Choosing the Right Tumble Dryer Guide?

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Understanding Your Tumble Dryer first !

Most full-sized tumble dryers are about the same size and usually dry a similar weight or load to their corresponding washing machines, i.e. around 6kg dry weight of cottons or 2.5kg synthetics.

If you're short of floor space, you may be able to stack your tumble dryer on top of your washing machine, or use it in a spare room or garage, but please read specific requirements  on each dryer you wish to purchase. 

Tumble dryers have larger drums than washing machines, because the larger the drum, the better the efficiency of hot air flow through the machine resulting in faster drying times. Allowing fabrics plenty of room to tumble also means less creasing. The best quality machines have long lasting stainless steel drums, and provide a smooth finish so fabrics don't catch.

Most machines have two heat settings, for cottons or synthetics. There are a few with three settings, with the third usually for delicates. They also have a timer or sensor to control the length of the drying cycle. During the last ten minutes or so of the cycle, the heating element is turned off and the fabrics tumble in cooling air back to ambient room temperature. This reduces the effect of static and 'fibre shock', which causes creasing. Some machines have a cool air setting which can be used to air fabrics stored away for some time.

Most full-size machines have a reverse tumble feature which means that the drum rotates both ways, pausing in between. This keeps laundry separated and dries it more evenly and quickly. Some machines even have a crease care feature; they'll continue to give fabrics an intermittent tumble for half an hour or more at the end of the cycle so they don't get creased in the drum if you can't empty the machine straight away.

Your tumble dryer will also have a filter, often on the inside of the door, which collects stray fibres and needs to be cleaned out regularly to ensure best drying performance.

If the machine is to go under a worktop or into a confined space, please ensure you measure up available space before ordering and don't forget to measure areas of access too

White Knight Eco Gas dryer
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Vented or Condenser ?

You will need to choose between a vented or condenser tumble dryer.

A vented machine takes the damp air produced by the drying process and discharges it outside the home using a 1 to  metre extendable plastic hose ( Most times supplied) to prevent condensation. A permanent vent can be fitted in an outside wall or you can simply hang the hose out of an open window. Vented machines are cheaper than condenser models and normally use less energy, but you will need to install the appliance near an outside wall or window which may not always be possible, especially if you live in a flat.

If you pay a little more you can buy a condenser dryer where the machine separates water from the moist air into a container which is emptied after drying, or sometimes pumped out via the washing machine plumbing if appropriate. You can install a condenser dryer in any well-ventilated room, and though the majority are a little more expensive to run you may prefer the freedom of not having to use a hose. (A growing number of condenser models feature clever heat pump technology that results in an energy rating of 'A'.)

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Timer or Sensor ?

So-called "sensor" tumble dryers which have an electronic sensor that detects the amount of moisture remaining in a drying load and adjusts the drying time accordingly are more efficient in terms of energy than "timer" models. Timer tumble dryers, in turn, leave the choice of drying time entirely in the hands of the user by allowing a specific drying time or type of drying "iron dry", "cupboard dry", "extra dry", etc. to be selected manually. A sensor tumble dryer which is  straight forward to use, although accurate drying times are dependant on the quality of the sensor. Less expensive sensors tend, on the whole, to be less accurate. A sensor may also be less accurate if you attempt to dry fabrics of different weights and densities in the same load, so it is a good idea to always dry like with like. Opening a Sensor Tumble dryer in operation will hinder the drying times as the sensor has to re adjust to the moisture levels in side the dryer its advised not to open the dryer until the dryer has finished and reached the level of dryness you have selected. Sensor dryers are not be used in conditions lower than 5 degrees as they will not operate correctly or may even not operate at all. 

Timer models are the less expensive of the two types but do require some knowledge on the part of the user with regard to drying times for specific load and fabric, types and introduce the possibility of over drying clothes so that they become stiff. Timer Dryers you just select the time you would like for example 10 minutes to 180 minutes when the dryer reaches 0 it turns off.  Although timer dryers can be used in garages, out buildings ect if the ambient temperature drops below 5 degrees , the clothes will take longer to dry as the air in-take will pass the cold air over the heat element causing drying times to possible double or more depending on the Temperature in the building. 

 Many tumble dryers also offer at least two heat settings and specialised drying programmes, for example, for drying wool or other delicate fabrics at relatively low temperature and with only gentle rotation of the tumble dryer drum. Many also employ a "cool tumble" cycle at the end of the drying cycle proper to cool items down sufficiently that they can be comfortably handled.
energy costs
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Energy Costs ?

All machines receive an energy and drying performance grading A -G, A++ being the most economical. Standardised tests, monitored by Trading Standards, are carried out across the industry and manufacturers are responsible for grading their own appliances. Running costs will depend on how much time the machine is drying for and how hard it has to work.

Dryers cost more to run than washing machines, but you could invest in an A+-rated gas tumble Dryer or heat pump condenser model to help you use less energy. Another way of helping to keep costs down is by by ensuring that you don't overload the machine, dry similar fabrics together, and spin dry your wash load at the highest spin speed as possible before loading the dryer.

Some machines will have a timer delay so you can use the machine overnight on a cheaper electricity tariff. Others have sensors which tell them when the washing is dry and then shut off the heater, saving energy and preventing over-drying; you'll pay a bit more but will save on running costs by up to 15% ! 

More On Gas Tumble dryers

The Eco Tumble Dryer is the only domestic tumble drying appliance available in the UK which uses gas rather than electricity and which consequently produces 54% less carbon than a typical electric tumble dryer with 61% lower annual running costs.

Whilst allowing clothes to dry naturally clearly represents the means of the least overall environmental impact, in practical terms, the Eco Tumble Dryer represents the next best alternative, minimising the effect of drying in terms of financial outlay and environmental impact whilst maximising efficiency.

White Knight Gas tumble dryers use gas as their heat source to dry the laundry. As with electric vented tumble dryers, damp air is expelled from the machine through a hose - but gas dryers use mains gas to heat the air inside the dryer. Electricity is used to turn the drum and power the control panel, but this is less than 10% of the total electricity used by an electric dryer.

Typically, these more efficient dryers have an energy rating of A to A+ (making them very cheap to run), whereas regular dryers have a rating of B to D, and most commonly C.

There are very few gas tumble dryers on the market - and the only brand of gas tumble dryer you can buy in the UK is White Knight. It’s rare to find gas tumble dryers in the shops, you can buy direct from us  with free Delivery ! 

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Integrated Tumble Dryers

Fully integrated tumble dryer’s,  specifically designed for those who wish to install a tumble dryer into their kitchen units. with your own furnishing door.

Installing the Appliance
Remember to Measure  your kitchen to make sure the appliance fits. Please be aware integrated Vented Dryers need to be vented externally to outside wall, please check with a kitchen fitter prior to your purchase.

Please be aware you will need to cut away part of the plinth to allow for the air intake of the Appliance from over heating.

Integrated Tumble dryers can be purchases as a sensor or timed model please see Sensor or Timer? above for full details. 

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