Well, with her new washing machine installed and working, my sister was feeling very pleased with herself and decided that she now needed me to go round and help her to choose the best clothes dryer. I asked if she was not just going to get the stacking, matching dryer and she said that yes, that was very much an option but she wanted to make sure that she had the best option and if needed she would put it in a different place to the washing machine.
We sat down that afternoon with pen and paper and the first thing we discussed was gas versus electric clothes dryer. She did have gas available at her home so she could have a gas clothes dryer easily but they do tend to be a little more expensive to buy. In the end she came down firmly on the side of an electric dryer as she would not be using it for all her drying needs, mainly for items that take longer to dry and are larger, bedding, towels, and denims.
We then decided that she did not need a huge capacity dryer, after all there were only the two of them and since she did not have a large capacity washing machine, she would not make good use of a larger capacity dryer.
We also considered condenser dryers. This would save having to vent the dryer but this would only be an issue if it had to go in a different room. Seems they are slightly less efficient and you have to empty the water tank and every month or so remove the condenser unit and wash the lint and fluff off it. If this is not done, the dryer does not work as efficiently. It was something to consider and at least we understood them so if she found one that she liked we were aware of the facts.
Again she wanted to ensure that she bought one with the lowest possible dryer energy ratings, this saves on costs and helps the environment too so this was something she was very keen to get. As with the washer, there is an Energy Star rating for clothes dryers.
We looked at some other options, should she have a really efficient dryer with moisture or dryness sensors or maybe wrinkle-free options so that she had less ironing to do – that was a popular feature! She definitely needed some temperature options she decided because not all clothes can be dried at high temperatures without risking some shrinkage and this was something to be avoided we decided.
Also, if she could adjust temperatures and drying times it would surely be energy efficient. We looked into dryers with a cool down period at the end of the cycle and realised that this was also a great feature, as it would reduce the wrinkles and the ironing time and probably be kinder to the clothes.
We realised that we would also have to have a look at the options for the lint filter position, as it has to be cleaned after every use ideally, it needed to be in convenient position. This could not really be decided until the model and its position in her home were chosen. After all if the dryer was going to be stacked on top of the washing machine, it needed to be inside the door for ease, otherwise it would not be so important. That feature would have to be checked out at the shop.
The lint filter is very important, if it is not cleaned out regularly, the lint that collects in the filter hampers the flow of air and the dryer has to work harder than it needs to and in extreme circumstances can pose a fire risk. The main thing is that if you keep the filter clean, you use less energy and the clothes dry faster so it is an important feature in saving energy. It is so easy to do too; you need to get into the habit of removing lint from the dryer at the end of the drying cycle or at the beginning. You just rub your fingers across to get a little ball of lint and then use that to quickly remove all the rest. No effort and a great saving.
Not only does this practice save energy, it is also a good safety practice as cleaning lint from all areas and keeping the dryer clean, help to ensure that there is no fire risk.
We also considered noise and decided that a reasonably quiet dryer would be best wherever it ended up. There were of course advantages to having the dryer near the washer but my sister was currently moving her wet washing outside so whilst it would save time to have them together, she was not that concerned.
The subject of colour was exactly the same as it had been when choosing the washing machine but since she had already bought a red dryer, I thought she would again ignore the wise buy and get a dryer to match. I had to admit that the red washer really cheered the kitchen up and looked very smart. It went well with all her stainless steel bits and pieces.
We had already checked out the local repair options when she bought the washer so we just checked with a couple of them to make sure there would be no problems with repairing an electric dryer and we made a note to make sure that the warranty would cover everything for at least a year although some manufacturers now give a two year warranty.
Dryer drums are usually porcelain or stainless steel and we both felt that stainless steel was the best option – they look good and they don’t rust. We found out that there is quite a variety of styles available. Some look very stylish, some have glass doors and some have snazzy control panels. To be honest though, I tended to prefer the ones that did not look like a washing machine, but my sister was not sure.
Oh well, off shopping again in the morning, this time for the best clothes dryer for my sister!
Barbara writes about all sorts of laundry items HOW TO CLEAN A STEAM IRON
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