Buying a refurbished dryer is a great option if you want a decent dryer but don’t want to spend a lot of money. They will typically be priced at half the cost of their new model and can give you ten years or more of solid use. Unlike a used dryer, a refurbished unit has been taken apart and had visibly worn parts replaced. It’s been thoroughly tested to make sure it performs its intended functions.

Here are a few tips to think about if you’re considering buying a refurbished model.

  1. Measurements: Making sure you can get it from the delivery truck to its destination is key, so make sure you measure doorways, halls, landings, to ensure that there is a smooth path for delivery. You may also have to take your old dryer out first before you install your new one.
  2. Style: Dryers typically come in two sizes: compact and standard. There is some variation within these two size categories, so if you are only replacing your dryer, measure your washer to ensure you get the same sized machine. This is particularly important if you are stacking them or if they are fitting under a counter with dimension limitations. Capacity is another issue. You want a dryer that matches your washer’s capacity – too small and you’ll have to dry clothes in batches, too big and you’ll use more electricity than you need.
  3. Fuel-type: dryers can either be electric or gas powered, so make sure you know which yours is before searching for a replacement. The good news can be Energy Star certified now, so you can get an energy efficient dryer if it’s from 2015 or later.
  4. Visit the store: A good place to start looking for a refurbished model is through local online want ads such as Kijiji and Craigslist. However, once you’ve found a shop, call them to see if they carry the models or machines with the dimensions you’re interested in. Often, refurbished stores will list one or two of their available models online, but visiting the store will give you many more options. (See our resources page for more information.)
  5. Model number: If you locate a model you’re interested in, input the model and serial number into one of the many repair forums with that capability on your smartphone (or make a note of it and do it on your computer at home – visit our resources page for options). It can help determine the actual age of the machine. Check forums to make sure there aren’t known problems with the model. You can also visit the manufacturer’s site and pull up the owner’s manual. This will give you information on its energy use, different features, etc.
  6. Durability: Check to see how solid the dryer is. Open the door, turn the drum and check for smooth turning. Inspect the exterior for wear, rust, and overheating or fire damage from lint build-up. It likely won’t come with a lint vent, so check that the exhaust outlet is clear of any lint build-up (a common cause of dryer fires or overheating). The dryer’s control panel should be in good condition and the button pads or knobs should work well. Check the interior, it should be clean and odourless (no mould or burnt smell). Check the lint filter to make sure it’s clean.
  7. Warranty and Service: Ask how long the warranty is and who services it in the event something goes wrong. A small shop will likely do its own servicing. A reseller may work with local service companies. Warranties themselves vary amongst refurbishers from three months to one year.
  8. Transportation: Refurbishers will likely provide delivery and installation and take away your old one for a fee.

For more information on how to buying a new or used dryer, or care and maintenance, check out our dryers page.