By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com
Hang-drying clothing during the warm months can save money and help clothing last longer. During the winter, that's often not an option unless you want to turn a shirt into an icicle. And with meteorologists predicting a return of the polar vortex, what could be better than putting on warm clothes straight out of the dryer? Whether you're searching for your first dryer or considering a replacement, today's models can do the job for well under $500.
Related: How to save money on laundry
Inexpensive dryers aren't especially stylish -- you'll generally be limited to a plain, white box -- but some have a surprising number of advanced settings. Don't be surprised to see a wrinkle-free mode, a moisture or temperature sensor, or even a quiet-dry option. The four dryers featured here have 6.5 to 7 cubic feet of space inside the drum, enough for a decent-size load.
With one exception, these are all electric dryers. Gas hookups are less common, although some homes have both. If you're deciding between gas and electric, consider that gas dryers generally cost a little more but may save you money in the long run. Natural gas often costs less than electricity, and gas dryers can reach higher temperatures, resulting in shorter drying times.
Related: Best cheap washing machines
One important tip to keep in mind regardless which type of dryer you own: Always clean the lint trap after use. The four dryers featured here have lint traps located on top, which some reviewers find easier to reach than a filter inside the drum. Lint buildup is both a fire hazard and waste of money, as it leads to less efficient drying.
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