01.Miele T 8627 WP EcoComfort heat pump dryer
Please note: this information was current as of April 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.
A clothes dryer with a six-star energy rating has been a long time coming, and the Miele EcoComfort is currently the only dryer in Australia with this claim. In contrast to normal vented and condenser dryers, which use a resistive heating element to drive the moisture from your clothes, the efficient heat pump technology in the EcoComfort draws heat from the surrounding air and uses it to dry the clothes (the technology works in much the same way as an air conditioner or refrigerator).
Miele claims this technology saves up to 46% of energy used in comparable condensor dryers. While CHOICE couldn’t verify its condensor dryer claims, we were pleasantly surprised to see it uses about half the energy of a conventional vented dryer. This means lower CO2 emissions and a smaller carbon footprint and lower running costs for the consumer.
Miele also claims a 20-year lifespan for its heat pump technology (but offers only a two-year warranty for parts and labour), and if you were to keep your machine for this long, by today’s energy prices you would make the difference back after 18 years based on 150 cycles per year, or three times a week. A more frequent user would make their money back even sooner. As this technology becomes more popular, the price may also lower.
We found the EcoComfort easy to operate, with clear labelling, straightforward controls and a filter located on the door that’s easy to reach and clean. It matches many of the dryers on the market for features, and the advanced heat pump technology had no noticeable impact on the way you would use a normal condenser dryer. The noise level was a little quieter compared with the vented dryers in our last test.
For more results on clothes dryers, see our test.
At just under $3300 the Miele EcoComfort is by no means a bargain, but given the brand consistently rates well with CHOICE readers for reliability this dryer is well worth the outlay for a smaller carbon footprint and lower long-term running costs.