Unless you're building a new home, the choice of gas or electric has likely been made for you already. Gas dryers require a dryer gas line and 120V outlet, while electric dryers require a 220V outlet for proper installation. Although electric dryers cost slightly less up front, they consume more energy in the long run. A gas dryer may cost a bit more, but it will typically save you money in utility bills down the road.
Selecting the Right Size
If space is tight in your laundry room, you'll need to measure first to find a dryer that will fit. Make sure there is enough space around the dryer for air circulation, vents and hookups, as well as opening the dryer door. Some washing machines and dryers are stackable, which saves extra space. If you're buying a washer and dryer set, the size of each appliance will already be balanced to work together. If you're only replacing the dryer, the size you choose should be approximately twice the capacity of the washer. A larger drum size allows hot air to circulate freely around a full wash load.
Although all dryers include a number of basic temperature settings, mid-level and high-end models offer even more variety with specialty cycles. The sensor dry setting uses moisture sensors to adjust the drying time, which prevents damp towels or overdrying. Steam cycles help remove wrinkles and reduce static. A refresh setting periodically tumbles the dryer after the cycle is complete to keep clothes fresh and wrinkle-free until you remove them from the dryer. Other specialty cycles can help you save energy, dry loads faster, sanitize fabrics or protect delicate garments.
Dryers with Wi-Fi connectivity allow you to monitor or control your dryer from a compatible smartphone or tablet. Smart features may allow you to track usage, control your dryer remotely, or troubleshoot problems. You can also receive an alert when the dryer cycle is complete.