Thread Number: 72404  /  Tag: Modern Dryers
Do they have gas dryers in Europe?
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Post# 956839   9/9/2017 at 22:23 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

Are gas dryers common in Europe? There are a lot of condenser dryers in Europe, but I was wondering if they have any gas dryers in Europe.

Post# 956846 , Reply# 1   9/9/2017 at 23:31 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I've thought about this myself.  I know Miele used to sell a gas dryer, but it may have been made just for the North American market.  I'm sure Henrik or Louis can answer this.

Post# 956864 , Reply# 2   9/10/2017 at 02:05 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Gas dryers are very rare here in Europe. Heatpump dryers are becoming the norm here for several reasons. Heatpump dryers are very energy efficient, but also there is an end to the resource of natural gas. There will come an end to natural gas as fuel for heating houses too. Only White Knight in the UK still manufactures gas clothes dryers. Miele stopped making them a long time ago already because they didn't sell in Europe. A lot of European people prefer line drying above using a tumble dryer, even if they have one. I suppose the extra costs of putting an extra gas line in and buying a more expensive dryer doesn't pay itself back.

Here is the White Knight dryer:

Post# 956866 , Reply# 3   9/10/2017 at 02:21 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

Heat pump dryers are more energy efficient, but they take a long time to dry a load of clothes. Gas dryers are common in North America, and they can dry a load of clothes fast! More electric dryers are sold than gas dryers, but electric can be just as fast as a gas dryer, but some take a long time to dry a load of clothes. My Maytag DG810 gas dryer can dry a load of clothes fast, and does a great job at drying clothes! Gas dryers are more economic to use, since they only need a standard 120VAC outlet, but electric dryers require a 240VAC outlet to run ( 240VAC in North America is only used for electric dryers, electric stoves, electric water heaters, and air conditioning )

Post# 956869 , Reply# 4   9/10/2017 at 02:30 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Well, the voltage isn't the problem. Everything is 230 Volts here. And if you want a commercial machine you can get a 400 Volts connection and a dryer that connects to it.

Post# 956870 , Reply# 5   9/10/2017 at 02:42 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

400 volts sounds powerful! A lot of people in Europe like to hang dry clothes, because it is cheaper to hang clothes out on the clothes line, than use a dryer. Electricity must be expensive in Europe.

Post# 956871 , Reply# 6   9/10/2017 at 02:55 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Well, some people think it's better for the environment to use less electricity. Some other people prefer line dried clothes over clothes dried in a tumble dryer because line dried clothes smell better. Yes, electricity is more expensive here, but not that much that we can't afford to use a dryer.

Post# 956880 , Reply# 7   9/10/2017 at 05:52 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My mother uses a clothes line all summer.  I miss the fresh smell but working nights it's hard for me to hang clothes outside and Tony can't do it since he's still laid up with his leg. 

Post# 956882 , Reply# 8   9/10/2017 at 06:17 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Two of our transmitters at the Greenville site use a 240V/400V 3 Ph for water pumps,blowers,filament supplies,LV supplies.It is a GREAT system-and MORE efficient.You don't have the LOSS with 120V systems.AEG-Telefunken from Germany and Brown Boveri from Switzerland.250/500Kw SW AM transmitters-they were installed here in 1985.

Post# 956883 , Reply# 9   9/10/2017 at 06:31 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Brown Boveri later (1988) merged with Asea, the company that bought up a washing machine factory and from then on manufactured Asea Cylinda washing machines, later bought up by the furniture company Asko. Which brings us back to washers and dryers again. :-)

Post# 956905 , Reply# 10   9/10/2017 at 10:03 by warmsecondrinse (Fort Lee, NJ)        

Having 240v as the standard does make things simpler in some respects. There's no need for special wiring or having 240v "brought in from the street" as is often the case in the US. The extra cost of doing that, the fact that there's likely already gas piped into the house, plus that venting is likely not an issue combine to make gas a more attractive option.

That reminds me of my cousin's house in Poland. Back in the 80s random fuel shortages made it a good idea to have as many bases covered as possible. In addition to gas, wood AND cola set-ups for cooking & heating, my cousin had a standard outlet on its own circuit, like a washer here in the US often uses. He told me that the 4 electric radiators (think deLonghi) could keep the whole house habitable in winter. I couldn't figure out how that could possibly be the case...
Then it dawned on me that with 240v each radiator would produce MUCH more heat than its US counterpart, lol.

When I was in southern Brazil where central HVAC was not the norm, I learned it wasn't unusual for each room in a house to have an outlet on its own circuit near a window. A/c was plugged in during the summer and an electric radiator in the winter.


Post# 956906 , Reply# 11   9/10/2017 at 10:10 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        
Much more heat

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Yes, that is right in theory, but I have never seen a portable electric heater with an element higher than 2000 Watts.

Post# 956907 , Reply# 12   9/10/2017 at 10:11 by MrAlex (London, UK)        

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White knight is the only brand that I know of that does one gas dryer

Post# 956910 , Reply# 13   9/10/2017 at 10:16 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Huebsch (Speed Queen) gas dryers are sold here as an alternative for the White Knight. The dedicated website has disappeared though.

Post# 956913 , Reply# 14   9/10/2017 at 10:26 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Correction on the electric heaters. I just found a few that have a higher wattage, 2200 and 2500 Watts.

Post# 956920 , Reply# 15   9/10/2017 at 11:06 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Electric heating

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This style of electric bar fire used to be quite common in UK homes, for living rooms, and sitting rooms.

(Photo borrowed from Pinterest).

My parents had one identical to it, which sat in the sitting room/lounge. It was 'Sunhouse' brand, part of Radiation Group.

There were 3 radiant bars, each rated at 1000W each: quartz glass with a spiral 'spring' of Nichrome type wire inside. The bars were switchable, controlled by two rocker switches: 1 bar or 2 bars, or both switches on, 3 bars.

