Sears Knowledge Center

Dryer Buying Guide

Damp clothes will be a thing of the past

Forget about the loud, clunky metal box in your parents' basement; dryers have come a long way. Recent advances in technology allow dryers to dry your clothes more effectively and efficiently, while sporting convenient new features such as smartphone integration, moisture sensors and remote diagnostics. Modern dryers also use a variety of techniques to reduce and avoid wrinkles, keeping your clothes smooth so you look sharp. Upgrading to a more energy-efficient dryer does a good deed for the environment while saving you money on utility bills each month. Whether you're replacing an old model or furnishing your very first home, read on to learn some of the most important new features and considerations to keep in mind when looking for a new dryer.

Why buy a new dryer?

  • A dryer with a larger capacity will allow you to dry more clothes at a time.
  • Features such as a steam cycle, a reverse tumble drum and post-dry tumbling can help reduce and prevent wrinkles in your clothes.
  • If your current dryer doesn't have a moisture sensor, getting a dryer that does have this feature can help save money on your electricity bills.
  • If your current dryer is so loud that it distracts you from conversations, TV or sleep, getting a new dryer with anti-vibration or delayed start will help maintain peace and quiet in your home.
  • A dryer with smartphone integration will allow you to control the appliance from anywhere.
  • Getting a new dryer with remote diagnostics will make it easier for identify any repairs you may need.
  • Upgrading to a more attractive model can turn what used to be an eyesore into a source of compliments from guests.

Features to consider when buying a dryer

Dry cycles

Different dry cycles allow you to customize for different materials, speeds and intensities.

  • Air dry cycle
  • Anti-bacterial/sanitize cycle
  • Cool down cycle
  • Damp dry cycle
  • Delicate dry cycle
  • Heavy duty dry cycle
  • Normal dry cycle
  • Permanent press dry cycle
  • Speed/quick dry cycle
  • Steam cycle

Venting

A dryer vent removes the moist, hot air from your dryer and directs it safely outside. A dryer vent can be located in several positions on the dryer.

  • Back
  • Bottom
  • Left
  • Right
  • Ventless

Optional features

The following features and accessories can make your dryer more effective and convenient.

Helpful dryer tips


Types of dryers

Electric dryer

An electric dryer uses electricity to dry your clothes and plugs into a 30-amp, 240-volt wall outlet.

  • Price range: $250-$1,500
  • Height range: 27-41 inches
  • Width range: 24-32 inches
  • Depth range: 21-35 inches
  • Capacity range: 3.4-9.0 cu. ft.

Electric dryers are best for…

Those without a gas hookup: Electric dryers don't require a gas hookup, which can be expensive to have installed.

People with inexpensive electricity: If electricity is less expensive than gas in your area, you may save money on utility bills by using an electric dryer.

People who don't want to vent their dryer: Many models of electric dryer are ventless, meaning they don't have to be connected to an exterior vent. Ventless electric dryers are a good choice if your laundry room can't accommodate through-wall venting.

Gas dryer

A gas dryer uses propane or natural gas to dry your clothes, and requires a dedicated gas hookup.

  • Price range: $450-$1500
  • Height range: 36-47 inches
  • Width range: 27-30 inches
  • Depth range: 25-35 inches
  • Capacity range: 6.0-9.0 cu. ft.

Gas dryers are best for…

Energy-conscious people: Gas dryers generally heat up more quickly than electric dryers, and therefore are usually a little less expensive to operate.

Those with a gas hookup: Gas dryers require a dedicated gas hookup, which must be professionally installed; if you already have one of these hookups, it will make installing a gas dryer much simpler.

People with inexpensive gas: If gas is less expensive than electricity in your area, you may save money on utility bills by using a gas dryer.

Bottom line

With all the features to choose from in today's dryers, you'll need to take some time to think about what's most important for you and your family. Two of the specifications you'll need to nail down first are the dryer's power source (gas or electric) and capacity. Once you decide on these two considerations, it becomes easier to compare specific models and features. Some popular features to consider in your new dryer include moisture sensors to automate the drying time and steam cycles to banish wrinkles. Before you know it you'll be pulling out your first load of warm, dry clothes.


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