But just over two-and-a-half years after we bought it the drum ripped clean off the bearing leaving a huge ragged hole in the back of the drum. We inquired about getting a replacement drum but it was totally uneconomical - it cost more to do this than to buy a whole new appliance. So we bought another identical dryer. After all, we liked the model very much. Maybe it was a freak manufacturing fault which made it fail so quickly. But just in case it wasn't, we took out the optional 5-year-warranty.
It is more "green" to replace a part than to replace the whole applianceWe're very glad we did, because 2 years and 1 month after we bought it, the exact same fault happened again. And this time the warranty-people have ordered a replacement drum. I don't know why it is economical for them to do it when it wasn't economical for us, but hey-ho. I feel a bit ambivalent about this. It is more "green" to replace a part than to replace the whole appliance, so that's nice. But if they had just sent me a cheque to buy a new dryer, I would have avoided this model like the plague. I feel sure the new drum will also fail in another two years - or more likely in about 3 years, when the 5-year-warranty has expired.
How much energy have I saved by using an A-rated appliance compared to another appliance? I don't know. it depends on exactly how often I have used it, which varies from season to season. And it depends on how much I have used it on A-rated mode and how often I used it on regular mode, which also varies. I put slow-mode on when Ed is at work all day and I just tune-out the sound of the endless rumbling. But in the evenings and at weekends when Ed and the kids are at home I put it on fast-mode. There is enough noise in the house at those times without adding to it.
the embedded energy of the applianceBut how much energy is there in the extraction and processing of the materials that made the appliance? How much energy was used in its manufacture and transport? This is the embedded energy of the appliance. Think of it like the cost of owning a car - if a car is very cheap to run, then that's nice. But if it is very expensive to buy in the first place then that weighs against the cheapness of running. Maybe it still works out cheaper overall, as long as you keep the car on the road long enough. But if you buy an expensive car that breaks down after two years, then it's always going to be uneconomical compared to a car that lasts a long time. I don't think the White Knight dryer deserves to call itself A-rated if it only lasts two years, because I suspect the embedded energy outweighs the energy savings in use.
it is better to dry clothes on the line, and I do this when I canP.S. yes, it is better to dry clothes on the line, and I do this when I can. But it has rained in England almost without let-up for the last two years. OK that's not strictly true, but it feels true. We have certainly had an unusually wet period for two years now. So line drying has been difficult, and I find a dryer is an essential emergency back-up when every surface in the house is covered in wet clothes and the kids need clean school uniforms by the morning.