Clothes Tumble Dryers: How do they work and everything you need to know before buying or before starting your first dryer.
Autumn, winter and spring. The humidity hits red, when the cold starts the atmosphere smells of coal from fireplaces, wood stoves and boilers with the small particles from the smog that hover to make the situation even worse. In the spring, on the other hand, with the humidity remaining, the pollen dust replaces this smog, bringing with it the related allergies that affect many.
Your washing machine, no matter how many twists it has, is not enough and the clothes need to be spread on the clothesline, on the balcony, which means that all of the above will stick to your clean clothes, as well as the longer it takes for the clothes to dry various fungi reproduce on them. If, on the other hand, you choose to dry your clothes indoors, next to the radiator, you risk the humidity of your room becoming too high, with the result that mold marks gradually appear on the walls, as well as respiratory problems in you.
The solution of course to all this is the tumble dryer. With a dryer, the clothes come out clean, fluffy and very gently free of anything that could settle on them during their stay on the clothesline.
How does the tumble dryer work?
The dryer on the outside looks like a washing machine and usually has exactly the same external dimensions. Place the wet clothes in the bucket. It rotates while at the same time dry - hot air is introduced inside it. The water vapor from the clothes is liquefied and ends up in a special container.
Depending on the way of heating and condensing the air that dries the clothes, there are currently two main categories of dryers. Apart from the basic differences in technology, they also have another very basic one which is that of energy consumption. So today there are dryers with:
- With resistors and exchanger - air condenser
Simpler technology since the air is heated with resistors. The hot air is introduced into the laundry tub, collects the moisture and then returns to a metal exchanger - condenser which takes the liquid air and cools it so that the humidity liquefies on it and you enter dry, after it is reheated by the resistors, in the bucket.
- With Heat Pump
It follows the same basic principles, but here the air is heated by a heat pump (like a small air conditioner). It is introduced into the bucket with the wet clothes, and after absorbing the moisture it returns to the pump, where on its cold element, the water vapors are concentrated - liquefied. Reheat before inserting hot and dry into the tub.
In both cases the water is stored in a container at the top of the appliance, where the washing machines have the soap dispenser, while there is also the possibility of extraction in the drain.
Dryers with heat pump energy class A+ and above (up to March 2021) consume up to half the energy compared to one with resistors energy class B .
Heat pump dryers lose part of their energy efficiency as the room temperature decreases below 15oC, so if you intend to place it in a place that is not heated in winter such as in an outdoor warehouse or even outside terrace, perhaps it was better to consider, and depending on the use of course, to choose a simple technology with resistors.
How much electricity does consum a tumble dryer?
Depending on the energy class to which the tumble dryer belongs, it also consumes the corresponding energy e.g. a dryer with energy class B can consume up to twice as much energy as one with A+ while the latest technologies A+++ save up to 70%. However, because the price of dryers increases according to their energy class, we would suggest you to buy a clothes dryer which, depending on the use, can absorb this extra cost of the market, within its lifetime. So, you do not need to choose a more expensive A++ dryer if its use will be limited (less than 3-4 dryers per week) because you simply would not be able to save with its low consumption, the money you have given above for its purchase .
Is the tumble dryer noisy?
Definitely, it is a good idea to check the noise levels of the device you are considering buying. A dryer is considered relatively quiet when producing 55-66 db (A). From this point on, it is recommended to use the dryer at peak hours, where no one sleeps at home so that it will bother as little as possible. The noise of the appliance is not significant and you do not need to worry if you turn on the dryer when no one is sleeping at home. But be careful because many times the clothes themselves can produce noise during drying, especially when they have large buttons, zippers, belts, etc.
Do the clothes in the dryer suffer?
Many people wonder if there is a risk that the clothes in the dryer will overflow or shrink. The answer is that there is no risk if the dryer is used in the right way by choosing the right drying program for each fabric category. Each dryer has several functions available, depending on the type of clothes you want to dry, so you should always choose the right function for the right clothes. As you can see, it is not possible to dry cotton and synthetics in the same function, because either fabric can cause problems.
On the other hand, it would be impossible to deny, a very small mechanical stress that the clothes receive during drying due mainly to the agitation (turning the bucket). The result is the fluff that settles on the filter that we clean after or before each drying.
Which clothes should not be in the dryer?
As a general rule, it is best not to put very delicate fabrics in the dryer. There are fabrics, such as silk, that need special treatment. Such fabrics should not be washed in the washing machine either. To feel safe about which clothes can fit in the dryer, you should always get the information from their labels.
Clothes labels have indications of the temperature at which they should be washed and ironed. They also have an indication of whether they are suitable for drying in a clothes dryer. Indicatively, we will mention that it is not recommended to put silk and woolen clothes in the dryer.
Are Dryers Effective Against Germs?
