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Nowadays, though a lot of washing machine and thermal ventilator models have a clothes-drying function, their drying efficacy cannot compete with a tumble dryer’s. Therefore, despite not being very popular, tumble dryers can still be found on the market.
The tumble dryer can be powered by electricity or by gas. Besides, the working mechanisms of the tumble dryer are divided into three main types: vented, condenser and heat pump.
Vented tumble dryer
The vented tumble dryer has the simplest, most traditional design among the three.
It sucks air in and heats it up in the drum. After the moisture in the clothes has evaporated into the air, it will leave the drum with the heat air along the venting pipe. Some models have a built-in vent for heat dissipation, which dissolves the need for extra ventilation piping.
The vented tumble dryer is relatively cheap and comes in different styles and sizes. However, to install a vented tumble dryer, you have to leave extra space for the venting pipes, or else the moisture will enter the home interior.
Condenser tumble dryer
The only difference the vented and the condenser tumble dryer is that the latter’s addition of a condenser resolves the need for ventilation pipe.
The condenser cools down the water vapour and collects the water droplets in a tank (some models expel the water through pipes).
The installation of condenser tumble dryer is relatively simple since installing venting pipes is not necessary. The downside is it might raise the interior temperature during drying and use more water. It is also more expensive than the vented tumble dryer.
Heat pump tumble dryer
The heat pump tumble dryer is an upgraded version of the condenser tumble dryer.
The heat pump in the machine recycles the heat used to dry the clothes to achieve a stronger dehumidifying effect.
This upgrade model has a high drying efficacy, consumes less energy and will not heat up the interior. However, it is the most expensive type among the three.
Gas-fuelled dryer VS electrically-powered dryer
Most tumble dryers on the market are electrically-powered. Both its installation and usage are more convenient and easier.
The drying efficacies between the two do not differ much, but gas-fuelled dryers’s gas and venting pipes take up more space in the interior.
3 things to consider before a purchase
Advice from Consumer Council:
Due to the limited living space in Hong Kong, purchasing a 2-in-1 washing-and-drying machine might be a more practical decision.
Tumble dryers, like washing machines, also have a maximum load limit. Remember to purchase a tumble dryer that has a similar load as your washing machine. Also, consider the size of your household.
In general, the recommended load for one person is 3kg, 6-8kg for 2-4 people, 9kg or above for more than 5 people.
- Electricity consumption
For electrically-powered vented tumble dryers which consumes a lot of energy, purchase models with bigger drums to avoid excessive creasing and use the energy more efficiently.