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Dryers that sense when clothes are done

Frigidaire's Affinity line of dryers are using moisture sensors to take the guesswork out of drying a load of clothes.

Frigidaire's Affinty washer and dryer.

Put the clothes in the dryer, crank the timer to how long you think the load might take to dry, and press 'Start.' Come back to a load of clothes that are either so dry that they're baked or a load that's still soggy.

Does that sound familiar? That might be because we've all grown up with dryers that rely on timed cycles as basically the only control--sure some machines offer the option of selecting a heat level for a cycle, but beyond that, there's just not many knobs on the front of a dryer. Unfortunately, timed cycles are inexact--blue jeans take longer to dry than socks, but how much longer?

But the current line of Frigidaire Affinity dryers has a solution that I think is ideal. Rather than relying on our guesses as to when our laundry might be done, these dryers actually check! They use moisture sensors to check if a load is dry and, if it is, the dryer turns off.

Frigidaire is marketing the Affinity line as environmentally-friendly--the dryers spend less time running overall, and therefore emits less CO2. But minimizing the amount of time that one of the big electricity hogs in my apartment spends running also reduces the cash out of my pocket going to the power company, and who doesn't like that?