In addition, the fibreglass 'coal effect' had two bayonet cap 60W 'fireglow' red bulbs, which provided the light.

Furthermore, under the heat reflector, there was a fan-heater type of cylindrical fan, which only provided cold air-current to agitate the 'flame effect' strips. It was controlled by a third switch.

There was a fourth switch, which acted as the main switch.

So you could have plugged in at socket:
Appliance off,
Fireglow on, no heat,
Fireglow on, flame effect on, no heat,
Fireglow on, 1 bar on, flame effect off,

et cetera...
right up to everything switched on. Full load seemed to be about 3120 Watts (maybe the bars were slightly underrated to allow for the bulbs and fan motor?) . I do remember the 'MK Electric' plug became warm to the touch when on at full power. The wiring in the flex was the old 'red, black, and green' colour code.

There was another Sunhouse fire which sat in the dining room. This was a little cheaper - no wavy flame effect. The bars on this fire were 'fireclay' with the wire element spiralling around the outer surface of the ceramic rod.

  View Full Size
Post# 956926 , Reply# 16   9/10/2017 at 11:31 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

Here in SoCal, a lot of people use natural gas for heating their homes. There are people in rural areas that use electric for heating ( Some people use propane for heating ). The house I live in has a wood burning fire place, and sometimes we use that for heating the house. I care more about the air conditioning, rather than the heating! LOL!

Post# 956931 , Reply# 17   9/10/2017 at 12:35 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        
question for Louis re: gas reserves in north of Holland

Louis, do huge gas reserves in the North (Groningen, etc.) still exist, or is the field becoming depleted. When I lived there in the 70s, seems like gas was used to cook and to heat water (gas point of use heaters), and possibly for other uses of which I was not aware. It seemed logical at the time for a country without coal or oil reserves, but which had vast amounts of natural gas.

PS during the recent solar eclipse, the California electric power grid had to make arrangements to run additional generators to make up for the loss of solar power (it wasn't dark here, but the generated solar energy dropped), as if it were night. This happened because 40+% of electric power in California is now solar.

Post# 956938 , Reply# 18   9/10/2017 at 13:27 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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We still have huge gas reserves, but the last years exploiting these reserves has lead to some serious earthquakes, so the resources will be less used in the future.

Post# 956939 , Reply# 19   9/10/2017 at 13:42 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Just as fracking has caused earthquakes in the Great Plains states of USA.

California would have earthquakes with or without energy extraction. ;) (but then, most new buildings are constructed to survive 7.0+)

Post# 956949 , Reply# 20   9/10/2017 at 15:37 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Using Natural Gas For Clothes drying

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May actually reduce demand for gas overall, it certainly does here in the US as large amounts of NG are now burned to generate electricity, and if gas is burned at a power plant to produce enough electricity to power resistance heated electric dryers you have to burn almost three times as much NG as you would if you just had a gas dryer in the first place.

Even heat-pump dryers make little environmental sense if NG is available in the home where a dryer would be.

Consider that a large percentage of clothes and linen drying in Europe is done by NG anyway, nearly all laundromats and commercial laundries use NG to dry the clothing there.

John L.

Post# 956951 , Reply# 21   9/10/2017 at 15:50 by ServisChris (Hampshire, UK)        
Gas tumble driers in the UK

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As far as I am aware, the only DOMESTIC gas tumble dryers would be White Knight.

As for commercial applications, many commercial premises have gas heat tumble dryers made by Alliance Laundry Systems, Electrolux Laundry Systems and so on. With a gas tumble dryer they will just plug in with only a 0.3kW motor and dont need a larger 32a 1~ 230v supply or 400v 3~ put in place for large heating elements. Saying that, the commercial market is following the domestic and there are commercial heat pump dryers out there and are coming into fashion - Primus seem to be leading the way on the com. HP front. (Ive worked on a few).


Post# 956954 , Reply# 22   9/10/2017 at 16:14 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Natural gas is yesterday's news. Everyone is putting solar panels on their roofs, so they get more independent from natural resources. Houses in new developments don't get a natural gas connection anymore, sustainable energy is becoming the norm very fast.

Post# 956955 , Reply# 23   9/10/2017 at 16:21 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

Typically, a gas dryer in the US costs $40-80 more than the corresponding electric model. Most consumers choose gas, if there is a choice (some don't have a gas line in their home). I don't know about the comparative operating costs today, but when I moved into my home (1988), a brochure from the power company stated it cost 25 cents to dry a load by gas, $1 to dry with electricity. Several cities here, to reduce demands for electric power generation, forbade the installation of 220V outlets in the laundry rooms of newly built homes, forcing the customer to use gas.

Of course the economics are different today, thanks to increased use of solar. I have friends with solar here who retrofitted their roofs, and have zero cost monthly electric bills. I don't know the particulars, in terms of whether they have gas or electric dryers, ovens/ranges/cooktops, and water heaters, but I know they use air conditioning, which uses electricity.

Post# 956957 , Reply# 24   9/10/2017 at 16:25 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        
Gas dryers

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OMG yes, coin op laundries would almost HAVE to use gas dryers. Can you imagine the electricity bill if they were electric?

Post# 957113 , Reply# 25   9/11/2017 at 11:46 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

The reason why they mostly, and only use gas dryers in laundromats is because it would not be practical to dry clothes at the laundromat, and most people dry their clothes at the laundromat as soon as they are done. They do use electric dryers in small laundry facilities like apartment laundromats, and small commercial laundry facilities. The electric bill would be VARY expensive, if all the dryers in a traditional laundromat were electric!

