buying advice tumble dryers

Top 5 Condenser Tumble Dryers

The Top 5 Condenser Tumble Dryers

You wouldn’t think that moving with a tumble dryer can be stressful until you find that your new house or flat doesn’t have the proper ventilation systems. If you try use your tumble dryer without proper ventilation you could end up with a rather damp and humid room. This is especially true if you have an old dryer. In this event you have two options: revamp the ventilation system at considerable cost, or go out and buy a new condenser tumble dryer.

Condenser dryers avoid the hot, humid air problem by cooling the air before it is expelled via a heat exchanger, and collect the water in a tank or just drains it away through piping. While the air around the machine is warm, it isn’t humid anymore.

We take a look at the top 5 condenser tumble dryers currently on the market:

1) Beko DCU7230 Tumble Dryer

Thanks to a handy sensor, this dryer will automatically stop when your clothes are dry and give you a friendly beep to let you know that it’s done.  It has a range of stored programmes, as well as a handy inside light to help you hunt for lost socks. It’s stunning, stylish and definitely a winner!

2) Indesit IDC85 Tumble Dryer

You won’t go wrong with this amazing value-for-money dryer! With a smart door that allows for easy access, this dryer is designed to be simple and straightforward. While it can be a little noisy at times, it is still a great buy.

3) Beko DPU8360 Tumble Dryer

Like the DCU7230, this dryer will sense the dryness/wetness of your load and adjust the time accordingly.  While it is on the more expensive side, it will more than make up for it thanks to its A+++ energy rating.

4) Miele Softtronic T 8402 C Tumble Dryer

If you are looking for a quick, quiet and easy-to-use condenser dryer, then this is definitely the one you’ll be looking at. The price might scare some people away, but when all is said and done, it is definitely worth it!

5) Bosch WTE84301GB Tumble Dryer

As anybody with a Bosch already knows, these are great, well-built machines.  Quick-drying and low on noise, this dryer packs value into its price.

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Top 10 High Capacity Dryers

The Top 10 High Capacity Dryers

If you’re a big family then you absolutely want to be buying a high capacity tumble dryer. That’s one that can take at least 8kg in one load.

In reality your dryer should actually have twice the capacity as your washing machine so that there’s enough room in the dryer for your laundry to come out fresh and ready to wear (it makes sense!). A larger dryer, provided you have the laundry to fill it, is much more economical since it means you can dry more at the one time and have the machine on less

Best big tumble dryers

  1. Hoover’s Dynamic (9kg). Energy efficient with a delay start mechanism and four levels of sensor drying, the Dynamic has easy empty drawers and an LED display. Costs around £300.
  2. LG RC9011 (8kg). Quiet and reliable this LG machine has an energy saving mode and a choice of programmes with options. Comes with sensor drying to cut down on electricity costs. Costs from £500.
  3. Hotpoint TCM580P (8kg). This condenser dryer has a fast drying cycle and is quiet too. Energy efficiency isn’t great but it’s not bad either. Very easy to use. Costs £250.
  4. Bosch WTE84309 (8kg). Has a decent energy efficiency rating and some nice functions such as ‘sportswear’ and ‘reduced ironing.’ Has sensor and LED display screen showing how much of the cycle is left. Costs £400.
  5. Whirlpool AZB97801 (9kg). Machine has ‘6th sense colour technology’ which the company says preserves fabric colours. Decent energy efficiency and has an LED display screen. Four drying levels. Costs £500
  6. Indesit IDCA8350BH (8kg). Fast and even drying of laundry and very easy to use. Door lies flat against body of machine giving good access. Costs around £230.
  7. LG RC8015C (8kg). Very efficient drying sensor which gets all fabrics dried evenly. A sturdy machine that is easy to operate with a light inside the drum and large type on the LED display screen. Retails from £500.
  8. Candy GOV580C-80 (8kg). A vented dryer which is very energy efficient and different heat settings for delicate clothes. Effective drying sensors. Price £160 upwards.
  9. Hotpoint TCEM80C6G (8kg). Fast and even drying of laundry with this condenser dryer; especially when it comes to cottons. Light indicates when the water tank is full. Costs around £250.
  10. Candy GCC 590NB (9kg). Has a very effective iron-dry programme which makes clothes damp and easier to iron. Senor drying but can override it to a manual setting. Costs from £300.

