Steam is the newest innovation in the laundry market. Both steam and conventional clothes dryers work in much the same manner to dry clothing. The steam dryer has additional cycles for the express purpose of refreshing clothing or removing wrinkles in a short time.
Differences in Operation
Conventional clothes dryers use heat to take the moisture out of wet clothing. Steam dryers sanitize, deodorize, and reduce wrinkles in clothing; as an added benefit, they soften clothing as well. However, steam alone cannot dry clothing.
Working With Dry Clothing
An article of clothing can be put into a conventional dryer to help reduce wrinkles, however, it will not work as well as an iron. Steam dryers remove more wrinkles and give clothing a fresh smell.
Steam Used in the Dryer
While the conventional clothes dryer creates steam in the dryer as the moisture evaporates from the clothing, the steam dryer uses different methods to apply steam to the clothing at the right time and at a higher temperature than a conventional dryer.
Dryers are not listed in Energy Star's Database, and they do not have to exhibit an EnergyGuide label, as energy efficiency does not change much from model to model. However, it has been noted that humidity or moisture sensors in the drum do help to conserve energy.
Maytag offers a low-end price at $714 for a steam dryer, and the most expensive is LG, coming in at $2,447. A conventional dryer can be purchased for as low as $270 or as high as $785.