Post# 957124 , Reply# 26   9/11/2017 at 14:16 by henene4 (Germany)        

The problem with larger commercial heatpump dryers is their formfactor to power ratio. Either they are verry compact but therefor are pretty "slow", or they are relativley large in comparison to their drum volume.
For example, Mieles 700mm wide "compact" HP commercial dryer (700mm width and 1500mm heigth are a common laundromat dryer size for loads up to 10kg) takes about 45-60min for a load IIRC, while the electric/gas one only take 30min.

Their bigger machines have the heatpump module tagged onto the back, and take about 5-10min longer for a full load compared to their gas/electric counterparts.

I wonder if or when laundromats will incorporate either heat regaining systems into their dryer venting or maybe they'll switch to a central heatpump system (one giant refrigeration unit handeling heating/cooling for all their dryers).

Post# 957129 , Reply# 27   9/11/2017 at 15:02 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

Heat pump dryers are energy efficient, but are not as efficient with time. Gas dryers have fast drying time, and they can get it done fast. One down side to heat pump dryers is, they are more complex, and are not as simple as a vented dryer, plus vented dryers do a proper cool-down for permanent press fabrics (synthetics) and dry faster.

Post# 957146 , Reply# 28   9/11/2017 at 17:06 by henene4 (Germany)        

Owning a heatpump dryer, I can tell you some things about that:

A) Cooldown: True. But our synthetics cycle never exceeds 120F. So no real need for that. And NO cotton cycle on ANY heatpumpdryer exceeds 70C/160F peak, and that is on these speed boosted dryers which have a small resistive heater to speed them up. Normal pure heatpump systems rarely peak beyond 140F.

B) Time: Meh. They are a little slower.
Take Siemens here in Germany: 8kg (that is abou 16 pounds!) in a normal condenser dryer takes 126min, 7kg in their vented dryer 130min (not verry optimized as these barely sell), 8kg in an A+++ heatpump dryer 148min.
The normal condenser uses 4.61kWh, the heatpump 1.48kWh. So it takes me about 10% more time, but I use a third of the energy, and I run the load about 20F-40F cooler.
On the professional side (Miele): The heatpump 325l drum dryers can evaporate 7.5l per hour at a load of 5.2kWh, same size as electric can evaporate 18l/h at up to 20kWh, the gas one can evaporate 17.2l/h at 18kWh gas power + 0.8kWh of electricity. So, the heatpump is half as fast, but uses a half as much energy for the same usage.
That makes a heatpump dryer brake barely even on a large scale professional application as they are about twice as expensive. But as ürices come down, that will change as well.

C) Lifespan/consitency: That is something that only turned around for households here a few years ago and is starting to turn around slowly for professional equipment.
Now, with A+++ dryers avaible for as low as 500€, and the cheapest heatpump dryers for 350€, it really barely makes sense to buy anythin else. And give that nothing new last for more then 5-10 years, heatpump dryers don't have a chance to age anymore. Coolants get recycled by now (at least in part), so that impact gets lower and lower as well.
Filtration has improved, so heat exchangers don't clogg up as much anymore.

D) Complicated: Nah. The only thing that changes is that a heater is replaced by a heatpump. Electricly, the difference is that you change out 2 relais for either 1 relais, a capacitor and a motor (in the compressor) or an inverter board and a motor. Oh, and you might need one NTC more. But NTCs don't fail. One motor-mounted fan is replaced by a cheap and easily replaced computer-style fan.

So, yeah, for the US market, gas (and even normal electric) still makes sense. Give that 5-10 years, and that will be different as well.
For the professional side, things start to turn around.
For the EU, heatpump is the standard.

Post# 957153 , Reply# 29   9/11/2017 at 17:33 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

Heat pump dryers are great if you don't have a vent, but I don't know how much more they cost than a traditional vented gas/electric dryer, but they might cost a little more. Gas dryers in the US are the most economical dryers to use, and they have instant heat. I always make sure there to keep the dryer clean of lint, and I don't overload the dryer either (having a dryer with a lot of lint build up can affect dryer efficiency, and can be a fire hazard)

Post# 957163 , Reply# 30   9/11/2017 at 19:00 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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People I used to know owned the local Norge Villages. They ran the cold water inlet to the water heating source, pre-heated the water over the dryers and this was 20+ years ago. Dont know what they have now because I am not going to a laundromat.

Post# 957206 , Reply# 31   9/12/2017 at 05:56 by iej (Ireland)        

I'm using a Miele T1 heat pump dryer at the moment and it's definitely not slow and I'm finding my clothes are far less likely to be heat damages than with other types or machine. it's extremely effective.

A lot of older (and particularly lower end) European air-to-air condenser dryers that just dump heat into the room are painful to use though. They tend to take far too long and also keep clothes at high temperatures for far too long, setting in wrinkles.

Gas dryers do exist here in Ireland but they're relatively unusual - commonly 230V 50Hz versions of US Speed Queen machines. They're quite overpriced though coming in at about €1200. At that price you can pick up a Miele or similar high end heat pump that is less complicated to install, more energy efficient and less harsh on clothes.

The main market for those speed queens here tends to be niche : rural guest houses. The other popular solution is a Miele Little Giant pair. They're faster, more commercial laundry style machines (both washers and dryers draw 5.5kW and would either be connected, each on its own 32A hard wired 230V circuit or, on lower amperage 3 phase 400V. They're fine for small dokkeridla but absolutely overkill for residential. I know I've seen them used alongside rotary ironers by some B&Bs. They're also very common for processing towels at hair salons, spas, table clothes etc etc.

Typically I know hairdressing places tend to use a very hot (boiling) relatively short cycle 49 min. To sanitise towels.

Post# 957245 , Reply# 32   9/12/2017 at 13:02 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

Do they just only sell Speed Queen dryers, or do they sell Speed Queen washers and dryers in Ireland? Speed Queen is the only one who makes traditional top load washers and dryers in the US, all of the others ones that are on the market are cheaply made. There is a high demand on the used appliance market for traditional top load washers and dryers here in the US.

