Whirlpool Corporation wants to help make your shopping easier. To save time and confusion, ask yourself these questions before you shop...
Do I want a gas or electric dryer?
If you are buying a replacement dryer, you'll probably choose a model with the same energy source. If you are moving into a new home, remodeling or just looking for a change, the benefits of a gas dryer may interest you. They cost a little more initially, but they are less expensive to operate. It usually takes only a year or two to make up the purchase price difference with energy savings.
What capacity dryer should I choose?
Since your new dryer is likely to last 10 to 15 years, you'll want to consider both your family's current and future size. Your laundry habits are also a consideration. Do you prefer to do your laundry in frequent small loads, or does your schedule require you to do large infrequent loads? There can also be seasonal factors, like sports and other outdoor activities, which might make a large capacity dryer an even more welcome convenience.
How quiet should my dryer be?
With more laundry rooms moving out of the basement and into living areas, quiet operation is becoming an important consideration. If you're looking for a quiet dryer, be sure to check for the amount and type of insulation inside the cabinet. Some models have adhesive steel panels on the top, front and sides of the cabinet, while others have molded fiberglass. Quality engineering and design also play a big part in sound reduction. A strong frame can help reduce noisy vibrations. Some dryer motors are mounted on vibration-absorbing materials, which reduce sound. You'll want to ask your appliance dealer about the different levels of quiet operation available from many manufacturers.
Should I choose an energy-efficient dryer?
Different dryer models do vary in the amount of energy they use, but new dryers have many feature options which allow you to use less energy. One of the new energy-saving features is an automatic moisture sensor. These sensors measure the amount of moisture in clothes; and when they're dry the machine shuts off. And, remember... when you're in the store, be sure to compare the bright yellow Energy Guide labels to see which models run most efficiently.
What features are important to me?
Use catalogues, flyers and the Internet to identify your favorite two or three features. Popular features generally fall within two benefit categories:
- Ease-of-use Features
Consider who does laundry in your family before deciding which type of controls you want. Do children or an elderly family member need special consideration? Dryer controls have become more advanced and, in many cases, easier to use. Electronic controls offer one-touch cycle selection and have easy-to-read digital displays. Other models have color coding and cycle indicator lights. A large door opening can make loading and unloading easier; and some models have a drop-down door which lies flat, making a handy folding surface. An optional light inside the drum can help you find a missing sock. Some manufacturers offer removable dryer racks which remain stationary as the drum spins around them. These are ideal for athletic shoes, sweaters and even stuffed animals. You can also choose between models with lint filters in the traditional spot inside the drum, or models with the filter on top the cabinet. And, if you choose to stack your washer and dryer, you'll not only reduce bending over, you'll also save space.
- Performance Features
New dryers offer a wide range of temperature and cycle options, which allow you to customize your laundry for different fabrics and garments. Some models offer an automatic moisture sensor on two or three cycles, which will save you time and energy costs. Most manufacturers provide separate heat controls so you can keep the heat as low as you wish for delicate fabrics. You can also choose from features which leave a load damp for easy ironing, or extend the cool-down period to prevent wrinkles. You'll want to find a dryer that gives you the cycle and temperature selections which match the clothes you normally launder.
What look do I want?
If your dryer will be placed near a living area, you might want to spend more time thinking about its appearance than if it will be in the basement. Choose a style and color that blends with the rest of your home furnishings. Remember that Cherry Red and Avocado Green may be "hot" colors today, but will you like them in 10 or 15 years?
Good luck and enjoy your new dryer!