Tumble dryers three ways – what’s the difference?

Author: Claire

If you have a large family and plenty of laundry, a tumble dryer may sound like a great investment. Interestingly, the technology used for these kitchen appliances has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years, meaning there is now more product choice than ever.

Vented tumble dryers

Traditionally, tumble dryers are vented. A flexible hose attaches to the back or side of the machine, transporting all that hot, moist air outside through a hole in the wall. Obviously, this means that you’ll have to site your dryer against an outside wall, and get someone to fit an outside vent piece big enough to take the 4 inch hose. You will also need a power socket nearby. The good news is that once installed, your tumble dryer shouldn’t need much attention other than a periodic emptying of the fluff tray.

Condenser dryers

Condenser dryers operate unvented, making them more versatile when it comes to positioning and installing in your home – all you need is a power socket. The hot moisture vapour inside the units condenses into water droplets that collect in a removable compartment that you need to empty on a regular basis – often after every drying cycle – although some humidity can escape. Condenser dryers tend to be slightly pricier than their vented counterparts.

Heat pump tumble dryers

Combining optimum convenience and energy efficiency, heat pump dryers are unvented, offering the same advantages as condenser dryers. Some but not all heat pump dryers still have a water compartment that needs emptying occasionally. The main benefit is that the moist air collected during drying is passed through an evaporator which removes the moisture and then recycles the same hot air for the rest of the drying process. While these machines cost up to 1/3 more than a typical condenser dryer, they can lower you annual energy costs by as much as half. Heat pump dryers operate at lower temperature, which means it can take longer to dry your clothes.

Energy Ratings explained

Tumble dryers get a bad rep on account of their energy usage, which is why it is recommended that you choose one that is as efficient as possible to run, even if the purchase cost may be higher. The EU Energy Rating system grades appliances between A+++ (most energy efficient) to D (least energy efficient). Buy the best that your budget allows.

Which size tumble dryer?

Depending on the size of your household and the amount of washing that needs doing, it makes sense to choose a washing machine and tumble dryer of sufficient and equal capacity. The capacity of the tumble dryer refers to the weight of dry clothes that can fit into the drum, the most popular sizes being somewhere between 6kg for a small to medium sized household, and 10kg for bigger families.

At Price Kitchens, we can source and supply a wide range of freestanding and integrated kitchen appliances including laundry equipment at competitive prices, from manufacturers such as Neff, Zanussi, AEG, Electrolux, Bosch and Siemens. For expert advice on kitchen design, installation and appliances, please get in touch by calling 020 8686 9006 or visit our large Croydon showroom.

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