Post# 957376 , Reply# 33   9/13/2017 at 10:23 by iej (Ireland)        

There used to be a very small niche market for US style traditional top loaders here but it seems to have vanished entirely with the advent of larger capacity front loaders.
I haven't seen one on sale in years. There seems to be zero interest in pulsator or other HE top loader designs either. The front loader firmly won that battle in the 1970s.

Unfortunately they rate extremely poorly in EU performance analysis and those ratings would tend to be how most of us pick machines.

For example:


Model: 3RLSQ8600WW

Spin Speed (rpm): 640
Energy Efficiency: G
Wash Efficiency: G
Spin Drying Efficiency: D

Heavy Duty Top Loader Washing Machine
Max Usable Loadsize Kg(max Dry Weight Cotton) 8.1kg
8 Programmes
Fully Electronic

Most European type machines would be A A A at that price point and offering larger load capacity and far higher extraction during the spin.

US type gas dryers paired with Euro high efficiency washers can actually be an extremely good solution though. You get laundry dry very quickly as the US machines are designed for much wetter clothes.

Post# 957381 , Reply# 34   9/13/2017 at 11:04 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

I don't have a Speed Queen washer and dryer, but I do have a Maytag A810 washer and Maytag DG810 gas dryer from the early 80's that has had no repairs to my knowledge, and works like new still. The only thing I need to do to my Maytag washer and dryer is to get the washer new belts, and the dryer a new drum belt, but other than that, that is the only repairs I need to do to it. Most US washers and dryers have three wash cycles (programmers) they are Regular Fabrics, Delicate Fabrics, and Permanent Press (synthetics). The US dryer cycles (programmers) are Regular Fabrics, Delicate Fabrics, and Permanent Press (synthetics), and Timed Drying (the timer will go up to 60, 70, or 80 minutes). Some dryers in the US just have Timed Drying, but they allow you to manually set the tempature, and the temperature settings are Regular Fabrics, Permanent Press (synthetics), and Delicate Fabrics.

Post# 957383 , Reply# 35   9/13/2017 at 11:49 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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I suppose water meters and associated costs have put the kybosh on American toploaders being used in Europe. With the slower spin speeds, they might be acceptable in southern Europe, where hotter weather abounds, but if they use gallons of water, they'll probably not even be considered.

They'd be a virtual no-no in Ireland and the UK, especially with our weather! We need fast spins to extract more water, so that drying is as short as possible.

Post# 957388 , Reply# 36   9/13/2017 at 12:16 by iej (Ireland)        

The current generation of European dryers tend to be full of electronics and have umpteen different cycles and options that I doubt very many people ever use. Sensor control would be pretty much the norm on all but the very cheapest machines.

Older machines tended to have relatively simple controls with just a timer with a cool down phase and "High Heat" or "Low Heat options. In the 1970s and into the 80s only high end machines like Miele tended to have sensor drying.

I can only comment on Ireland but all through the 70s and 80s and into the 90s condenser dryers were pretty rare here and most tumble dryers vented through the wall. I know having grown up in Dublin in the 1980s/90s you used to get wafts of drying laundry and fabric softener and Bounce billowing out of vents on the side of people's garages and utility rooms.

Condensers were pushed in the 2000s for some reason and everyone was complaining about lack of choice of vented options but since heat pumps have made them super efficient and generally a lot more practical (no heat being discharged to the room), significant increases in performance and so on and now they seem to dominate the market.

We went from a vented Miele (which I still have in a large but rarely use) to a heat pump and the electricity bill has come WAY down. They have a huge impact on power consumption if you use the dryer a lot (inevitable in Ireland as it rains a lot).

Post# 957392 , Reply# 37   9/13/2017 at 12:46 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

If Frigidaire sold their Unimatic washers in Europe back in the 1950's they would probably sell a lot of them, because they have a very fast spin speed, and Frigidaire also made condenser dryers in the 1950's.

Post# 957409 , Reply# 38   9/13/2017 at 16:29 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
I'll say it again

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Condenser, heat pump, non-vented or whatever dryers are a solution to a problem. They may work well enough in that capacity and or to solve issues this or that government wants to push, but far as the USA market is concerned vented dryers will always dominate market sales.

As to the source of heat for such dryers it usually comes down to local utility costs, installation specifics and perhaps personal preferences.

In Manhattan and other parts of NYC where large multifamily buildings dominate installation of gas dryers may not be possible. That leaves electric, and even then depending upon wiring in apartment you may not even be able to get 208v-240v power and are stuck with 120v.

Meanwhile elsewhere such as on Staten Island gas dryers dominate. The place is largely private homes with both access to natural gas lines *and* exterior walls for venting.

Heat pump, condenser and so forth electric dryers are all very well; but a simple gas or even electric vented dryer can (and have) run for decades with minimal to nil care. In fact it is often the washing machine that dies and or otherwise wants replacing before a dryer. Hence many sellers *forcing* anyone interested to take them both as job lot.

Consumer Reports for years has advised housewives and others when buying a new washer if the dryer still works keep it. However then as now many persons wanted or want a matched set so there you are then.

As often demonstrated here in this group a gas or electric vented dryer decades old has been put back into service. Yes, some may need attention but there you are.

IIRC the largest energy efficiency gain from American dryers has come from forcing manufactures to include moisture sensors on all models regardless of energy source. Other than that many of today's offerings are not vastly different than what came before. Heating wattage may have decreased, but then again few to nil households are drying heavy and wet laundry that comes pretty much dripping out of a wringer washer.

Will give you that for those without options a condenser dryer and thus by extension perhaps a heat-pump unit can be an excellent choice. However as one has frequently stated our AEG OKO-Lavatherm is nearly next to useless. Weather in NYC is only "cold" enough about three to four months per year for the thing to work.

