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Clothes Dryers

A clothes dryer is essentially a large bin that tumbles clothes in a stream of hot air. Lately, designer dryers have appeared, but they offer little new for the basic electric or gas models:

  • Electric clothes dryers use household current to produce drying heat. Unlike other appliances, though, a clothes dryer requires a special outlet for 220/240 volt operation. If you do not have such an outlet where you plan to use your dryer, you are best advised to have one installed by a professional electrician. Note that most dryers do not now come with a power cord, so there is often an extra charge to supply one and connect it to the dryer on delivery; if you are even moderately handy, it is a simply matter to attach the cord and plug the appliance into its outlet.
  • Gas clothes dryers use propane or natural gas to heat and typically cost about fifty dollars more than electric dryers. They may quickly make up the difference in cost through lower energy bills. Installation is generally better left to professionals because of the hazards of gas leaks. Gas dryers also require an 120V electrical connection to supply power to the motor and controls.

When it comes to features, there are a few that you should consider:

  • A moisture sensor is a substantial improvement over a simple timer for drying clothes because it eliminates the guesswork of how long it will take the clothes to dry. Moisture sensors automatically adjust the drying time to handle the differences between large and small loads, between loads of thin cotton sheets and soaked towels, etc.
  • Dried clothes left in the machine will wrinkle. A feature that tumbles the clothes every few minutes after drying in the event you do not immediately empty the dryer will greatly reduce wrinkling.
  • If you wash large items like king size sheets, blankets, or comforters often, consider the largest capacity dryer that you can find. The additional size is just slightly more expensive and readily pays for itself by reducing trips to the cleaners.

Finally, consider electronic
controls as they can be easier to use than mechanical dials; however, they may add quite a bit to the price because they tend to appear on the high end models.

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