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Fisher and Paykel hangs competitors out to dry when it comes to customer satisfaction
Your clothes dryer is one of those appliances you essentially take for granted: it sits in your laundry, it does what it’s designed to do, and that’s about it.
However, the importance of the humble dryer to Aussie households shouldn’t be underestimated: more than a quarter of Aussies reported that they use their dryer after every wash in our recent survey, with 31% also saying they use this appliance even when it’s sunny outside.
At Canstar Blue, we commission research into the opinions of everyday Aussies to find out what products they are most satisfied with, and the essential appliance that is the clothes dryer is no exception. Our 2015 results are in, and we’re happy to say we’ve found an award-winner: Fisher & Paykel has beaten the other rated brands to score the highest in overall satisfaction, as well as topping our survey in the areas of value for money, drying time and performance & reliability.
Impressive results were also recorded by Electrolux – close behind overall with four stars – which received five stars for clothes dryer quietness, design, warranty, customer service and the feel of clothes after the drying cycle. For a full breakdown of how each brand fared, read on.
What will your new clothes dryer cost you each year?
Of 93 clothes dryer models available on the Equipment Energy Efficiency Website at time of print,
- the average cost per model (RRP) was $621,
- the average load capacity ranged from three to nine kilograms, and
- the average energy usage over 52 cycles was 240kW per dryer.
According to EUAA, the average cost of electricity is 25 cents per kWh (in 2012). Therefore, running your dryer once a week for a year costs roughly $62.50. Within six years, that becomes a $1,000 purchase!
We recommend you look up the wattage of your potential dryer purchase and use the widget on SA.gov.au to calculate your annual appliance running costs.
According to our 2014 survey, Queenslanders are most likely to limit the usage of their dryer due to power prices: 85% of sunshine state respondents in fact. Comparatively, 68% of New South Wales men and women agreed, as did 74% of Victorians.
2015 clothes dryer results breakdown
Value for money
Everybody loves a bargain, and we had two brands score five-star ratings when it came to bang for buck. Fisher & Paykel and LG both topped the satisfaction ratings for value for money, and were followed by Simpson and Electrolux on four stars each as well as Whirlpool on three.
Performance & reliability
The reliability of any appliance is one of the most highly-valued qualities sought after by prospective owners. When it came to performance and reliability, no brand equalled Fisher & Paykel, which scored five stars for its high-quality machines. Close behind were LG, Simpson and Electrolux on four stars each, then Whirlpool with three.
Clothes drying time
The other highest-weighted area of performance was probably the most important one of all: how fast do clothes dry in these machines? In this regard, it seems Aussies are extremely satisfied with what’s currently on offer: three brands achieved five-star ratings for how quickly they dried laundry, with LG, Simpson and Fisher & Paykel coming out on top. Electrolux and Whirlpool also performed well, with ratings of four and three stars respectively.
The rotating motion and rapid heating used in a dryer means they aren’t exactly renowned for their quietness. That being said, one brand did take out the top gong for how noisy it was(n’t).
Customers were most satisfied with the quietness of Electrolux clothes dryers, with the brand taking out the five star rating in this area. LG and Fisher & Paykel both achieved four stars, whilst Simpson and Whirlpool both achieved three.
Even the most utilitarian appliances these days are becoming the focus of some serious visual makeovers, and we found that the most ‘designer’ of them all was Electrolux, with a five star rating for the design of its clothes dryers. Close behind were LG, Simpson and Fisher & Paykel with four stars each, then Whirlpool with three.
The five-star rating for satisfaction when it came to warranty guarantee was topped by two brands: LG and Electrolux. An extensive warranty lets you relax in the knowledge that your dryer can be repaired or replaced free of charge for a long time to come. Fisher & Paykel and Simpson followed the previous two brands and securing four-star ratings, whilst Whirlpool achieved a three star rating.
Providing good after sales service to your customers is an important focus for any brand, and the Aussies we surveyed were most satisfied with Electrolux in this regard. Following the five star brand was LG and Fisher & Paykel, both with four star ratings for service, as well as Simpson and Whirlpool with three star ratings.
Feel of the clothes after drying
There are few better simple pleasures than taking a warm armful of laundry out of your dryer on a cold day. LG, Fisher & Paykel and Electrolux all achieved the maximum five stars in this regard, suggesting they’re the ones to look for if you want your laundry treated right. Simpson and Whirlpool also came in with good ratings, securing four and three stars respectively.
How we rated clothes dryers
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a clothes dryer at some point in the last 3 years – in this case, 418 Australians.
Each brand must have received at least 30 responses in order to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. Ratings are current and representative of consumer sentiment at time of print.
The clothes dryer has become a staple in Aussie homes. Drying clothes in just a few hours, you can dry anytime, anywhere – no more worries about the rain, the sun or just the space needed to hang out your clothes! Choosing the right clothes dryer covers a number of factors and we collated results from thousands of customers to help you. But before that, how did the clothes dryer come about in the first place?
The clothes dryer has come a long way to be the white appliance that it is known as today, starting life as a ventilator during the 1800s. A French inventor named Ponchon came up with the idea of drying clothes inside a barrel-shaped encasement with holes at the bottom. Clothes were quickly dried off by hand, rolling them inside the container which was placed over a fire.
During the next century, after several adjustments and patent claims, the first electrical dryer was introduced in the 1930s. Manufacturing companies saw the market potential of this machine as trials for mass production were completed towards the ‘90s. By this time, compact and affordable clothes dryers became widely available for consumers. Today, dryers are a common household appliance with lots of gadgets and extras and sometimes choosing the right brand and style can be hard. At Canstar, we’ve made it easy.
Clothes dryers come in varied types and capacities. Read our clothes dryers buying guide for some good tips. And here are some more considerations to find which one fits your household:
There are various styles of dryers to choose from, with these four the most common:
Electric vented or tumbler dryers
These gather and process cool air for drying clothes, while ejecting heated moisture and damp humidity with the use of a vent. This is suitable for homes usually experiencing arid weather year round.
Known to be the most energy efficient, condensers work by drawing in cool air and processing it to dry your clothes, with the resulting moisture and water gathered in a tank for throwing out later on. The same air will be re-processed to keep drying out the clothes. If your space gets muggy easily, a condenser dryer might suit you. Find out more about condenser clothes dryers here
These work similarly to electric powered dryers, except they require propane or natural gas to function. While they’re a bit pricier to power up, your clothes will dry off faster with this style. We have a guide to gas powered clothes dryers here.
Washer /dryer combos
Aside from being space savers, these compact combination machines can immediately switch to dryer mode after your clothes are washed. They’re convenient to use if you’d like to save on time, effort and space. Combos are usually made with condenser drying technology. They are usually more expensive.
Capacity and efficiency
The last thing you’d want for your clothes is to get creased or in the worst case scenario, to shrink. Your chosen capacity will be very telling of the outcome of your clothes. The basic sizes you can choose from are 4, 5, 7 and 10 kilograms. Make sure your clothes can freely move around in the midst of a tumble for faster drying and prevent shrinking.
If you live alone and wash your clothes once a week, a 4kg unit should be sufficient. However, if you have a family to look after and you seasonally face the chilly winter breeze, then it would be safe to save up for a 7 or 10kg dryer.
Energy efficiency, ease of use and warranties are other sets of factors to guide your decision. From our survey responses these are some of the things Australians look for in a clothes dryer. If you’re planning to invest in a dryer soon, you could be looking at anywhere from $350 to $1,000. Prices vary with regard to technology, capacity, energy efficiency and variety of settings.
And here are some good clothes dryer safety tips.
For more information or to see more in-depth ratings, head to our Reviews page.