Post# 957411 , Reply# 39   9/13/2017 at 16:40 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
American Laundry Appliances In Europe

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Prior to 1950's there were plenty of American made and or produced under license and sold laundry appliances in UK/Europe. Have seen adverts for Maytag wringer washers in French for the France market.

Thing to remember is that nasty event called WWII totally interrupted consumer appliance production the world over for several years. Once that was over came the rebuilding period of post WWII era.

The United States emerged from WWII largely unscathed as a nation physically as battles had been fought elsewhere. However in UK and Europe it was another matter. Vast swaths of everything from housing to infrastructure needed rebuilding.

Top loading washing machines were not unknown in Europe, but the fact so many households had space requirements which mandated washers that could be fitted into or off a kitchen or bath made h-axis washers a more piratical design.

Then you have the fact it was possible to add a heater for front loaders. This made more sense when you consider many older and even some newly built homes in Europe didn't have central hot water tanks. In terms of energy efficacy it is far better to have a washing machine heat the water it needs, then keeping a central tank going all day.

Finally consider many European housewives and others of the time considered top loading washers with their central beaters "old fashioned" and hard on one's wash. It reminded them of wash days using a battior, washboard, and brush to beat and or scrub one's washing (often to death).

Post# 957420 , Reply# 40   9/13/2017 at 17:56 by henene4 (Germany)        

The thing is that heatpump dryers are not a solution because they are non vented.

They are a solution because they literally cut energy usage by a half or even down to a third. That they are non-vented is just a side effect.

And with a good heatpump setup, for the user, they are by all means just a dryer with a filter more to clean. Really, that is the only thing that changes for the user: One filter.
Pop in laundry, set cycle, clean filter after cycle is done.
The step extra is (at least by now) just a second, slightly finer mesh screen that you have to wipe down.

With current US energy prices for either electric or gas, that isn't much of an issue yet.
But your prices will - no matter what - at some point go up to the same sky-high rates that we here have to suffer.
Then, manufacturers will design good full-size heatpump dryers that are affordable.

See the EU: In the early 2000s, heatpump dryers were out there, but expensive. Then, suddenly, interest in more efficent dryers came up as more and more people freaked out at energy prices.
Now, heatpump systems are matured and cheap. That took us maybe 10 years.

With that, suddenly, you wonder if your dryer running twice as fast really is worth using 5kWh instead of 2kWh.

Post# 957426 , Reply# 41   9/13/2017 at 19:28 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

Odd question, but why is electricity so expensive in Europe? My folks have solar, and our electric bill has been mostly been between $75-$100 (in euros that would be €69-€84), and that is with the air conditioning set at 72 F (22 C).

Post# 957430 , Reply# 42   9/13/2017 at 19:55 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Sean asks why electricity is so expensive in Europe.

A more appropriate question is why *energy* is so expensive in Europe?

A lot has to be with sustainability -- just look at the Houston area, which got destroyed by a hurricane and at least one company had explosions because there were no requirements for the chemicals to be evacuated or for refrigeration to continue to work during a hurricane to avoid the temperature-sensitive materials degradation and explosion. There were no requirements that the company should shut down production a week before the hurricane landfall (and keep paying employees) so as to avoid making *more* explosives.

There were also relaxed requirements for building codes and, if we are to believe the news, they even had laws *forbidding* putting more stringent codes into place.

While people out of state can point out and laugh about it, please note how much *privilege* you have, living elsewhere away from all the pollution and destruction, because all of that translates into way cheaper energy and anything having to do with petroleum products gets cheaper to the American residents.

Is that all?

No, by a long shot.

A lot of other countries make the petroleum industries pay for pollution mitigation, for environmental costs associated with drilling, extracting, refining and distributing petroleum products. For example, even in Brazil, British Petroleum has to install a safety valve (costing half a million dollars each) when drilling under sea -- the same valve that would have prevented the spill we had a few years ago in US. Notice that BP has not paid for and put everything back the way it was before the accident yet, and probably never will. Please notice that by saving half a million bucks, they endangered lives and environment here, but worse, the sad part is that if they *had* the valve installed back then, not only the accident would not have been so bad (or even occurred in the first place), but all the oil they spilled would have been raw material they could sell for *profit* instead.

Also, in other places, petroleum companies tend to pay TAXES.

US is one of the few places where petroleum companies can make billions of dollars per year of *profit*, pay *zero* dollars in taxes and even get *money back* from the government.

"Wh-whh-whaaat?!?" you say?

Yup, energy costs in US are not just subsidized, they are *heavily* subsidized -- if you think that paying farmers *not to grow* something is the bee's knees, well then, petroleum companies are the cat's pajamas.

Did I hear someone complaining about paying nearly 3 bucks/gallon of gasoline here? When gas is US $3/gallon here, you can bet it's US $3/liter (or about 12 bucks/gallon) in some places in Europe.

I could say more about what's good or bad about such subsidies, or how we now have had about 40 years of forewarning about researching and developing more energy efficient everything (cars, homes, offices, factories, appliances etc).

But as usual, it won't change anyone's minds: people who agree with me have already done so for a very long time, and people who disagree with me will continue to make up excuses to stay "in the past".

   -- Paulo.

Post# 957432 , Reply# 43   9/13/2017 at 20:11 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

"However as one has frequently stated our AEG OKO-Lavatherm is nearly next to useless. Weather in NYC is only "cold" enough about three to four months per year for the thing to work."

Let me start by saying I hear you and I believe that *your* experience with an instance of an AEG condensing dryer has been sub-optimal to say the least. I am sorry to hear your experience has been so bad.

