Bosch WTW863S1GB review
|Review: October 2016|
In a nutshell: The Bosch WTW863S1GB tumble dryer is a condenser dryer that uses a heat pump to achieve huge electricity savings, with an energy efficiency rating of A++. Be warned, however, that it takes much longer than normal to dry - typically 4 hours for a 7kg load.
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The Bosch WTW863S1GB is a condenser dryer that uses a heat pump for greater energy efficiency. It's an easy machine to use, with an electronic dial to choose a programme, and touch buttons for start/pause, setting a time delay and choosing the low heat option. An LCD countdown display shows the time remaining.
This is a condenser dryer, so it's easy to install, as no external vent is required. Water collects in a tray during the drying and needs to be emptied manually at the end of each programme.
The dryer has a good 7kg load capacity, and we recommend that you use it at full load, as partial loads are less efficient and are prone to becoming tangled. Sheets in particular, if dried on their own, will tend to roll into a ball and come out damp, so be sure to load the machine with care.
There are various programmes available, but most people will probably choose the Iron Dry setting, which leaves your clothes fairly damp and ready for ironing, or the Cupboard Dry programme, which dries clothes further, ready for transfer to an airing cupboard. You may still find that you need to run an additional timed programme to dry your laundry further, or hang them on a clothes horse to dry before they are ready to be put into an airing cupboard.
This model uses a heat pump to heat the air, recycling warm air to maximise the energy efficiency. This can produce big savings in electricity usage, as the dryer will use less than half the energy of a conventional dryer when operated at full load. However, heat pump dryers aren't necessarily the best choice, as they have a number of drawbacks. The main problem is that they take much longer to dry, as they run warm rather than hot. You can expect to leave the machine running for twice as long as a conventional dryer - typically 3 to 5 hours. Yes, you read that correctly. Heat pump dryers are also rather sensitive to ambient temperature, so are not suitable to use in a garage or outbuilding.
With a noise level of 65dB, this model is averagely noisy for a tumble dryer - about midway between the wash and spin noise levels of a typical washing machine.
Bosch has a good name in appliances, but heat pump dryers have a lot more to go wrong than conventional dryers and can be expensive to repair. This model uses a self-cleaning condenser, which sounds convenient, but we have doubts about whether it will have long-term reliability.
Conclusion - low energy, but problematic
Everyone wants to be green, but think carefully before choosing a heat pump dryer like this. To save electricity you need to avoid half loads, and you should be prepared for much longer drying times. Some people regret purchasing this type of dryer, and in that case it's a very expensive mistake.
Bosch WTW863S1GB features include:
- Capacity: 7 kg
- Energy efficiency class: A++
- LCD display for remaining time, 24 hours time delay, programme progress indication, and special functions
- Fully electronic control dial for sensor programmes and timed programmes
- Touch control buttons: Low heat, reduced ironing
- Self-cleaning condenser
- Programme time (cotton programme, full load): 178 minutes
- Energy consumption (cotton programme, full load): 1.65 kWh
- Noise level: 65dB
- Dimensions (H X W X D): 84.2 x 59.8 x 63.9 cm
- Can be built-under
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