How To Buy Guide

Learn About Dryers

 

Choosing a dryer is a significant investment for busy families. But before you purchase one, it is important to do your research. When it comes to dryers, there are many options to consider. Our guide can help you make an informed decision, so that you know what type of device is right for your needs.

If you are also shopping for a washer, you might want to check out our washing machine buying guide first!

 

Planning Considerations

What is your preferred set up?

There are two ways to install a washer and dryer set. You can position them side-by-side, and, if they’re front-loading, you can even add a pedestal to make loading and unloading more comfortable. If you are dealing with limited space, stackable front-loading pairs might be the solution for you. You want to first measure the space to determine the size and style that you should consider.

Click here for more details on measuring your space

How much available space do you have?

Stackable:
If you live in an apartment or condo, you need to get creative and use whatever space is available. In this set up, the front load washing machine is stacked with the dryer to save space in your home.

The typical width of a washer and dryer is around 27” (69cm). It doesn’t require too much space and could even be installed in a closet. The dryer will always be on top because of the weight difference.

Side by side:
This is a common set-up where the dryer is next to the washer. The room must have sufficient space to accommodate this, so make sure to plan your purchase according to the functionality of the room.

This may require at least 54” (137cm) of space across the room if both machines are around 27” (69cm). Consult the installation instructions for required space needed.

What is your budget?

Regardless of your budget, there is a dryer for you! Often buying a washer and dryer pair can save you money. Prices can range based on features, which can include larger capacity, smart / WiFi connectivity, among others.

How often do you do laundry?

Consider frequency when it comes to quality, cost of maintenance ,and electricity bills. Fortunately, many machines are Energy Star® certified, meaning they run on less power.

Types of Dryers

One of the first things to consider when buying a dryer is what type is compatible with your home, and which can best meet your needs. Learn about the difference between gas and electric dryers, their respective benefits and some important installation details.

Gas
  • Both Top-load and Front-Load matching options are available.
  • A physical set up needs to be available through a gas line that will connect with the dryer. It is recommended that you consider a certified gas technician when installing a gas dryer.
  • Gas dryers heat up faster resulting in a shorter drying time.
Electric
  • Both Top-load and Front-Load matching options are available.
  • With electric dryers, there is no need for a gas line. Setup is also considered easier.
  • Electricity typically does take longer to warm up than gas, so the drying time can be a bit longer.

 

There are 2 further types of electric dryers

Electric (Vented)
With electric vented dryers, the machine will require an exhaust vent to be installed through an exterior wall. If you live in an apartment or condo, this will likely not be possible so it is important to ensure you consider a ventless model. Buying a vented machine will also limit where you can install your dryer.

Electric (Ventless)
These appliances do not require a hookup to an exhaust vent, giving you the flexibility to install it wherever you want. They are available only in front load matching options. Ventless electric dryers can be heat pump or condensing.

Heat pump vs. Condensing

If you choose to go with a ventless option, you will have to decide between a heat pump or condensing dryer. A heat pump typically cuts down on energy by recycling the air to dry clothes. It can take longer to dry, but can also save you money over time thanks to its energy efficiency. A condensing dryer utilizes water condensation drying technologies to get clothes dry. Rest assured that both of these options will dry your clothes, the difference is how they generate heat.

Top Load Configuration

Though it is commonly referred to as a ‘top load’ because it pairs with a top load washer, the loading door is actually positioned in the front of the machine. Top load dryers often resemble top load washers, including similar buttons and design.

Sizing/Capacity

The smaller the drum size, the less laundry you can dry per load. More capacity allows for more laundry to be dried in a single load. Larger households often choose more capacity. Ultimately, it’s about finding the right solution for your needs. More capacity will generally cost more and requires more space. Consider your budget and the available installation space when deciding.

The average cubic feet for tub capacity ranges from 7 to 7.4. Certain dryers are a lot smaller, allowing them to fit into tighter spaces and making them a good choice for apartments and condos. This will increase the number of loads needed to dry clothes (ranging from 3.4 to 4.3 cubic feet including ventless dryers).

Measurements: The Average top load dryer height is 38” to 43” (97cm-109cm), with an average width of 27” (69cm), and an average depth of 28” to 34” (71cm-86cm).

Side Swing Door vs. Hamper Door

Side Swing
Based on the model you buy, the door can swing from either the right or left. Many models can be reversed to suit the layout of your laundry room or space. It provides an easier way to reach the drum and allows you to put your laundry basket underneath the open drum so you can unload your laundry.