On the other hand, the only folks I've heard from that *consistently* have a problem with underperforming condenser dryers live in *much* warmer places than NYC, they live in Australia. The weird thing about Australia is that a lot of people don't even bother to vent their *vented* dryers to the outside, so I'm not even sure why condenser dryers are offered there in the first place.

I would love to be able to watch your AEG Lavatherm working side-by-side another identical or nearly identical copy, because I have a *very* strong suspicion that your unit is broken or was a lemon that never got fixed properly in the first place.

I will be the very first person to admit that I do not have any personal experience with AEG Lavatherm units, but there are *plenty* of people who bought one and were very satisfied with their performance, some even lived in NYC. You can also watch reviews on Youtube from European folks and they don't seem to complain about much lower performance compared to Miele and Bosch/Siemens units.

I do have a Bosch unit that is getting close to 20 years old now and it does work very well even during summer.

Anyway, I do hope you can get your unit fixed properly one of these days, because my experience has been that an Euro condensing dryer can outperform a "portable" (1,500W) dryer like the one you have.

   -- Paulo.

Post# 957442 , Reply# 44   9/13/2017 at 21:58 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Only persons one is aware of happy with condensing dryers

launderess's profile picture
In NYC and surrounding area, and this includes a non-active member were persons who were running their AC during warmer months of the year. This was obviously their personal decision but do not see the point of turning on an appliance designed to make the house cooler just to run another appliance work properly.

There are large swaths of the year when one does not use the AC but weather is still not optimal for using the Lavatherm, and am not going to turn on the former to use the latter.

Tonight it is around 69F, but Dew Point is 69F with humidity 89%. There just isn't great enough temperature and moisture differential between indoor air and that inside the dryer for the thing to function properly. Suppose one *could* just let it go until things are ready, but I don't have that kind of time.

Also so you will know, Paulo my dryer is not a "lemon" nor "malfunctioning", this has been confirmed by AEG. The dryer is doing what is supposed to do as have been told. Depending upon certain factors such has residual moisture 115 to 120 minutes is considered *normal* to dry a 6kg load of wash in this dryer.

OTOH smaller Whirlpool compact dryer can do between 3kg to 6kg (depending upon what load consists) in about 60 to 80 minutes. Heavy and thick terrycloth items like bath towels and robes take longer. Loads made up just of clothing such as undergarments and so forth less.

Post# 957443 , Reply# 45   9/13/2017 at 22:00 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

US type gas dryers paired with Euro high efficiency washers can actually be an extremely good solution though. You get laundry dry very quickly as the US machines are designed for much wetter clothes.


That is exactly why I have an Asko and a Miele along with a GE and Frigidaire gas dryers!  I just washed my 100% cotton queen quilt in the Miele, spun at 1200rpm, and dried it in the was dry in under an hour. 


I've always felt that people who believe they must always have a "matched set" have more dollars than sense.

Post# 957468 , Reply# 46   9/14/2017 at 00:28 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        


Condenser dryers (as opposed to Heat Pump dryers) get less efficient above 110F ambient temperature, and 69F is very much in the ideal range. The air circuit inside the dryer is a closed circuit and ambient humidity / dew point shouldn't affect the dryer much -- what you just described, 69F, dew point of 69F and ambient humidity of 89% means a couple of things, (a) it's probably raining or about to rain in your location and (b) those are *much* more likely to adversely affect a *vented* dryer, because a vented dryer is *most* efficient when ambient air is warm and dry, given that the dryer will get ambient air, heat it and circulate inside the load before exhausting it.

A condenser dryer takes air from inside the tumble drum, cools it down (thus condensing the water), warms it up again and sends it into the drum -- the air circuit isn't sealed, but there's very little exchange with the ambient air. The circuit that cools the condenser takes air from the room, circulates it to cool the condenser and is expelled back into the room. In a properly functioning heat exchanger (the condenser part) there's only *heat* exchange, not moisture.

The temperature differential (the air inside the dryer is at 140F or so, while the ambient air is around 70F or so) is more than enough to saturate the air circulating inside the drum with water that then condenses out.

We're also talking about dryers which have at most 1,500W heaters (your portable) and dryers that have around 3,000W heaters. While I have *no* trouble believing you that your Lavatherm is not behaving optimally because something is broken (air leak in the condenser and/or drying circuit, making the condensing inefficient and/or leaking moisture into your home), you will have to excuse me for not believing you when you tell me that your 1.5kW dryer (120V, 15A) is faster than your 3.0kW (240V, 15A) dryer, whether or not AEG told you whatever they told you, I'm more likely to believe AEG wanted you to hang up the phone, given that they don't care about our market, they never even offered their machines here, they were imported from Canada.

All I can tell you is that my experience with a similar Bosch is that I get 5kg of clothes dry in 60-80 minutes, depending on stuff like it's a load of bed sheets, t-shirts, jeans or towels. I've used this dryer in all kinds of weather, rain or dry, 50-90F, and the machine worked just fine. It needs to be above 100F for me to even notice that it takes another 5-10 minutes extra to dry.

My experience with Miele condensing dryers was fairly similar.

The experience of people who show up here and/or ThatHomeSite/GardenWeb/Houzz seem to match mine and even people who extensively discussed their experience importing the AEG set from Canada into US (at that time it was ThatHomeSite) seemed to be overwhelmingly good and some of them lived in Los Angeles, some in San Francisco, but I remember there were people in NYC too and in all these years, I seem to remember only *you* complaining about your AEG and another person, whose name I've spaced out right now, but had a similar complaint about her Asko dryer that, surprise, surprise, turned out had a problem in that the condenser wasn't sealing properly, so hot, humid air was escaping into the room instead of condensing.

The most vocal folks complaining about condensing dryers are folks in US, who are used to a 6.0kW (240V, 30A) machine and well, of course you can't match that speed with only half the resources. Some of those people, I'm sure, would also complain about how a regular domestic dryer is crappy because the 50 pounder dryer at their local laundromat can finish their 15-pound load in less than 20 minutes and the domestic dryer is taking 60 minutes or so.

