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#best top loading washing machine 2020 buying guide by experts.
prestoappliancerepair · 11 months ago
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The Best Dryers for 2020
Based on what we learned from talking to repair technicians and brand representatives, we identified a few basic features that we think every full-size dryer should have:
Capacity in the range of 7.0 to 7.6 cubic feet: This is enough to hold a full load from a typical new washing machine. Anything larger is usually overkill and tends to be really expensive. If you’re one of the few people with a truly massive washer, your best bet is to get the matching dryer. For a smaller dryer that fits in a tighter space, check out our compact laundry guide.
Moisture sensor/auto cycle: A moisture sensor takes the guesswork out of drying by monitoring how much moisture is left in a load and automatically shutting off once it’s evaporated. It’s pretty much standard in dryers these days.
Reversible door hinge: Moving laundry from the washer to the dryer is so much easier when you don’t have a door in the way. With a reversible hinge, you can set up your dryer on whichever side of your washer you prefer and adjust the door to open whichever way is convenient.
Every expert we spoke to agreed that the features that make a dryer more expensive don’t make it any better at drying clothes. According to Tina Giordano, a technician at Boston & Cambridge Appliance Repair, higher prices are the result of “bells and whistles and brands.” Paul Hleovas, of Reliable Appliance in Colorado Springs, was more blunt: “You’re drying clothes—it’s not rocket science. If you want to get 12 years out of a dryer, you’re going to get the same out of $350 as you are $1,200.” The hardware that actually dries your clothes—the heat element (or gas valve), the blower wheel to circulate air, and the motor to turn the drum—are all the same regardless of the price.
Features like Wi-Fi, NFC, touchscreens, steam generators, and more cycles than you can count on two hands aren’t worth it. “Those things break, and they’re costly and difficult to diagnose and repair,” Giordano said. “We would suggest less is more.”
Every expert we spoke to agreed that the features that make a dryer more expensive don’t make it any better at drying clothes.
A few extra features are useful, including an end-of-cycle alert, an interior drum light, and a wrinkle-prevent mode (which tumbles the drum after each cycle to prevent wrinkles from setting in). But they don’t tend to add much to the price—even cheap dryers have these features much of the time.
If there’s a legitimate reason to spend more than the bare minimum on a dryer, we think it’s for the following characteristics:
Quality build/construction: Everything should feel robust and secure. The door hinge should be tightly bolted to the machine, with the door swinging open on a smooth axis—not wobbling up and down. It should shut firmly without too much force, but also open easily. The control knobs and buttons should be securely fixed to the panel. The drum should be made from a strong material—ideally stainless or coated steel rather than plastic.
A reputation for reliability: Consumer Reports surveys its subscribers every year and publishes each dryer brand’s estimated five-year breakage rate. The most-reliable brands include LG, Speed Queen, and Whirlpool (including Amana and Maytag). Brands at the bottom include GE, Electrolux, and Samsung. J.D. Power ranks LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, and Maytag as the best for combined “performance and reliability.” Drawing on this data, as well as input from repair technicians and what we already know about appliances, we decided to give preference to Maytag, Whirlpool, and LG dryers.
Taking all of that into account, we found that the sweet spot for price is around $600 or $700 (though that can drop to $500 or even lower a few times per year when they go on sale). These are simple but sturdy dryers that can handle big loads of laundry from most washing machines. Cheaper models don’t feel as sturdy, and their capacities can be smaller.
We don’t think it’s worth worrying over slight variations in dryer performance. Test outlets like Reviewed.com and Consumer Reports find some variance from model to model. But it’s usually just a few minutes of drying time or a few percent water content in the clothes that account for big differences in rankings. Any vented dryer you buy is going to work fine, and none will save you from the familiar headaches of doing laundry. You’re still going to have to deal with wrinkles, over-drying, and under-drying if you overload the drum or mix too many fabric thicknesses. You’ll still need to clean the lint trap after every load and clear out the vent hose every year.
And they are all equally inefficient, give or take. Until recently, Energy Star did not even list clothes dryers in its efficiency ratings, mainly because they were all such energy hogs. We have found through experience that the energy-saver modes that qualify a dryer for Energy Star just don’t work very well. You might save $20 a year if you use that setting, but you might also grow so frustrated with the longer drying times (sometimes by up to 40 minutes) and still-damp clothes that you avoid using it altogether.
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