Today Only! 75% off wholeHome style factory™/MC 'Malaina Special Edition' Sleep Set, queen, now $299.99. Shop >>Resource Centre>Buying Guides>Appliances> Dryers Buying Guide – Glossary

Dryers Buying Guide – Glossary

A dryer is a vital part of your laundry system. Find out what you need to know before you purchase one of these around-the-house helpers.





The heat generated by gas dryers is measured in BTU's (British Thermal Units). The more efficient the dryer, the less energy is used. The number of BTU's used per year (based on average usage) will be shown. A lower figure means less energy is needed.


Capacity size classification varies with each manufacturer. Please look at the capacity feature below (in cubic feet) for exact size.

Capacity (Cu./Ft.)

Larger capacity machines dry larger loads. Drum capacity ranges in size from about 3.5 cu. ft. to just over 7.5 cu ft. Compact dryers are, generally, in the range of 3.5 cu. ft. capacity.


Dimensions describe the exterior height, width and depth of the dryer. The location chosen will determine the size of model suitable.

Dryer Power Source

Heat is supplied by gas or electricity.

EnerGuide Rating (KWH/Year)

The EnerGuide rating is your guide to energy efficiency. It tells you how energy efficient a particular model is. The label provides information on the amount of kWh per year the model will use under normal circumstances. The lower the number, the less electricity the appliance uses.

Motor HP (Horsepower)

The maximum power generated by the motor.

Power Requirements (Volts)

Either 120 or 240 V, depending on the model chosen.

Wattage (Watts)

The wattage rating of the dryer is based on the CSA rating.


Materials & Options

Cabinet Top/Finish

Porcelain on Steel: This finish is easy to clean, resists scratches and also resists the harmful effects of laundry chemicals. It is the best finish.
Painted Steel: A practical, durable finish. The enamel finish is baked on.
Painted Steel Cabinet/Porcelain Top: This is a popular mixture of the two finishes.

Clothes Rack/Bar

This handy pole-like device is located at the side or at the back of the dryer, and has a bar (or rod) for hanging clothes.

Door Type

A side opening door allows access closer to the dryer, for loading and unloading clothes. However, a hamper-style drop-down door also allows for easy loading and unloading and, in addition provides a folding shelf.

  • Non Reversible Side Swing: Opens in only one (sideways) direction.
  • Reversible Side Swing: Extremely versatile and handy -- can be installed to open either way, depending on the position and location of the dryer.
  • Drop Down Hamper: Door opens downwards, towards user, providing handy folding shelf.

Drum Light

Very convenient to have, lets user see into the dryer while loading and unloading.

Drum Material
  • Porcelain on Steel: This finish resists scratches and also resists the harmful effects of laundry chemicals.
  • Stainless Steel: This increasingly popular stain-resistant material is long lasting, modern and easy to clean.
  • Painted Steel: A practical durable finish.

Filter or Lint Trap

Traps the lint which is released by the clothes during the drying process. A clean filter is extremely important since a clogged filter will reduce the efficiency of the machine and clothes will take longer to dry.

  • Top Mounted: Positioned at the top of the dryer for easy removal and cleaning.
  • Front Mounted: Very popular. This is located at the front of the dryer, usually in the door frame.

Liquid Propane Gas Conversion Kit

Where there is no gas line to hook up to, a Liquid Propane Conversion Kit is necessary.

Venting Options

"Venting" describes the manner in which air is exhausted from a dryer to the outside.

  • 1 Way: Air is vented straight out the back of the dryer.
  • 3 Way: Air is vented either out the back or one of the sides.
  • 4 Way: Air is vented either out the back or one of the sides, or out of the bottom.

Control Panel

  • Plastic: Modern, chip resistant and rustproof, this is an easy-to-clean finish.
  • Metal: Traditional, easy to clean finish.

  • Manual Knobs: Turn to the required setting.
  • Manual Push Button: A simple touch of the button selects the required setting.
  • Tap Touch: A touch selects the required setting.
  • Electronic: Similar to a microwave key-pad, a light touch is all that's required to select the required setting.

Drying System

Adjustable Dryer Option

Allows the user to select the amount of time clothes will take to dry, with or without heated air.

Auto Drying System

This control senses the dryness of the load and automatically shuts off when the selected dryness is reached.

Express Dry

When a load won't fill the dryer, the express dry setting is timed to take care of a small load in 25 minutes - or less.

Electronic Moisture Monitor

A computerized dryness control counts the wet pulses that pass across the electronic moisture strips and stops the cycle when clothes are dry to the touch.

Temperature Staged Drying

Designed to reduce heat during the drying process (cool down).

Thermistor Control

This computerized dryness control uses a moisture sensor and a thermistor (a device whose resistance varies with temperature) to manage temperature fluctuations in the drying process. The clothes actually dry faster and at a lower temperature setting than a regular dryer.


Senses the exhaust temperature of the dryer. In an automatic setting the moisture sensor senses the dryness of the load and automatically shuts off when the selected dryness is reached.

Timed Heat

Heat that is controlled by the timer only, allowing the user to select the amount of time to dry clothes.

Timed Air

Allows use of the dryer without heated air for selected periods of time, giving all the benefits of hang drying, with shorter drying time. Recommended for articles that won't tolerate heat and to fluff and freshen items such as pillows.



Damp Dry Cycle

Provides a period of heated drying, followed by no heat tumbling to leave enough moisture in the load for easier ironing.

Delicate Cycle

Automatic cycle with low heat input, ideal for fragile garments and fabrics.

Jeans Cycle

The specially designed Jeans Cycle takes the guesswork out of drying jeans and other heavy fabrics by using even heat with auto temperature control to measure moisture and temperature. Wet jeans begin drying at a high temperature and as moisture decreases, the temperature is reduced. Sensors measure precisely when jeans are dry and terminate the cycle.

Permanent Press Cycle

A special cool down period at the end of the cycle helps to reduce wrinkles and ironing chores.

Regular/Normal Cycle

The cycle of choice for common laundry loads such as jeans, towels and underwear.

Wrinkle Prevention Cycle (Extended Tumble)

Allows the dryer to continue to run (either continuously or intermittently) for a period of time with no heat after completion of the automatic cycle.

Wrinkle Release Cycle

Smoothes out wrinkles from laundry that is clean and dry but is wrinkled due to storage, being folded, being crammed into an over-crowded closet or jammed into a suitcase.



Adjustable Volume Switch

Adjusts the volume of the signal.

End of Cycle Signal

Either a buzzer or a bell signals when a cycle is complete.

  • Built In (fixed): The machine will automatically signal when a cycle is complete.
  • On/Off Switch: The signal can be turned on or off, so it can be used only when needed.

Lint Signal

A very important signal. A warning light or buzzer warns that the filter has to be cleaned.