Tumble dryers are clothes dryers that basically spin your newly-washed clothes at a very high rate and temperature to dry them. There are two kinds of tumble dryers, the freestanding and the built-in or integrated model. Essentially, a freestanding dryer is fully visible and on show, whereas an integrated or built in tumble dryer is hidden and installed inside the kitchen units.
Freestanding designs are also easier to install but need a certain space in your kitchen. On the other hand, built-in versions, although requiring a little work to install, give your kitchen a clean, streamline look.
BUILT-IN TUMBLE DRYERS, WHAT ARE THEY?
Built-in tumble dryers, unlike freestanding models, are made to be concealed. These clothes dryers complete with fixings and hinges can be attached and integrated into your kitchen furniture. This way, they can be hidden away making your home more pleasing to look at.
Incidentally, you will find two sub-categories in these products, the partially integrated and the fully integrated tumble dryer. The first option is partially hidden and can be “pushed” under a furniture or behind a cupboard door. Only the control panel remains visible ,while the second option is completely hidden from sight.
If you opt for a fully integrated tumble dryers, you may choose between condenser tumble dryers and vented tumble dryers.
Fully Integrated Condenser Tumble Dryer
Condenser tumble dryers, unlike vented tumble dryers, do not require a vent hose therefore ideal for people living in apartments and flats. The “condenser” type tumble dryer can be fitted into your kitchen without ruining its aesthetics because it doesn’t have to vent the hot air out, unlike vented tumble dryers.
The drying process creates steam that is consequently condensed into water, and thereafter collected into a tank. An indicator attached to the dryer alerts you when your water tank is already full. Some condenser dryers are plumbed into the outlet system of a washing machine to pumped out the water through the same shared route.
As mentioned previously, integrated dryers can either be fully integrated or semi-integrated. Fully integrated condenser tumble dryers are hardly available nowadays but semi-integrated condenser models are readily available on the market and online.
Built-In Vented Tumble Dryer Vented
Just like a condenser dryer, a vented tumble dryer also has a central drum. It is where you put your wet clothes, and then this drum is spun around as hot air is pushed by a fan into it. The airflow goes through the lint filter and then down into the machine where it is vented away through a plastic hose to prevent condensation.
A vented dryers is cheaper than a condenser model but you need to install it next to an external wall or window which is not possible sometimes, especially if you are living in a flat. Integrated vented dryers should fit behind a furniture door for concealment. This way, it will not affect the overall appearance of your kitchen.
PROS AND CONS OF VENTED AND CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYERS
> Fewer parts inside, easier to get spare parts
> A vented dryer has more positive customer reviews that claimed they dry clothes faster. Though cheaper, it is said to be more efficient than a condenser drier.
> The vent hose is quite delicate and can be damaged easily causing leakage of damp air and fluff.
> The vent hose traps fluff and water when not straight, causing overheating and loss of function.
> To keep clean, the vented dryer has only one filter – but if it is not cleaned regularly, and is damaged, fluff accumulating inside the dryer may be a fire risk
> Condenser dryers are more convenient, however, they’re more expensive than vented machines.
> They have more parts which can be quite difficult to secure. For example, replacing a belt can be extremely impossible as a do it yourself repair
> Inferior models can let some of the damp air escape and cause some mould or condensation.
> Condenser dryers are more complicated and more likely to go wrong, although overall, they are relatively reliable.
> The water reservoir, condenser chamber, and several filters have to be cleaned regularly, otherwise the machine will become become inefficient and may cost more to operate.
Integrated or built-in tumble dryers are quite far between and few, mainly due to these machines being harder to install and less energy efficient compared to their free-standing counterparts. Also, the other manufacturers prefer not to make them because the demand for these products isn’t that high.
But it all depends really on how you use your built in tumble dryer. You can actually make it more energy and durable. What is important is that you do not forget to regularly clean the important parts you do not overload the machine when you use it.