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No-Vent Condensing Dryers Save

October 23, 1994|JAMES DULLEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

QUESTION: I am considering buying a new no-vent electric condensing clothes dryers so it does not have to be on an outside wall. Are condensing dryers efficient and which new dryer features are best?

ANSWER: No-vent condensing clothes dryers have been popular in Europe for many years. By not having to vent it outdoors, you can locate the dryer in any convenient closet, bedroom, utility room, etc.

Condensing dryers use a tiny blower to circulate room air across a heat exchanger inside the dryer. As the room air draws heat from the hot damp dryer air, moisture condenses out and drips into a removable container.

The dry air then circulates across the heating element and through the clothes drawing out more moisture. This process continues until the clothes are dry. These dryers are the same size and look like an ordinary dryer.

Although the small extra motors in a condensing dryer use slightly more electricity than in a vented dryer, no heated or cooled indoor air is exhausted outdoors. This can cut your electric bills and eliminate chilly drafts.

The drying chamber is sealed so no moisture escapes into your home. This is better than just pulling the duct loose and venting your existing dryer indoors. Excessive humidity can exacerbate allergies and window sweating.

Condensing dryers, because they are often located in a living area, are designed to be very quiet. This requires very high quality motors, bearings, vibration isolation materials and balanced construction.

Reversing, two-direction drum rotation is used on several condensing and vented models. This fluffs your clothes, reduces wrinkling, and reduces drying times by 35%. By keeping the clothes fluffed and open, different weight materials can be effectively dried together in one load.

The clothes first spin in the forward direction for four minutes with a high air flow rate. The drum reverses for 25 seconds with a lower air flow rate. This allows the dryer air to draw more moisture out of the clothes.

A true electronic moisture sensor saves energy and reduces shrinkage and ironing time. By touching and "feeling" the dampness of the clothes, the sensor turns the dryer off at the precise time. This is more effective than "automatic sensors" that just measure the air temperature to estimate dryness.

Write for Utility Bills Update No. 789 showing a buyer's guide of 13 manufacturers of high efficiency condensing and vented dryers listing moisture sensor types, drum rotation directions, prices, pre-programmed cycles, tips and features. Please mail $2 and a self-addressed envelope to James Dulley, Los Angeles Times, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, Ohio 45244.

'Solar Made Simple'

James Dulley has written a 176-page book, "Solar Made Simple," for the do-it-yourself homeowner on a limited budget. The topics cover solar, wind, geothermal, and wood energy--greenhouses/sunspaces, complete air and water solar systems, skylights, solar attic fans and windmills.

Included in the book are 41 Utility Bills Updates with lists of 340 manufacturers of new solar products, 20 do-it-yourself projects and eight floor plan layouts of passive solar houses.

The book may be ordered from James Dulley, Solar, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244. The price is $11.95, and includes shipping. Allow two weeks for delivery.

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