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Cold, damp weather isn't conducive to drying clothes. And in a time when we're all at home more than ever, having wet clothes hanging around the house isn't ideal.
Clothes dryers, also known as tumble dryers, can be a great addition to a laundry room, and save some serious time when it comes to drying clothes, especially big items such as sheets.
What sort of clothes dryer should I buy?
Vented dryers pump the hot humid air they collect from your washing straight out to the surrounds. This means you either need to install it in a room with extremely good ventilation, or buy it with a ducting kit so you can pump this air outside. They're cheap to buy and can be wall mounted to save space.
Condenser dryers use a heat exchanger to condense moisture from the exhaust air and either collect it in a reservoir or drain it away. It won't make a laundry room as moist as a vented dryer, but you'll need to regularly empty the condenser tank, or plumb it in to a drain. They can be more expensive to run, and are heavier than vented dryers, so can't be wall hung.
Heat Pump condenser dryers work in the same way as a reverse-cycle air conditioner, heating the air to dry clothes. They can be expensive to buy, but cheap to run as they use less energy than other dryers. They re-use rather than vent heat, so they don't make laundries damp. You still need to empty the condenser tank regularly though.
Tips for buying and using a clothes dryer:
Keep your lint filter clean. A blocked lint filter means air can't circulate as easily through the clothes. This makes the dryer less efficient. Clean your filter after every use.
Use the highest spin speed on your washing machine before you put them in the dryer. This removes more water so the clothes dryer won't have to work as hard.
Open a window if possible when using a clothes dryer to prevent moisture building up in the room.
Here are some of the best options on the market:
Fisher & Paykel 8kg Heat Pump Dryer DH8060P1, $1599. It isn't cheap but this regularly comes up as one of the best dryers around, with high ratings from customers. With a 7 star energy rating, it has 3 different drying cycles, including a short 30 minute cycle, and uses lower temperatures than conventional dryers. It's designed for households of three to four people and is easy to install.
Simpson 4.5kg Vented Dryer SDV457HQWA, $399. Great for small spaces, this vented dryer is narrower than most standard dryers. It has a reverse tumbling cycle, a delicates cycle and can be wall-mounted. It gets good reviews from customers across the board.
Euromaid 6kg Condenser Dryer CD6KG, $899. This is a good option for a condenser dryer. It's good for couples and small families, and has a sensor technology which is designed to minimise wear and tear on your clothes. It has nine programs, including a delicates cycle, and a two-year manufacturer warranty.
Fisher & Paykel 8.5kg/5kg Washer Dryer Combo WD8560F1, $1399. If you're after a washer-dryer combo, then this gets consistently good reviews. It's a good space saver if you don't have room for a washing machine and clothes dryer, and features 10 wash cycles. It has a 5 star water ratings and 3.5 dry energy rating.
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