Dryer Installation Advice
Stay safe, avoid risk and install your tumble dryer both safely and correctly
Most people think that you can install a tumble dryer just about anywhere, much as is thought about most appliances but sadly this isn't the case and you have to consider where that you will install the machine.
When you decide where you will install the machine you can then decide what type of tumble dryer you actually require or, what type of dryer you can accommodate with the installation requirements.
Many modern electronic dryers may well even display a fault code if the ambient or, room temperature is too low and just not operate at all.
What's The Harm
First and foremost, safety!
Outside or in low temperature environments condensation can and probably will form on parts of the tumble dryer.
Water + electricity = BANG!
This is not rocket science, it is just common sense.
In such environments you run the risk of the dryer being downright dangerous as it presents both a shock and fire hazard as well as being more expensive to run so, the bottom line is, don't do it.
Tumble Dryers In Low Temperature
Almost every winter, especially a cold one, we get a rash of service calls telling us that a condenser (or heat pump) tumble dryer will not dry. Often this is accompanied by some sort of water leak or condensation problem.
The dryer is ordinarily then found to be in a low temperature environment and the result is unsurprising to us.
What happens is that, instead of the water condensing in the condenser of the dryer it starts to condense on other cold surfaces, like the inner cabinet or even the drum of the tumble dryer itself. Meanwhile all that happens to the laundry in the dryer is that it gets mildly warm.
For a condenser dyer to operate correctly the room temperature must be above at least a +5˚C minimum or it won't work but a 10˚C minimum is recommended
Vented tumble dryers will often work below this temperature but it isn't recommended.
Running dryers in low temperatures can cause condensation to form on the inside walls of the actual cabinet leading to overfilling in the base of the dryer that the tumble dryer may struggle to clear. In addition to the obvious performance issues that this will give the tumble dryer it can lead to shorting and failure of components such as temperature sensors and lifter pumps, all the more so of the tumble dryer is in any way blocked with fluff.
This renders most condenser and heat pump tumble dryer models completely unsuitable for installations where the temperature is liable to drop below around 10˚C. Please bear this in mind when choosing where you will install your tumble dryer.
Tumble Dryers Need Air To Breath
A tumble dryer needs a ready supply of cool (not too cool and not too warm) air to "breath".
It has to take air in that is cooler than the air in the dryer and it also has to be able to expel that air once it's heated and, even on a condenser or heat pump condenser tumble dryer, that air which is expelled will have some moisture in it, just as a vented dryer expels the air with moisture in it out the vent.
That means a few things for you to consider when you set out to buy a new tumble dryer.
The first is that putting a condenser or heat pump dryer in a confined space with little or a restricted supply of fresh air is a non-starter. You cannot put it in a cupboard and close the door for example. As an absolute minimum you should really have the dryer in a room that has at least 3m² with a fresh supply of air, even an open door to an adjacent room or an open window will do.
If you don't do this then all that happens is that the dryer ends up recirculating the air and, in the process, heating it up. With condenser based dryers this just utterly kills the efficiency of the machine.
Kill the efficiency and you increase the electricity cost, hugely so it's then costing you a fortune to run your tumble dryer.
Air Too Warm For Dryer To Work
Although not a problem seen that often, you can get almost the same thing happening where the air the dryer gets is too warm.
The air passing over the condenser is too warm and the dryer is unable to get a cold enough surface to condense the moisture in the warm air.
This is effectively what happens when they are shut in an unventilated room, especially a small one.
Again vented dryer cope better with these extremes but are not immune to issues caused by them.
Consider Your Needs
The best thing you can possibly do, before choosing a new dryer, is to consider not just the fancy features and looks of the machine but very much where you will install the dryer as that will often determine which one is best or, in a lot of cases, even possible.