But here's the thing -- an Euro dryer which uses 240V/15A and is a vented dryer is only a bit faster than the equivalent condenser dryer, usually by 5 to 15 minutes only. I know this because I *have* used side-by-side dryers that were identical except for one was a Miele condenser dryer and the other was a Miele vented dryer. I am willing to bet most of the difference is because the condenser dryer takes a little bit longer to cool down the load because of the way it has to get rid of the heat.

I've also used a "portable" vented dryer extensively, and times for a 5kg load were in excess of 120 minutes. Efficiency fell sharply with cooler rainy (humid) weather.

So, something is very wrong with your account of events.

Given how trustworthy you have proved yourself over all these years I've read you online, I am sorry, but you leave me no option but to believe your AEG Lavatherm is defective somehow.

And I do hope you get if fixed someday.

   -- Paulo.

Post# 957480 , Reply# 47   9/14/2017 at 05:39 by iej (Ireland)        
Miele T1 Heatpump experience - really excellent !

I have been using a Miele T1 heat pump dryer for more than 6 months at this stage and I am finding it an absolutely fantastic machine. I can't really find anything negative to say about it.

It's an expensive machine, but it is paying for itself as I use the dryer quite a lot.

It achieves A+++ levels of efficiency and runs at about 1.39kWh to dry 8KG of towels and for lighter loads I could be coming in at way less than 1kWh.

In an air-to-air condensor Miele dryer that's 4.14kWh per load! (C rated)
Miele's last generation of residential vented dyers are similar rated about 4.01 to 4.14 depending on the load size.

Some vented dryers were using as much as 9.23kWh.

So basically it's at least 3 times more efficient and I am noticing my bills are suggesting that on average it may be even more efficient again, possibly because I was not using the vented dryer as efficiently as I could have been - too full etc. I find the heat pump will actually handle quite heavily loaded drums without being inefficient or overheating as it's more about 'pulling the moisture' out of the air with forced condensation.

The other major plus points:

Cycle time is not that long compared to the vented dryer. I am not really noticing a huge difference.

It is FAR, FAR more gentle on clothes. I am finding I can comfortably dry t-shirts and other items that I would be loathed to put into a traditional dryer. The process is much less harsh and not very hot.

Your clothes do come out warm, but never roaring hot. In fact, a lot of the cycle is done pretty cool / almost cold as it's just forcing the clothes to dry using the heat pump as a dehumidifier. They really only get warm as the cycle progresses and the heat builds up in the drum. These machines do not use heaters at all.

If the machine can use 3 to 4 times less energy than my previous dryer and achieve what I would regard as superior results, what's not to like about it?!

Also it outputs almost no heat to the room, requires no exhausts and pumps the condensate away requiring very little maintenance.

Miele's approach to keeping the condensers clean is quite simple : a very very good filter.

You have a lint filter in the door frame (glass door), which is similar to most dryers. That's then got a second filter that's permanently mounted (removable with two turntable clips) also in the door frame as a second stage. You clean both by just wiping out with your hand.

Then there's a 'plinth filter' behind an access door at the bottom of the machine. This is washable, multi-layer foam and mesh filter, more like a high-flow rate version of something you'd expect in a vacuum cleaner. It picks up all the very fine dusty stuff.

Once a month or so, you just take it out and give it a wash in the sink. Gently squeeze it dry and pop it back in.

I tend to run the dryer with nothing in it for a few mins to give it an opportunity to dry out fully.

Oh yeah, it's also got 'fragrance flacons' to fragrance your laundry. Expensive enough but they last quite a long time and you only have to leave them not he lowest setting unless you want to really smell like you fell into a vat of perfume.

I would definitely avoid using dryer sheets in these type of machines due to the risk of coating the condenser elements in wax. They're a closed cycle, and you could potentially risk getting some issues with build up of gunk. In general I think dryer sheets are problematic though, even in vented machines they can cause build up in the ducts.

It also has steam finish and all of those fancy cycles you'd expect on a high end dryer.

This post was last edited 09/14/2017 at 06:52
Post# 957481 , Reply# 48   9/14/2017 at 05:50 by henene4 (Germany)        
Resource prices

Yeah, everything is expensive here.

I pay between 1.25€ and 1.50€ for a liter of gasoline. That is slightly below 7$/gal max.

We pay about 0.30€ per kWh, that is about 0.36$.

We pay about 5€ for 1m³ of water, that is 6$ for about 265gal.

Natural gas here is about 0.065€ per kWh. So something like 7-8 cents per kWh in dollars.

Laundress: 6kg spun at Lavamat speeds should be dry in about an hour to an hour and a half.
Don't be fooled by opening the door of the dryer. Condenser dryers have the tendency to leave everthing feeling moist until after the cooldown. Let it run till it finishes, you'll see what I mean.
And I've said it so many times: Humidity of the surrounding air does not affect condensing efficency at all. There is no exchange of air between dryer and surroundings, and moist air even has a greater energy budget then dry air, meaning that per volume per pass over the condenser it takes more energy out.
As long as it isn't 80F or more, that thing will run perfectly fine.

Post# 957486 , Reply# 49   9/14/2017 at 07:26 by iej (Ireland)        
That’s a bit dearer than here!

I’m paying:

Electricity per kWh (excluding VAT)
€0.1875 peak
€0.0875 off peak

PSO (public service obligation) is 7.69 / month.
Then there’s an annual standing charge of €180 split across all the bills.

Fuel mix is 100% renewable so CO2 tax is €0.00 which saves quite a bit.

