Adding a Steam Option With a New Dryer – Is it Worth It?

You can’t beat freshly laundered and dried clothing right from the dryer.  Except maybe for one thing. Adding steam to a dryer can add a few more perks.

How Does a Steam Dryer Work?

Steam dryers and conventional non-steam dryers work in a similar manner to dry your clothes. The main difference is that steam dryers have an extra cycle that introduces steam. 

A conventional dryer applies heated air to your wet clothes, which causes the moisture to evaporate. A steam dryer also does this, but includes a steam cycle, in which moist air penetrates the clothes to soften the fabrics and reduce wrinkles. Steam may be applied in different ways depending on the model. Some dryers release a fine mist, while others release a pure stream of steam. Both ways of applying steam can produce the same benefits.

Both types of dryers can be energy efficient and offer features such as timed drying and delicate cycles.

Some Benefits of a Steam Dryer 

  • A steam dryer lightly sprays water during a hot drying cycle to create steam. The steam penetrates clothing, softening them to release creases and folds and gently remove wrinkles, lessening the need for ironing.
  • As the steam cycle’s steam penetrates clothing to remove wrinkles, it can also eliminate odor-causing bacteria. This enables you to simply freshen without having to wash.  Regular dryers don’t remove odors, so you always have to wash the item. 
  • Steam drying can make fabric feel softer, too. This could make your blankets, sheets, and clothing feel fluffier and cozier.
  • Steam drying eliminates the need for dryer sheets.
  • Steam drying can help eliminate the need for expensive dry cleaning.
  • Some dryers allow for controlled drying times by allowing you to input the number of items. Others simply have a short drying time setting. This can save energy costs.
  • Some steam dryers come with dryer racks so you can put your shoes on them and run a steam cycle without damaging the shoes or the dryer. 

A Water Hookup or a Water Reservoir?

Some, though not all, steam dryers require a water hookup.  

  • Connecting the steam dryer requires that you tap into the water supply going to your washer or establish a water source from an independent faucet. Hooking up a steam dryer will also require the same procedures as hooking up a standard dryer, including connecting the exhaust tubing for ventilation. Follow the steam dryers’ manual for proper directions.
  • With some brands, the steam function is controlled by a reservoir which is usually easy to access, remove and fill.

Energy Efficiency

  • Despite having the extra steam clean feature, steam dryers have been shown to use the same amount of energy as regular dryers. 
  • If energy efficiency is one of your primary concerns when purchasing a dryer, drying times are an essential consideration. Looking into models that offer shorter drying times can really save on energy costs.  Compare Energy Star ratings of the various models before you buy.

Steam Dryer vs. Regular Dryer Cost

Of course, the cost can be a major consideration. The upfront cost of a steam dryer is greater than that of a regular dryer. Conventional dryers are typically half the price of steam dryers. Some cost less than half, depending on the brand and model. However, because you can refresh clothes in a steam dryer, you may save in energy costs over time, because steam dryers make it possible to wear an item more than once before it has to be washed and dried. And because steam eliminates odor and bacteria, dry-cleaning bills can be reduced.

Whichever type of dryer you decide to purchase, and for all your appliance repair and maintenance needs, you can rely on C&W Appliance Service.  Call us at (855) 358-1496 or contact us online.


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