading Dryers

Washer Dryer Buying Guide

Do you prefer high-efficiency front-loading dryers? There are numerous advantages of using a front-loading dryer, except for one major caveat, which we’ll discuss in a minute. Unlike top-loading models, front-loading dryers require less detergent, energy, and water to deal with the exact amount of laundry. On the other hand, your clothes will be much cleaner and will retain the natural softness for longer.

But they are not just expensive, but significantly expensive compared to top-loading models. With great functionalities, comes great price tags. And this is indeed true for front-loading dryers, as millions of dollars get into its R&D. However, if budget isn’t a limitation for you, I would instead suggest purchasing front-loading models anyways, due to its bonus benefits. In the long run, it will serve you better.

4. Proper ventilation, power and water supply

Being a domestic appliance that requires a stable power supply and proper ventilation, most dryers aren’t that much portable. Particularly gas-powered models, where you can’t simply install a gas pipeline anywhere in your house. If your desire is ultimate portability, it’s safe to choose electric powered dryers. Proper water supply is another critical consideration. Therefore, make sure that your purchased dryer delivers enough accessibility to connect the water pipeline, dryer vent, and wastewater deposit vent.

Few models don’t require dedicated ventilation vents nowadays. Thus there’s a safe escape if you’re living in apartments or low on domestic space. But never install your dryer in congested places. Balcony and corridors are highly recommended, as these will allow your appliance to intake and exhaust efficiently, and it won’t heat your living area either. So, before buying one, make sure that your house fulfills the necessary conditions for installing and effectively running such an appliance.

5. Efficiency and performance

In terms of efficiency, front-loading dryers achieve a clear victory. But in terms of performance, they are still lagging. I should have included this discussion in the third subtopic, but I thought there should be a dedicated one. Front-loading machines saves not only energy but also water. And this doesn’t impact nature as much, due to fewer amounts of wastewater. However, these models suffer from the lowered capacity for their front-loading nature. On the other hand, top-loading dryers are the exact opposite. They hold up to 20 gallons of water, and they can deal with colossal laundry loads. But as a consequence, they consume more resources.

6. Energy Star Rating

Washer Dryer Buying Guide

The term ‘5-Star Rating’ sounds fascinating for domestic appliances. It’s a no-brainer that 5-star rated models save more power and water that ultimately lowers your expenses after electricity/gas and water bills. And maximum products nowadays feature the same level of efficiency. Therefore, it’s a straightforward decision.

7. Moisture sensors, intensity control, and timer settings

Some manufacturers implement unnecessary features in their products that are nothing except marketing gimmicks. Whatever functionality your chosen model may bring, always make sure that it features moisture sensors, adjustable intensity controls, and timer settings. Sensitive clothes like silk and limen require less heat, whereas cotton and woolen clothing needs intense heat for effective drying. So, with a dedicated intensity controller, you can deal with sensitive clothes, without affecting their color and textures.

Moisture sensors allow dryers to adjust heat settings for efficient drying, which ultimately saves few bucks your on electricity/gas bills. On the other hand, timer settings shut down the appliance according to your needs. Either way, you’re saving money and ensuring the longevity of your machine.

8. Which brand is the best and where to buy?

Washer Dryer Buying Guide

Buying options are endless, but let me give you some tips on saving some money as well, without sacrificing top-notch quality. Models from reputed brands are always appreciated, but that too comes at a price. I mean literally! You’re stuck between online shopping sites and local showrooms, aren’t you? Let’s utilize them both. If there’s a brand showroom nearby, you can always check out new products that are worth your job and also suits your wallet. There you can not only check out the description and pricing but also experience the products in real.

The actual purchase, however, is recommended via online shopping sites. Naturally, you’ll get discounts and brand offers. And if you prefer being a smart buyer, then wait for some time and pick up your favorite product during sales like Black Friday and Christmas. There are assured discounts and crazy deals during that period.

