Need a clothes dryer? Wonder what to know before you buy?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind…

We know: All About Clothes Dryers

What are the basic kinds of clothes dryers?

The two basic kinds are gas dryers and electric dryers. Like with most appliances, you have to determine the power available in your home, and then calculate which type is more cost-effective for you. In general, gas dryers cost a little more to buy (about $50 per machine), but usually cost a little less to run. However, changes in energy prices can make a difference.

What is the price range in dryers?

Clothes dryers run from about $200 to $1200.

What should I think about when I shop?

  • Size – Where are you going to put the machine? Full-size dryers are between 27” and 29” in width. Some full-size models are stackable. Compact models are about 24” wide. Some compact models are also stackable.
  • Capacity – Full-size models have a drum, or interior space, of 5 to 7.5 cubic feet. Compact models have a drum that is about 3.5 cubic feet. If you have a big family, you may want to dry more clothes at a time.
  • Electric Power – Check to see if the dryer you are considering operates at 120 or 240 volts, and that is suits the wiring in your house.
  • Control Features – The most significant energy saving control feature is the one that turns the dryer off when the clothes are dry. There are two kinds: thermostats that sense the temperature of the clothes, and moister sensors that react to the dryness of the clothes. Moister sensors save more energy and are generally easier on fabrics.
  • Noise – If it’s possible, check to see if the model you are considering is noisy. If your dryer will be located near a living area, make sure it doesn’t drive you nuts.

What about the new heating cabinets?

This is a new product that comes with a regular dryer. The cabinet is situated over the dyer and contains shelves for stacking garments and a rack for hanging garments. The cabinet options include air drying, steam drying (to prevent wrinkles) and a refresh or remove odor option. Made by Maytag, this high-end dryer with drying cabinet is about $1200.

Who are the major dryer manufacturers?

Maytag, General Electric, Kenmore, Whirlpool, Amana, Frigidaire, Hotpoint, Roper and KitchenAid.

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