I suspect many people have never even heard of gas tumble dryers. White Knight are one of the only white goods manufacturers that make them. So they are pretty much a specialist product. I’ve received a press release regarding White Knight’s 7kg “carbon friendly” gas tumble dryer.
Carbon friendly gas tumble dryer
White Knight are owned by Crosslee, and have specialised in tumble dryers for many years. They usually make budget priced but decent tumble dryers. This product is of interest because it claims to have a very low carbon footprint and running costs. However, it must be remembered that it needs a gas supply to run as well as electric.
I’ve enquired as to how much it’s likely to cost to install one and was told, “on average, installation costs around £100.” This is a one off cost, but it would take several years to recoup through reduced running costs unless you are replacing a very inefficient dryer or unless you tumble dry a lot.
There are A rated electric dryers with heat pumps that are not too far off the efficiency and carbon figures for this gas dryer – however, they are still “higher”, are more complex and take much longer to dry clothes so a gas tumble dryer is a viable option to consider.
White Knight claim several benefits over an electric dryer
White Knight say a gas tumble dryer has the lowest running costs. It also has the shortest drying Times (The BG44AW is the fastest drying domestic tumble dryer in the UK drying a full load in 60 minutes). They also claim that they have the lowest Carbon emissions.
However, I must point out that the figures used to promote the dryer are mostly comparing with C rated tumble dryers. I was initially very suspicious of this, but a quick look at common dryers on sale from Hotpoint, Indesit and Hoover etc. show that many of their dryers are in fact only C rated (which I’m surprised at). Hopefully this will improve.
CO2 REDUCING TUMBLE DRYER IS NOW EVEN BIGGER
British manufacturers Crosslee, Europe’s largest independent tumble dryer producers are launching their first ever 7kg capacity gas tumble dryer range. These unique products are a reaction to an increase in consumer demand for larger more powerful machines with low CO2 emissions.
More than 40% of UK households use a tumble dryer and almost 4 million dryers are sold every year. Tumble dryers account for a massive 4.3% of the UKs entire domestic energy consumption (Figures from MTP). This percentage could be significantly reduced if the UK was to convert to gas tumble drying.
The Market Transformation Programme, a government funded organisation reporting on sustainable products, states that gas dryers could significantly help the government reach its CO2 emission reduction targets. These simple facts helped contribute to White Knight gas dryers being backed by the Energy Savings Trust, now sporting the Trust’s Energy Efficiency Recommended logo
White Knight has also teamed up with Carbon Footprint Ltd, the company behind the carbon reducing website Carbonfootprint.co.uk. The website now highlights the massive benefits of the gas dryer by comparing its CO2 emissions and running cost to an electric equivalent in their home appliance energy consumption comparison table.
Andy Stevenson at Carbon Footprint Ltd says, “the new 7kg gas tumble dryer is the silent hero of CO² reduction, an extremely worthwhile product and excellent addition to our website”.
Gas tumble dryer fact sheet (small pdf document).
Should you Buy a Gas Tumble Dryer?
Personally I’m not so sure. The idea is novel, in the sense that they have always been electric. Gas obviously has advantages, and if you look at it from an environmental point of view maybe it’s a more important option for these times.
They are a lot cheaper to run than an electric dryer. But we do now also have heat pump tumble dryers. They also use very little electricity, though unlike a gas dryer, they achieve the savings at greatly increased drying times.
My main concern, apart from the expense and potential impracticality of having a gas tumble dryer installed, is repairs. As far as I can see there are very few appliance engineers that can and would repair a gas tumble dryer. Any engineer would have to be Gas Safe registered. Most appliance engineers aren’t because they don’t repair any gas appliances.
White Knight have confirmed that you even need a Gas Safe registered engineer to connect it up too. It also appears that even White Knight’s own service agents (who repair white Knight appliances, “both in warranty and out of warranty”) do not repair gas tumble dryers once out of their warranty period. See comments below for more details from people who have bought one.