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A tumble dryer works by forcing heated air through clothing to remove moisture: the tumbling action of the rotating drum ensures that all of the fabric is exposed to the hot air for even drying. There are three kinds of tumble dryers:
Vented: This is the most common type. Fresh air is drawn in, heated, passed through the clothes, and then ejected through a hose linking to an external pipe or a window.
Condenser: This is an option if you do not have a way to add a vent for the moist air to exit the dryer. These separate water from the air by passing it through a condenser, much like an air conditioner. This water is then emptied either in a container that must be drained after each wash, or through a sewer line. They use more energy because this recycled air still has more moisture than the fresh air used by a vented dryer.
Combination washer and dryer: This all-in-one solution is great for small spaces, but keep in mind that the drying capacity of these machines is less than their washing capacity. In other words, you may have to pull a few clothes out after washing and dry them in two loads. Condenser dryers drain through the same outlet used by the wash cycle, so no additional plumbing or wiring is needed to install one.
The biggest cost of a dryer isn't its purchase price, it's the energy used by the dryer over its lifetime. Like other appliances, dryers have an EU energy label with a letter rating from A to F based on how much electricity they use per cycle; most dryers on the market are in the B or C categories. This rating is based on the electricity used per kilogram on the cotton setting with a full load of laundry, making it easy to compare dryers of differing sizes. An "A" rated tumble dryer will use about twenty-five percent less electricity than a "C" rated dryer. The EU energy label also lists the dryer's capacity, water consumption, and noise made while washing in decibels. The Energy Saving Trust also labels the most efficient dryers "Energy Saving Recommended": these dryers surpass the EU "A" label standard. Most dryers manufactured today use a moisture sensor that stops the dryer when the clothes have been fully dried; this will save a little money over a dryer with a regular timer because the dryer stops exactly when it need to.
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