The range of tumble dryers is confusing and very extensive. Whether a cheap tumble dryer or a high-tech heat pump dryer is the best tumble dryer for you depends on your usage behaviour. Therefore, before comparing prices, you should consider the different types of dryers and the expected follow-up costs over several years before deciding. In addition to the price itself, of course, the operation and handling of the model also play a major role, so this should not be overlooked. In the top 5 list of the best tumble dryers in 2021, you will find the test winners from different price ranges and different construction methods.
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Types of Dryers
In the case of tumble dryers, a distinction is made between three different types, which differ in terms of the technique with which they dry the laundry and thus also considered in terms of power consumption and thus the follow-up costs explained in detail in the next section.
Exhaust air dryer: In an exhaust air dryer, the used air is transported directly to the outside into the open air, which is why a separate hose is required and a wall-through-brick or another way to dissipate the air. Modern devices are rarely based on this technology, so it is the smallest group today.
Condenser dryer: This design dissipates the waste heat into the room, which means no separate hose is required. Compared to the exhaust air dryer, they can be used practically anywhere, even in rental apartments. They are usually relatively cheap to purchase, but in turn, consume significantly more energy. Over time, they are usually significantly more expensive than the third group, the heat pump dryers.
Heat pump dryers: These models are the most energy-efficient because they use the heat pump to use some of the waste heat for the next drying process. This saves a lot of energy compared to the other construction methods. However, technology is also much more complex, so they are significantly more expensive to purchase than the cheaper models. In recent years, however, prices have fallen significantly, so that the investment pays off after a shorter term. However, this depends on your usage behaviour and the amount of drying processes.
Total Cost Over 10 Years
You can calculate relatively easily whether the purchase of a heat pump dryer pays off for you compared to the cheaper condensed dryer. If you expect to buy an energy efficiency class C condenser dryer that you use about 160 times a year (approximately every 2 to 3 days) and use the “Cabinet Dry” program, which is the most energy-hungry program, then the purchase of an A+ heat pump dryer pays off very quickly compared to the Class C device. After about 4 to 5 years, the additional costs have been amortized by the lower power consumption, assuming that the A+ device is about 200 euros more expensive. The smaller the price difference, the sooner the purchase pays off, or the sooner you have the additional costs out.
As a calculation example, a price per kilowatt-hour of about 27 cents was used. This results in an example of a C-device costing around 1,500 euros over 10 years, only for electricity. An energy efficiency class B model only needs about 700 euros in electricity at the same time, while the A+ device only gets by with around 310 euros. This means that when you purchase a low-cost, low-cost, Class C dryer, you will have to reckon with energy and acquisition costs of just under 2,000 euros over the course of 10 years.
An A+ device, with a purchase price of 600 euros in the same period, only brings it to around 900 euros. This does not take into account water consumption, which is also significantly lower for more modern devices. It is therefore important to take into account the average consumption of water and electricity before purchasing. The values always assume 160 drying cycles per year. If you divide the specification by 160 and multiply by your personal number of drying processes per year, you get a fairly accurate estimate of the estimated electricity costs per year.
Of course, the bill only works if you also use the dryer appropriately frequently. On the other hand, it runs very rarely, and it may well be that the purchase of a more expensive and economic model does not pay off for many years. Therefore, the recommendation is to rely on a cheap device with energy efficiency class B or C for a single household. In contrast, for a household with children, a heat pump dryer will always be a credit.
Operation and Handling
First, you should also remember that more modern appliances usually take a little longer to dry the laundry, due to the other drying technique and lower temperatures. On the other hand, however, they are also much quieter and more economical. About operation, you should make sure that the settings are simple and uncomplicated. The tested models were straightforward to use throughout. A major distinguishing criterion is the cleaning of the lint sieve. While high-quality models sometimes clean the sieve automatically via rinsing, other models – especially in the entry area – require more or less time-consuming cleaning by hand. It is not always possible to compare this cleaning criterion, which is why it is worthwhile to look at other buyers’ customer opinions.
As far as program selection is concerned, you can assume that in 90% of cases you will be working with the two programs “Cabinet Dry” or “Iron Dry”, which is why the number of programs – unless you have exceptional requirements – does not matter so much. However, it can be interesting to make time preselection, especially if there are very quiet and economical night programs. So you can run the dryer while you sleep and take out the dry laundry in the morning without disturbing the slingshot process in your night’s sleep.