What’s your experience with large capacity tumble dryers? Is there one we haven’t included on our list that you think should be there? Please let us know.

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Top Washer Dryers with Child Locks

The Top Washer Dryers with Child Locks

Child locks in dryers have two purposes really – they lock the door of the machine which prevents any child climbing into the drum and accidentally locking themselves in when the machine is out of action. The second purpose is to stop a little one – or anyone else for that matter – changing the dials when the machine is in full flow on a spin cycle.

In terms of a child’s safety then, and the long-term workings of your washing machine, a child lock can be pretty crucial. As a result most washer dryer manufacturers these days are beginning to supply them in machines as standard (certainly, with the likes of Mumsnet having such a huge influence and extended media reach these days, it’s not really surprising).

The only difficulty with child locks in washer dryers it seems is being able to switch them off (if you’ve lost the manual and have nothing to refer to). Also, in some cases the lock jams due to a fault (like electronic windows in cars it can seem as if it’s just something else to go wrong!). Often though, it’s simply a case of holding in the start button for five seconds or so in order to release the lock.

Here is our choice of top washer dryers with child locks.

  1. Bosch WVD24460GB. This has an automatic display that shows when the child lock is active by flashing up a key on the LCD panel.
  2. Samsung WD806U4SAGD 8kg Ecobubble. A child lock is available but optional.
  3. Beko WDA91440W. This instantly locks all the buttons on the machine meaning the programme can’t be altered by enquiring little fingers.
  4. EVO 14104LW Grand’O Evo. This washer dryer from the Candy staple has an effective child lock built in.
  5. Servis HydroDrive. All HydroDrive machines have an incorporated child safety lock as standard.
  6. Electrolux EWW1486HDW. Another washer dryer with child lock built in as standard.
  7. LG F1480RD. Like the above machines, the LG child lock stops children and others altering the current spin cycle of the machine.
  8. Hotpoint WDPG8640G. Another effective child lock, although this is one of the machines where we read individuals had difficulty with switching the lock off.
  9. NEFF  V7446X0GB. A child lock which does exactly what it says on the tin.
  10. Daewoo DWCLD1421. Another impressive function which stops small hands prying.

Admittedly a child lock on a washer dryer is another facet that can go wrong and may need repairing but a child being able to press buttons and change the machine’s programme half way through an on-going cycle would probably lead to far more damage to the machine, not to mention a hefty repair bill. Because of this, we would definitely recommend a child lock facility when you select a washer dryer for your home.

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Most Reliable Washer Dryers

The Most Reliable Washer Dryers

When it comes to the day-to-day functioning of the bigger white goods in your kitchen, your washer dryer is unfortunately the item most likely to stop working, burst a leak or become blocked.

Why is that, we wonder? One of the reasons, we reckon, is because we use our washer dryers so much – machines in a large family home can often be on daily or even both morning and night. So, when you think of the amount of pummeling they’re getting, it’s no wonder our washer dryers start to flag out faster than other white goods.

However, it’s precisely because they’re used so much that it can quite frankly be pandemonium when they go wrong. It’s important therefore when you’re buying a new machine to get one you feel confident won’t do a wobbly on you the night before the weekly washing of the school uniforms. And that’s why we’ve compiled the following list:

Top washer dryers for reliability

  1. Miele WT2780. A quiet machine with an impressive energy efficiency performance, this Miele also boasts excellent cleaning and a drying cycle which won’t shrink clothes. On the negative side it is costly, retailing at more than £1200.
  2. Bosch WVH28421 GB. Great cleaning, energy efficiency and a good looking machine (as you’d expect from Bosch). What wasn’t so impressive was the large water usage. It’s not cheap either, coming in at just under £800.
  3. Zanussi ZKG7165. Easy to use, gets clothes very clean and, like the Bosch, a good-looking machine to sit in your kitchen. Very good price-wise but can be a bit noisy. Expect to pay around £400.
  4. AEG L75480WD. This machine has an impressive cleaning performance and, like the Zanussi above, is very easy to use. It does use up quite a bit of energy though and goes through at quite a rate too. Retails around £600.
  5. Siemens WD14H520GB. Very energy efficient and extremely quiet, also cleans very well. Quite expensive and uses a lot of water. Retails at more than £900.
  6. Samsung WD8704RJD. This machine can dry clothes just as well as it washes them and boats plenty of wash programmes. It can take a while to dry though. Costs around £450.
  7. Hotpoint Aqualtis AQ113D 697S. Can handle big loads and has a powerful spin cycle, also very quite. Like the Samsung though, can take a while to get through a cycle. Retails for around £600.
  8. Indesit IWDC6125. An entry level machine that works well considering its low price. The quick wash only takes a very small load. Prices start from £300.

On the whole, the worst problem householders report regarding their washer dryer is with the machine wobbling. Another big bugbear is blocked filters while on a more serious note water leaks and blockages are also a concern.

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How To Choose The Best Washer Dryer

How To Choose The Best Washer Dryer for you

A washing machine is one of the more expensive and durable appliances you will buy for the house, and given the almost daily requirement of washing clothes, it is crucial that you buy a machine that serves your purpose well.

Washing machine vs. washer dryer

In all likelihood, your decision to buy a washing machine will begin with choosing between buying a washing machine and tumble dryer separately, or buying a washer dryer combined.

Buying a washer dryer is obviously more economical than buying two appliances. In addition, if you have a space or budget constraint, then a washer dryer is definitely the best solution for you. However, you must also consider the following drawbacks of a washer dryer:

  • A washer dryer is more suitable for a household of 1-2 people. Most washer dryers have a 6-7 kg drum and a typical washer dryer cycle lasts 4 hours. In case you have a large family with heavier wash loads, the washer dryer will run several times a day, lead to greater electricity consumption, and increase your overall cost of doing laundry.
  • Because a washer dryer is a dual-function machine, it will not have the same advanced features and performance levels as a separate washing machine and a tumbler dryer. For instance, a standalone tumbler dryer will have a larger drum capacity and will therefore dry clothes a lot faster and with less creases than a washer dryer with a relatively smaller drum.
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Choosing the best washer dryer

Washer dryers are now more technologically advanced and energy efficient than before. If you have decided that a washer dryer is a good fit for your home, then the next step is to select the best model. Compare the various models available within your budget against the following features:

  1. Spin speed: Since the washer dryer has a relatively smaller drum, one way to ensure that the clothes dry faster is by choosing a machine with a higher spin speed (measured as revolutions per minute or rpm). Therefore, a washer dryer with a 1600 rpm will dry your clothes more quickly than one with 1200 rpm.
  2. Guarantee offered: Since a washer dryer works twice as much as a standalone washing machine, there is greater wear and tear on the machine. Compare the various washer dryers for guarantees offered on free of charge replacement of machine parts.
  3. Energy efficiency: Check for the EU energy efficiency ratings displayed on the washer dryer. Most washer dryers are rated between A and F, where A signifies a washer dryer with the most efficient energy consumption. The more efficient the machine, the less it will cost you to run.
  4. Wash programmes: Different washer dryers offer varying number of wash programmes. A model that offers additional features such as quick wash, steam cleaning, and anti-crease wash will cost you more than a basic model that will offer fewer functions.
  5. Additional features: Some washer dryers have an inbuilt sensor drying feature that turns off the machine when the clothes are dry. Another feature is the auto load control that adjusts the water levels to the laundry load.

AEG and Prime are some of the value for money (£450- 550) washer dryer brands. Bosch and HDB have machines in the range of £700- 750, and Miele offers a high-end range in excess of £1000.  Research company Which? has reviewed 88 washer dryers available in the UK. You can access this information by registering with the website.

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