Although washing with modern detergents is enough to neutralize pathogenic microorganisms, dryers ensure that washing-resistant microorganisms will not grow, as they reduce the key ingredient for any organism, water. Drying is therefore an additional protection against microorganisms. But even more important is that the clothes are better protected from non-pathogenic microorganisms that destroy the clothes themselves, such as fungi.
Where can I place a dryer in my house?
Generally modern dryers only need a power outlet to operate. They have no need for water supply or drainage as they usually store the water produced during drying in a container that you empty after the end of the program. They are also not very noisy devices, they do not vibrate and do not produce water vapor in the space where they are located. So according to all the above we could place a dryer anywhere in our house. However, it would be good to have it next to or even close to the washing machine so that we do not have to carry the clothes away.
The usual places for the dryer are the following:
Next to the washing machine. The ideal position since the factory dryers open their door in reverse in relation to the washing machines to facilitate this installation.
Above the washing machine. Space-saving installation method. Combined with a special base - binder for greater support and safety. Properly covered, it will withstand a great deal of adverse conditions in this setting.
Outdoors. An emergency solution that is not suitable for any device as it greatly reduces its lifespan. The basic rule is to protect the device from rain and moisture. In this case, prefer dryers with simple resistors so that they can perform even in extreme conditions of low temperature and humidity.
Washer Dryer. If none of the above are available in your space then you should probably choose the Wash and Dryer combination solution in one appliance. Place your soiled clothes and choose up to successive drying. After that time you will get your clothes dry without any intermediate process.
Tips and Tricks for the proper use of your dryer:
- It would be good to choose a dryer with a capacity of one (1) kilo more than your washing machine e.g. If you have an 8 Kgr. washing machine, choose a 9 Kgr. dryer because not all programs get the listed kilos of clothes.
- Put exactly as many clothes as mentioned in its specifications. Do not put less because it is uneconomical and do not put more because there will not be the necessary space for hot air, as a result of which the drying will take a long time, they will not dry evenly and the clothes will wrinkle a lot.
- Use the right settings for different types of clothes: it is especially important if you want to keep them in top condition for a long time. Jeans and heavy fabrics need higher temperatures, synthetics and polyesters moderate, while sensitive ones want lower temperatures.
- Empty the filter of the dryer, which collects fluff from the clothes after each drying cycle, because this way it works even better. Also do not forget to regularly clean the heat exchanger, at least once every 2 months.
- Do not open the door during operation as heat is lost.
- Do not add clothes after the start of the cycle, as they will confuse the humidity sensors and the electronic circuits.
- Remove clothes from the dryer immediately and iron them to avoid persistent wrinkles.
- Try putting a dry, clean and fluffy towel in the dryer along with the wet clothes. The towel will absorb the extra moisture and will help your clothes to dry faster.
- Fold them immediately. If you leave the clothes in the dryer for a long time after the drying cycle, and especially if the bucket load is large, they may wrinkle. So it would be good to take them out and fold them immediately. This will keep them fluffy and reduce stacks of ironed clothes. Of course, most models, after the program ends, continue to rotate the bucket at regular intervals, so that the clothes change position and do not get wrinkles. However, because the obligations are running, it is certain that sometimes the clothes will stay for hours in the dryer. Do not panic. If you see them a bit crumpled, put a clean but wet, well-drained towel in the bucket and let it work for 10-15 minutes. Then take them out immediately. Your clothes will be ready for folding.
- You can also put ice cubes in the bucket. Program the device at medium to high temperature for 10-15 minutes and remove immediately. Your clothes will be almost crumpled and ready for the drawers. In other words, ice cubes work just like a wet towel.
- Place tennis balls in the bucket for less crumpled clothing. Take 2-3 clean tennis balls and throw them in your dryer. This trick has a triple benefit. All linens, towels and pillowcases come out fluffy and soft, clothes have fewer wrinkles and dry faster, as long as the dryer is not too full.
- Foil balls shorten the drying time. Make 2-3 balls of foil the size of a fist and throw them in the dryer. This reduces static electricity on the surface of the clothes and the clothes dry faster.
- Shake the clothes you take out of the washing machine. When you take your clothes out of the washing machine, try to shake them and stretch them just before putting them in the dryer. Provides clothes with fewer wrinkles, faster drying and minimal ironing.
Can I use the dehumidifier to dry clothes?
In the event that, for any reason, you decide not to have a dryer, and dry your clothes indoors, to avoid all the disadvantages of this solution, it is strongly recommended to use a dehumidifier that you place next to the clothes. This way your clothes will dry relatively faster but you will also protect your space and your health from the reproduction of fungi and mold that will arise without it.
The use of dryer dehumidifier for island areas such as Corfu is considered absolutely necessary for the safety of our health, our home and our often valuable clothes.