by Trisah Berendt
Buying an electric clothes dryer is a major purchase, and you want to make sure you get it right. Before you buy a new clothes dryer, measure the available space in your home or apartment, decide between a gas dryer and an electric dryer and consider capacity, special features, energy efficiency and cost. If you take these things into consideration when shopping for dryers, you are sure to end up with the best dryer for your home. For more information about how to buy a clothes dryer, keep reading.
Gas or electric: Decide between a gas and electric dryer. The biggest deciding factor will be access to a gas line in your laundry room. If you have access, a gas dryer will save you money in operational costs over time. If you don't have gas hookups but you want a gas dryer, you will need a contractor to hook up the gas line for you.
Size: Measure the space you have available for a new clothes dryer. Sizes vary greatly between dryers, and you'll want to choose one that fits in the space. Space-saving models fit into spaces up to 24 inches wide. These are the smallest dryers available and are adequate for apartment homes. If you have more space, consider a full-sized dryer, which measures between 24 and 29 inches wide. The biggest benefit to a wider dryer is a larger capacity, which allows you to dry more items at once.
Capacity: Evaluate the capacity of your current clothes washer using the machine's manual. Look for a clothes dryer with double the capacity of your washing machine. In order to dry, clothes need room to move around and circulate the air. If you choose a dryer with a capacity smaller than your washer, your clothes won't get completely dry in just one load. If the dryer has a capacity greater than twice the capacity of your washer, you will end up with half-size loads that waste energy and cost you more on your utility bill.
Special features: Consider saving money over time by purchasing a drying with a moisture sensor. Rather than relying on a timer, a moisture sensor will allow the dryer to run until it senses that the clothes are dry. By cutting down drying time, the dryer will use less energy and save you money on your utility bill.