When you have a large family, drying the wet laundry becomes a nightmare without a tumble dryer. We can’t always hang our clothes outside due to lack of proper drying area or a garden in the house or due to certain weather conditions. Hanging the wet clothes inside the house can create congestion. Today’s energy efficient tumble drying machines can help us solve this problem. They can speed up the entire laundry process by removing the moisture from the load of clothing. So no more worries about drying wet laundry.
Tumble dryers have a rotating drum which is called the tumbler. When the machine is switched on the tumbler starts to rotate maintaining space between the clothes loaded. Heated air is passed though these tumblers which evaporate moisture from clothes and make it dry.
Types of tumble dryers
Choose your dryer according to the space available in your house. The below mentioned types of dryers are very popular and are available in the market.
Condenser Dryers – Since they don’t need a hose out from the back side of the machine they can be fixed anywhere inside the house and hence is the best suited one for small homes. Moisture from the wet clothes is collected in a self-sealed tray or bottle during the drying process and this can be emptied after each cycle.
Vented Dryers – Vented Dryers requires an air vent and hence need a place near an outside wall with a hole to let the machine’s hose out which will pass the warm moist air created during the drying process.
Spin dryers – If you have very limited space, spin dryers are the best. This is very cost effective and energy efficient for smaller loads.
Washer-dryer – An integrated washer-dryer is a very practical solution if you have space constraints. It’s worth considering if you have to buy both washer and dryer at the same time. However keep in mind that the combined ones will have lesser features and will consume more time. Also it is less energy efficient than the independent washers and dryers.
Looking for energy efficient model?
All tumble dryers are graded A+ to G depending on their energy efficiency. The ones rated A+ is most economical. The initial cost of buying these machines will be high but they consume less electricity.
Another way to keep the cost down is by preventing overloads and by drying similar fabrics together.
Size or the load capacity
Tumbler dryers should have enough space for the hot air to flow and hence require larger drums than the washing machines. Maximum load that a tumble dryer can dry effectively is 4-8kgs. You can choose a dryer with capacity between 6 kg and 10 kg. 8kg is ideal for an average family. If you have large wash loads regularly, consider buying a dryer with heavier capacity.
All the tumble dryers come with two settings, one for cotton and another for synthetic fabrics. As you pay more, you will find more features and controls. Few settings that you can look for are:
Crease care – Crease care feature helps to dry clothes with less or no crease so that you don’t have to iron them.
Delicate – This is ideal for all delicate fabrics. This feature reduces the heat produced and do not harm the delicate clothes.
Woolen – Woolen clothes has a tendency to shrink if washed and dried at home. This setting helps to solve that problem.
Airing – This is a fast dry option to freshen up the load of clothes if not removed from the machine immediately after the cycle.
Sports – Recommended for sportswear.
Final cool tumble – This will lower the temperature towards the end of each cycle so that it’s not too hot when you take it out. In some machines the heating element is tuned off and cooling air is passed through the tumblers during the last 10 minutes. This will bring the fabric back to room temperature and will help to reduce the effect of static shock.
Sensor drying – This feature helps to save lot of energy. It helps the tumble to sense the moisture level in the clothes. Once the clothes are dry the drier will stop automatically instead of going on till the set time is over.
Iron dry – Small amount of moisture retained for easy ironing.
Cupboard dry – Leaves the clothes extra dry and is suitable for immediate wear.
Hanger dry -Provides optimum dryness for hanging with limited or no creasing.
Reverse Tumble – This feature helps the drum to move both ways at regular intervals allowing clothes to separate and dry easily.
LED & LCD displays – This will show the stages of the drying programme, remaining time, time delay, heat settings and fabric type.
Drying basket – This is specifically designed for fabrics that require minimum tumbling action like sports shoes, woolen jumpers, teddy bears etc.
Safety and Maintenance
Lint and fluff collected while drying should be cleared after each cycle. This ensures energy efficiency and safety as the dry lint is flammable if exposed to high heat. Condenser units on condenser tumble dryers should be kept clean for maximum efficiency.
Last but not the least, always look for the wash care label attached to the cloth. Keep in mind that machine wash and tumble dry are not suitable for all clothes.