Hamper Door
Hamper doors are sturdy and versatile, designed to keep clean clothes from falling on the floor. Dryers with hamper doors are an option regardless of whether they’re installed to the right or to the left of your washer. They provide a useful surface for easily folding freshly cleaned clothes without moving them somewhere else. Certain dryers allow you to position the latch-free door in one of two ways to easily load your laundry.

 

Front Load Configuration

Front load dryers are designed to match front load washers, with the door and controls on the front.

Sizing/Capacity

The smaller the drum size, the less laundry you can load. More capacity allows more clothes to be dried in a single load. Larger families often go for a bigger tub, but it always comes down to your needs. More capacity will typically also increase the price and the space needed. Base this decision on your budget and the available installation space.

The average cubic feet for tub capacity ranges from 7 to 7.4. Some dryers are much smaller so that they can fit in tighter spaces like apartments and condos. This will increase the number of loads to dry (ranging from 3.4 to 4.3 cubic feet including ventless dryers).

Measurements: The Average front load dryer height is 38” to 43” (97cm-109cm), with an average width of 27” (69cm), and an average depth of 28” to 34” (71cm-86cm).

Reversible doors

Many dryers have the option to reverse the way the door swings. Please refer to the owner's manual to find out if yours can do this. It is usually recommended to have the door open away from walls or cabinets so that it doesn’t hit them.

All-in-one options

These are machines that can wash and dry all in one drum. This is great for tight places like bathrooms or inside a closet. This will free up your available space and, since it can be ventless, it can be moved to other places to better suit you and your space. Prices vary. They typically increase as more features and options are added, like a stainless steel tub.

Whirlpool offers a 3.2 cu.ft, 24” wide Smart All in One Washer and Dryer that helps you do laundry in fewer steps with less hassle

Features to Consider

Most dryers come with a variety of features and cycle options designed to increase efficiency and optimize performance. Review some of the available features to find the right ones for your laundry needs.

Steam Cycles
  • Uses water and heat to release wrinkles without rewashing. It can also help eliminate odours and lighter stains.
Wrinkle Prevention
  • Periodically tumbles the load at the end of the cycle (often with no heat added) to help keep wrinkles from setting. The occasional tumbling continues for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the dryer model.
  • Select Whirlpool Dryers have a Wrinkle Shield Plus Option with Steam. This feature uses tumbling and steam for up to 150 minutes after the cycle ends for improved wrinkle fighting performance.

Sanitize Cycles
  • Uses extra-hot drying temperatures to eliminate high percentages of common household bacteria.
  • Select Whirlpool dryers have this sanitize cycle that eliminates 99.9% of common household bacteria. (Bacteria tested were K. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus).
  • If the dryer doesn’t offer a sanitary cycle, you can use the warmest temperature setting to help eliminate germs.

Moisture Sensing
  • Many modern dryers have a moisture sensor. Instead of ending the cycle once the set time has expired, the dryer uses a moisture sensor to sense when the clothing is almost completely dry and stops the cycle then.
  • Select Whirlpool Dryers have a moisture sensing feature that uses 3 sensors to help prevent over drying.

Smart Features
  • Smart appliances with Wi-Fi let you do your laundry even when you are on the go!
  • Whirlpool offers Smart dryers that enable you to set and start the dry cycle, pause it to remove delicate items and track progress when you're away - all with the Whirlpool® app. Plus, with Whirlpool smart dryers, you can use a Google Assistant-enabled device to send voice commands to your dryer - no matter what you’ve got on your hands.

Installation Consideration

Always check and follow your appliance and product use and care instructions before beginning any task, as it should be your primary source of information.

Electric Connection (Ventless)
  • For ventless dryers, the installation is pretty straightforward. It just needs to be connected via receptacle 3 or 4 prong outlet with adequate air flow around the machine.
  • Ventless offers ease of placement because it is typically smaller and can be placed anywhere in your home.
Electric Connection (Vented)
  • If you are going with a vented dryer, then the set-up becomes more challenging. An approximate 4” hole will have to be made through an exterior wall and then be connected by a duct, allowing for the proper flow of air through the vent. You may already have a vent hole in your laundry space, so be sure to check!
  • This installation does not require you to hire a certified technician, but it is recommended for those who are inexperienced or unfamiliar with this type of work.
Gas Installation
  • If you have decided on a gas dryer, remember to factor in the cost of hiring a certified gas technician. This will also increase the time needed for set-up. Always refer to the installation guide and consult with the professional you are working with.

Ready to start looking for a new dryer? Our Appliance Finder tool can help narrow your search so you can find the one that meets your needs. Click here to find a dryer that’s right for you.


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