NOISE AND VIBRATION
If you want an undisturbed evening or a peaceful night’s sleep, quiet appliances are essential – particularly in a small home.
As tumble dryers can be pretty loud, paying close attention to the noise level is vital when it comes to picking the right one for you.
USING THE LISTED DECIBEL LEVEL
When talking about the sound levels of an appliance, people often use decibels (dB).
The higher on the dB range an appliance is, the louder it sounds. As a few points of reference, 15-30 dB is approximately the noise level of a whisper, 60 dB is around the standard of a normal conversation, and a lawnmower is around 90 dB.
Different tumble dryers are at very different sound levels on the dB range. The average is around 70 dB. Quieter tumble dryers will be around the low 60s.
Using the listed dB sound level can be an excellent way of picking a quieter product. However, it’s worth noting that appliances with a lower dB level can sometimes sound louder than models higher on the scale. This is because the dB range only measures sound intensity, not frequency. Tapping a table surface and tapping a glass or tin could have the same dB level, but because the frequency is different, one can sound louder than the other.
Similarly, companies test tumble dryers in “ideal” environments. Chances are, your utility room or kitchen is not that ideal. As such, appliances may sound louder than the number of dB suggests, depending on the level of echo in the room.
DESIGNED TO BE QUIET
As tumble dryers have lots of moving parts, they tend to be quite noisy, but there are some that have features which reduce the noise level.
Models that come with inverter motors tend to be much quieter than those that don’t. A lot of inverter motors don’t have brushes, which means they generate less friction when the motor is running. With less friction, there is less sound made by the appliance, resulting in less disturbance for you.
Some tumble dryers have built-in insulation too, which reduces the amount of sound that escapes.
Models that come with inverter motors tend to be much quieter than those that don’t.
As the tumble dryer spins, a lot of the sound comes from the appliance vibrating. Some brands have developed technology which helps reduce the amount of vibration.
Siemens has incorporated AntiVibration technology in the side walls of some extraKlasse models, which helps stabilise the dryer, reducing noise. Other brands like Miele offer models with special Extra Quiet programmes, that dry washing with minimum background noise.
You can also do a couple of things yourself to limit how loud the vibrations are. Investing in anti-vibration feet pads or a mat can be very worthwhile. These absorb and isolate a lot of the vibrations generated by a tumble dryer, reducing noise and stopping it moving around. They can also help address wobbly dryers as they cushion the floor, reducing the likelihood of rocking.
Anti-vibration feet pads absorb a lot of the vibrations.
EXTRAS TO BEAR IN MIND
Noise can be very personal and subjective. If you tend to be quite sensitive to noise, investing in a tumble dryer with a lower dB level and some sound reducing features is probably a good idea.
It’s also worth noting that other factors can make your appliance much louder. If a zip comes into contact with the glass of the door, for instance, the tumble dryer will sound much louder than it should.
Understandably, the most effective way of being undisturbed by your tumble dryer is to locate it suitably. Positioning it in a utility room or garage reduces the chance of you hearing it. If you have to keep it in your kitchen or have a small home, investing in a super silent model could be even more valuable.
Positioning your tumble dryer in a utility room or garage reduces the chance of you hearing it.