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Tumble Dryer Buying Advice

How Much Should A Tumble Dryer Cost

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1980 Hoover tumble dryer advertAll the hullabaloo over tumble dryer safety and the subsequent comments that we’ve made got us to thinking more about tumble dryers and the value of them.

We started to think on what we’d done previously in an article called How Much Should A Washing Machine Really Cost and so, here we are back on the same tact with How Much Should A Tumble Dryer Cost.

  Perceptions

Here’s the thing about appliances, people often appear to think that they shouldn’t cost much, should be cheap to repair and should last forever.

That’s wrong.

Like all appliances, cars and just about any other mechanical device you can think of they are subject to wear and tear, need regular care and attention and they will break down at some point, nothing surer. How long that takes and the nature of failure are the bits that there are debates about.

The better you make them, the longer they last and the less they will break down. But that costs more.

The less well you make them, the cheaper bits you put in them, the less time they last and the more they break. But, they’re cheaper.

It really is that simple.

  They’re All Cheap Tumble Dryers

Below is a graph of how a £135 tumble dryer from 1983 would have tracked if we simply added inflation year on year through to 2015 using figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Getting a solid price from that long distant time wasn’t easy so we used the Hoover dryer advert you see from 1980 and just used that price. If you track that price using our optimistic figures you get to about £400 but some calculators will put the modern day price at over £600.

Tumble dryer price inflation 1983 2016

There are a couple of things to also take into account when you look at this topic.

For a start, by today’s standards these old dryers were almost agricultural in nature. Sure they were solid but engineering finesse wasn’t exactly great and energy use back then wasn’t a concern really.

The load capacities were small by comparison with what we have now.

You could have a vented dryer, a vented dryer or, a vented dryer.

Electronics was stuff for mad scientists in laboratories in America or something.

So in other words, nowhere even remotely close to as sophisticated a machine as we see today.

And, it’d probably break down at some stage of it’s likely ten year plus life so you’d probably have a maintenance contract on it and it’d be getting regularly looked at.

  Comparison

If we look at a modern dryer and, on the day we did this article we could buy a vented Beko tumble dryer that dries using a sensor so it’s electronically controlled, with a 6kg load and multiple programs for a whole £149. Delivered anywhere in the UK!

Now that’s what we call progress.

Or is it?

If you’ve not yet sussed where we’re headed here let us spell it out for you, the tumble dyer you buy today is a fraction of what it should really cost and, with the low ticket price comes the sad realisation that it’s also not the same quality and probably won’t last as long.

In all probability they will perform better in regard to energy use for sure. They may well be quieter.

But, better built they most certainly are not.

Okay so you may disagree to some extent and, we’re pretty sure some people will do and say that modern dryers are as good or better but really, how can you beat thirty odd years of inflation, rising cost of raw materials, taxes and goodness knows what all else and then in real terms deliver a product that’s somewhere between 25% and 40% of the cost it should be if all things were equal?

  Tumble Dryers And Safety

Which brings us around to the thorny issue of safety which is a bit of a topic in recent time what with tumble dryers going up in flames all over the place or, so it is claimed.

Firstly, have a look at the tumble dryer safety tips that we bang on about boringly all the time.

No1 thing, user maintenance and correct use!

It would stagger people how many dryers that the repair technicians see that are clearly not maintained, in some cases at all. Then owners wonder why they’re dangerous! Go figure!

Of course every one there’s a problem with is always “maintained in accordance with the manufacturer instructions”, yeah, right. We’ve never heard that before.

But here’s the thing with that, if all was as it used to be where the machines were inspected on a regular basis then all that fluff that catches fire and causes all manner of ills, the repair guys would see and sort out. Nowadays by the time anyone looks at it it may well be a pile of smouldering embers.

Is that the customer’s fault? The manufacturers? Or is it just a side effect of everybody trying to save a little cash?

Sometimes it’s a wonder the tumble dryers work till they get to the point of catching light which, we’d have to concede really demonstrates that they might not be just as bad as we and everyone else thinks them to be.

What is also clear to us is that doing tumble dryers on the cheap and not maintaining them is or, could be at least, incredibly dangerous.

  Our Advice

Avoid the cheap dryers.

Install it correctly.

Maintain it correctly.

Check it regularly for fluff build up.

If you don’t follow the advice and you’ve a cheap dryer just be aware that it could turn into an indoor barbecue anytime.

Are we saying that by simply spending more that the tumble dryer you buy will be better or safer? No, of course we’re not as that would be senseless in an industry that is riddled with own brand labels so much so that often people haven’t the first clue what they’re buying.

Just spending more won’t always be the answer. It might even be a problem.

But if you are buying a new dryer and stumble across this article in the process of your research maybe it’ll give you a little pause for thought and, just maybe, you might ask someone who knows about tumble dryers before you blow cash on a hunk of junk.

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