9. Warranty and brand replacement

It’s cherry on the cake, right? Like any other electrical appliance, there’s a high risk of component failure. Thus, brand warranty isn’t only appreciated, but mandatory these days. And that’s why leading brands always stand out, as they include an assured and genuine warranty for up to five years. Therefore, replacement and repairs won’t be challenging either, if you’re going with leading manufacturers.

10. There's a mobile app for everything.

We’re living in 2020, and home appliances are quietly becoming a part of IoT. Dryers aren’t an exception. Brands like Samsung and LG have pushed their business further with dedicated Smartphone apps for operating their home appliances. You can set custom schedules, power on/shut down your appliance from anywhere; monitor your appliance’s efficiency and much more. Some of them are even integrated with voice assistants like Samsung Bixby and Google Assistant. So, if you’re willing to pay a premium price, you’ll get such futuristic facilities too.

11. A quick glimpse of customer reviews

While choosing any product, whether it’s dryers or anything else, you should always read customer reviews. There’s so much you can learn from someone else’s experience so that you don’t make the same mistake they did. This will help you understand the strengths and caveats of the appliances, before even buying.

12. Finally, the price tag.

Washer Dryer Buying Guide

I know you’ve been waiting for this discussion since the beginning. For most customers, pricing plays an important role and noticeably affects their purchasing behaviour. There’s no limit on how much you can spend after dryers, but keeping in mind about the must-have features, anything from $600 to $1200 is the sweet spot. Like I mentioned, include the features that you need the most and exclude the ones that you won’t bother using. In this way, you can save the maximum of your purchase, while ensuring necessary functionalities in your appliance.

Conclusion

So before you hit the ‘Buy Now’ button, measure your laundry room space, check power and ventilation availability, double-check your budget, ensure required functionalities and get a birds-eye-view over customer reviews. I’m pretty sure, you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. I hope this article helped you in deciding which dryer to purchase for your home. Please let us know if you’ve found your perfect laundry companion by following our guide. Your satisfaction means a lot to us. Enjoy your new home appliance, and we’ll catch you in the next one.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.How can a dryer catch fire?

For both gas-powered and electric-powered models, the highest risk of fire comes from the heating chamber. If the dryer is running without any water feeding, it can easily catch on fire. However, smart appliances nowadays feature safety switches that don’t allow for turning on the device, unless enough water is fed in the drum.

2. How to prevent dryer fires?

The straightforward answer is, “Be careful while using the appliance“. As I mentioned, the heating chamber may catch on fire, if there isn’t enough water present in the drums. So, always make sure to feed your dryer with fresh and sufficient water to avoid any risks of fire and smoke.

3. How do you know if the dryer vent is clogged?

There’s a physical fan/pump inside, and that makes some audible noise. If you notice any change in the fan/pump’s noise levels, you can expect the vent is clogged. There may also be fumes leakage and vibration that indicates the same.

4. What happens if the dryer isn't vented?

If the problem lies within the appliance, there’s a high risk of fire. In other cases, where the warm air is coming out of the appliance but cannot escape the building, then gradually your room will become warm and humid.

5. Are electric dryer fumes harmful?

Compared to gas-powered models, electric dryer fumes aren’t harmful at all. This is because there’s no fire burning inside, but only there are nichrome wires that get heated whenever electricity passes through them. On the other hand, gas-powered dryer fumes are toxic and thus, they require reliable ventilation.

6. Does an electric dryer emit carbon monoxide?

For not involving flames in its operations, electric dryers don’t emit carbon monoxide or any other harmful gases. But if the nichrome coils are burning itself, they emit more toxic fumes, even than the gas-powered models. Thus, you need to be very careful while operating such models.

7. Where do most dryer fires start?

As you have already guessed, most fires start inside the heating chamber. Compared to electric dryers, the risk of fire is high on gas-powered models, as they directly involve naked flames while generating heat. Proper ventilation is highly necessary for avoiding such circumstances.


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