LG Condensing Clothes Dryer – About 20 Cents per Load

Throughout the construction process, I was undecided with regard to how I wanted to dry clothes in the finished house.  I knew that a conventional dryer wouldn’t do, because I didn’t want to deal with the issues presented by a vent to the outside.  So I was debating between a drying closet and a condensing dryer.

Asko makes a drying closet that would have served the purpose.  But I didn’t think that my wife would buy off on it in the long run; it would be so slow at drying clothes that it would be impractical and frustrating.  So I turned to condensing dryers.

My choices were fairly simple. There were only two to choose from; Bosch and LG.  I ended up going with LG simply because it was less expensive.  I was able to purchase an LG model DLEC855W from a Sears Outlet.  It was a floor model, in perfect condition, and ran about $800.  I also picked up the companion LG washer for about the same price, also from the Sears Outlet.  By the way, you can shop the Sears Outlets across the country via the Internet.

Both the washer and dryer have relatively small profiles (23.5 inches wide by 33.5 inches tall); much smaller than the Kenmore front-loaders that we had at our prior house.  But we’ve found no problem with their capacity.  Both machines do an excellent job and have easily handled everything we’ve put through them.  And they both fit nicely under the laundry room countertop (they’re also stackable).

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Our experience with the dryer has been extremely positive.  I haven’t yet hooked it up to a drain.  But it has a small drawer that collects the water and is very easy to empty; usually every load or two.  It takes about an hour to dry a typical load of clothes.  I had expected twice that amount of time.  And it turns out to be pretty frugal with regard to energy usage.  Last weekend, three loads consumed 4 kWh of electricity.  At a rate of 15 cents per kWh, that translates to about 20 cents per load; certainly lower than I expected.

Some were worried that the dryer would add significantly to the indoor humidity.  But that hasn’t turned out to be the case.  In fact, while the laundry room feels a bit more humid while the dryer is running, there is no measurable difference in the indoor humidity after the dryer has completed it’s cycle; the indoor relative humidity been consistently in the 40-45% range since last fall.

The heat factor seems to be similar.  The temperature in the laundry room goes up a couple of degrees while a load is drying.  But that quickly dissipates once the load is finished.  The extra heat is an advantage in the winter.  But even last October, when the temperatures were fairly warm, the added heat wasn’t an issue.  Part of that may be due to the fact that the laundry room is on the north side of the building and has a window that we opened on the warmer days.  But even so, the heat buildup in the laundry room seemed no different that it was in our prior home with the vented dryer.  So I don’t anticipate that it will be a problem this summer.