We have an old clothes dryer. That is, it was here and well-loved when MetaDaddy bought the place over 10 years ago. It's basic, but it works. It doesn't have any bells and whistles; you turn it on for a set amount of time, and it dries the clothes.
I've recently started looking longingly at the bells and whistles on newer dryers, though. I know, blasphemy! But the thought of a dryer that can sense if the clothes require further drying is so...hot! No more overdrying clothes, which means savings in terms of energy usage and clothes (clothes that spend less time in the dryer last longer). That's green, right!?! Further amenities that I covet: drying racks that allow a user to dry clothes flat, a low heat setting, a wrinkle reduction cycle.
I was further compelled to research new dryer options when our dryer started to take longer to dry clothes. I always put it on for the same amount of time, but recently, it doesn't always dry the load of clothes, despite a clean lint trap and a hot drum (i.e., the dryer is transmitting heat). I'm starting to wonder how much more life it has in it and whether or not it's worth investing in to repair.
As I started researching, I found a few models that I liked. The problem is that the very few user reviews that I found on Sears and elsewhere weren't generally positive. None of them. And I began to remember a good rule of thumb: the more bells and whistles, the more that can go wrong. If one component doesn't work, either your unable to dry your clothes, or best case, you've just paid for a feature that doesn't work. What do you do? Do you bring someone in to fix or replace it, potentially leaving you without a dryer for a period of time? I do a LOT of laundry with my two messy little monsters; I can't afford to be without a dryer for very long. And I was further discouraged by Dooce's account of her non-working washing machine woes.
Oh, one more thing. A rebate program for appliances is scheduled for the fall, which means our dryer purchase might be subsidized. More details here. Hopefully, Sears will still have some good deals then. Currently, they have deals that end every few days, but start up again the next day.
While the rebate might be an incentive, I'm still on the fence. Do we get rid of old reliable? It's seen us through many, many...many disasters. MetaGirl is a messy eater, but that pales in comparison to the messes MetaBoy challenged his onesies to.