Then add 13.5% VAT to the total

Gas is comming in at €0.0517 per kWh
+ Carbon tax 0.0037 per kWh
+ standing charge 92.05 per year
+ 13.5% VAT

Water is €1.85 / m3 (water) and €1.85 / m3 for waste water (assumed to be the same).
Complicated though as we are having a huge political show down over water charging. It looks like there’ll be a general taxation funded “allowance” and then you’ll pay a per m3 rate for “excessive use”.

Recyclables : free
Glass: free
Compostables : €0.15 per kg
All other waste: €0.35 per kg

You have an RFID tag in your garbage bin handles and each time the bin is lifted it is weighed. They’ve a competitive market like power or gas with multiple providers so you can shop around a little. You typically have a mobile phone app and website that lets you know how much you’re disposing off and which bin is being collected when.

If you live in an area with issues of people freeloading on your bins, they’ve “gravity locks” where the chargeable bins will only open if inverted fully by the truck. They even deployed scanning tech so your recycling is scattered into a hopper in the truck, photographed and then linked to your account. If you contaminate the truck - eg put normal garbage into the free recycling bin, you’ll get caught and you have to pay to dispose of the contents of the entire truck!

Last time I filled :

Petrol (gasoline) €1.30 / l
Diesel : €1.39 / l

There’s an annual road tax which is technically for “road use” but is charged on the CO2 rating (A to G) of your car. * see below ( a gas guzzler will cost ya!!)

Also we charge a 22 cent (about 25 US cent) for every plastic bag you rake in the supermarket or any retail store. It must be itemized on your receipt as it cannot be absorbed by the store. Money generated goes into an environmental fund. It cut bag use by more than 95% since it’s introduction about 18 years ago.

I’ll let you do the maths into dollars and gallons.

As you can see though, there’s a range of measures aimed at getting you to reduce your environmental impact. It’s not all stick though, you get carrots like grants and tax breaks towards home insulation upgrades, solar panels, geothermal etc etc.


Irish motor tax rates (annual fee)

A0 0 €120
A1 1 – 80g/km €170
A2 81 – 100g/km €180
A3 101 – 110g/km €190
A4 111 – 120g/km €200
B1 121 – 130g/km €270
B2 131 – 140g/km €280
C 141 – 155g/km €390
D 156 – 170g/km €570
E 171 – 190g/km €750
F 191 – 225g/km €1,200
G 225g/km or higher €2350

Post# 957490 , Reply# 50   9/14/2017 at 07:49 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
Normal tariff is €0.20 per kWh:

Energy € 0,0579
Energy taxes € 0,1013
Charge storage sustainable energy € 0,0074
Btw (VAT) (21,00%) € 0,0350

So only around 25% is for the electricity itself, the rest is taxes etc.

Post# 957493 , Reply# 51   9/14/2017 at 08:00 by iej (Ireland)        

You can pick energy provider here by their fuel mix which is slowly driving up the switch towards renewables as there’s a CO2 tax on the emissions which is disclosed on your bills.

We’ve still a long way to go though, although I suspect Ireland is likely to suddenly jump ahead of the pile on this - small population and a hell of a lot of wind and big off shore wind projects underway.
We kinda hit a speed bump in 2008 when the economy was looking like it might go over a cliff and a lot of wind power projects went on hold.

The economy’s booming again now and it looks like we are going to miss our Paris ageeement targets and get fined about half a billion, despite best efforts.

There isn’t all that much the state can do as if can’t directly fund projects without breaking EU public spending rules so, we are basically just going to have to pay the fine and continue on with the build out.

Post# 957495 , Reply# 52   9/14/2017 at 08:06 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
I have a contract for 100% Dutch wind energy. We also have off shore wind projects and more underway. You also see a lot of solar panels here, the growth is immense.

Post# 957500 , Reply# 53   9/14/2017 at 08:38 by iej (Ireland)        

It looks like we should see a fairly major solar boom here too - 3000 megawatts of projects have applied for planning persmiasion (zoning etc). Although we have some fairly serious NIMBYism here around these kinds of projects. A lot of on shore wind and power lines associated with them get blocked for long periods.

It’ll be interesting to see how much solar gets off the ground.

You’ve actually got significantly more solar energy hitting you there too in more northerly parts of NL.
Although it seems we can still make it work here to some degree. We have years with as little as 1100 hours of direct sunshine. Averages somewhere between 1100 and 1600 but is typically not not brighter than Scotland, Norway and Iceland.

Post# 957508 , Reply# 54   9/14/2017 at 10:01 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
A lot of people here in the northern part of the NL have invested in solar panels on their roofs when they got financial compensation for the damage the earthquakes did to their houses. I guess people are very motivated to invest in renewable energy after such.

Post# 957520 , Reply# 55   9/14/2017 at 11:36 by iej (Ireland)        

Earthquakes ?

Post# 957526 , Reply# 56   9/14/2017 at 11:48 by Maytag85 (25 miles from Idywild, 25 miles from Temecula. )        

in Europe, do you have to pay higher taxes if you were to drive a old car from 30+ years ago? Here in California, you don't have to smog your car if it is older than 1973, but if it is newer than 1973, you have to smog it. Some states like Florida don't have any smog at all.

Post# 957532 , Reply# 57   9/14/2017 at 12:36 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
Yes, earthquakes. I live in a rental apartment, so I'm not concerned, but there are signs of it here too. Most are outside the city though closer to the gas fields. Here's a story.

Post# 957539 , Reply# 58   9/14/2017 at 13:41 by iej (Ireland)        

I just checked the consumption on the Miele T1 (it has a kWh meter built into it accessible via the menus).

A mixture of towels - 6 bath towels, 4 hand towels, 10 facecloths washed in the W1 and spun to 1600

Dried using 0.9 kWh in 1h15min


Wow that’s quite serious earthquake damage.
We had a huge amount of debate about fracking here similar reasons and its now banned.
I assume these are conventional gas fields?

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