Live and Let Dry: Picking the Right Dryer for Your Family
Dryers! The quiet achiever of the household, reliably stepping up to dry your work shirt during whatever cyclonic weather is pelting the Great Southern Land this week. Often the choice to buy a dryer is made when we need one most: when it’s too wet or too cold or we’re too lazy to hang out our clothes. Choosing the right dryer can be hard, however we hope this guide helps to simplify finding the best dryer for you and your family.
There are three different types of clothes dryer available:
Vented dryers are probably what you think of when you think about a clothes dryer. Vented dryers dry your clothes using hot air and tumbling action. The hot air escapes through the vents in your dryer, which means you need to ensure you have ample ventilation in the area to avoid having that moist hot air building up in your home. These dryers use the most energy to run, however they’re often the cheapest option to buy. If you use your dryer regularly you may want to consider getting a heat pump or condenser dryer, both of which are considerably better on electricity usage. See our range of vented dryers here.
Heat Pump Dryers
Heat pump dryers use a heat pump to heat air to dry clothes, but go through a subsequent process of cooling and dehumidifying before the air is reheated and recirculated.
Heat pump dryers, while taking longer to run a cycle and using cooler temps, are considerably more energy efficient than vented and condenser dryers, and are generally gentler on clothing. These dryers can be used even in areas that don’t have great ventilation as, unlike other types of dryers, the hot air is recirculated and not expelled. However, these are typically the most expensive dryer option. See our range of heat pump dryers here.
Condenser dryers, similar to the above options, also use hot air to dry clothes. However, they extract the moisture from the clothing and the air and store it in a tank as condensed water, before releasing the cooled, dehumidified air back. These dryers typically use higher temperatures than heat pumps, and also are more efficient at drying clothes. However, these dryers require you to empty their condenser tank periodically, or have it plumbed to a drain, and unfortunately, they can’t be wall mounted. See our range of condenser dryers here.
Choosing the size of your dryer
If you usually use a dryer to dry your clothes, matching the size of your dryer to the size of your washing machine is the best way to go.
However, here are some guidelines you can follow if you’re still not sure.
|Size||Best suited for|
|4kg - 6kg||Couples who machine dry their clothes most or all of the time|
|Larger families who prefer to line dry their clothes, and use a dryer for emergencies/during wet weather|
|6kg - 8kg||Small families who machine dry their clothes most or all of the time|
|Larger families (4+ people) who use a mix of line drying and machine drying|
|9kg+||Large families who machine dry their clothes most of the time*|
*These figures are approximate and depend on the frequency and size of your loads.
Other things to Consider
Consider the frequency of your drying
If you wash your clothes and dry them in a dryer regularly, you may want to consider a more energy efficient dryer like a heat pump dryer, these also reduce the damage done to clothes as they use a lower heat, making them a better choice for regular machine drying.
Best dryer for frequent drying: Heat Pump Dryer
Best dryer for infrequent drying: Vented Dryer
Choosing the right dryer for the area
If you’ve got ample space in your laundry area, you’ll have no issues with a vented or condenser dryer. Vented dryers can also be wall mounted to save extra space. The main thing to consider is that there is ample ventilation in the area as these dryers expel hot air which can make the area moist and hot. If you don’t have a well ventilated area, heat pump dryers are a great option as they won’t create any extra heat or humidity as they do not expel any hot air.
Best dryer for poorly ventilated areas: Heat Pump Dryer, Condenser Dryer