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AEG T96699IH SensiDry 9 Series Condenser tumble dryer review

Donna Willingham
17 Sep 2013
AEG T96699IH SensiDry 9 Series Condenser tumble dryer
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
789
inc VAT

Cheap cost per cycle on certain programs, but we found that clothes needed a longer drying time

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The AEG T96699IH SensiDry 9 Series Condenser Tumble Dryer is one of the company's high-end models. It’s a dryer that guarantees to be gentle on your laundry, promising to dry even your delicate loads with uniform results. It comes with Woolmark Gold certification and claims to be 50 per cent more energy efficient compared to other class-A dryers on the market.

It all sounds good in theory – our thorough testing is designed to inform you whether it lives up to the hype. In this case, we discovered that it was indeed efficient on power, but the flipside was that our clothes were pretty damp when certain cycles finished.

POWER AND WATER RETENTION

We were excited by AEG’s claims. According to the specifications, this A-rated tumble dryer uses Heat Pump technology, which is a more efficient method of drying than a traditional condenser. The energy consumption is apparently so low that it actually exceeds the requirements for an ‘A’ energy rating by 50 per cent, meaning you get all the benefits of tumble drying at a much lower running cost. They’re pretty bold claims, with just one problem: our load retained a fair amount of water on certain cycles.

As this tumble dryer has settings to dry synthetics and cottons, we tried them both to see how they fared. First off, we dried our 3kg test load on the Cupboard Dry cycle on the Synthetics programme and found that the dryer retained 207g of water. With the same load on the Cupboard Dry cycle on Cottons, we found that it retained 183g of water. That's still a little damp and we'd expect the clothes to retain less water.

Power usage was 0.41kW for the Cupboard Dry cycle on both Synthetics and Cottons programmes, which costs just 6p per cycle. Wrinkles in our laundry were quite deep, but these fell out somewhat after hanging to dry completely.

As this tumble dryer claims to dry according to a sensor – meaning the machine should run until your clothes are dry – we were surprised that loads were coming out with this much water retained. On the Synthetics programme in particular, our clothes definitely felt damp.

On the Iron Dry functions for Synthetics and Cottons, more water was retained, as we’d expect. For this cycle, we fill the drum with only the things that need ironing: jeans, tops and a bed sheet. This time, the T96699IH used 0.35kW of power on both the Synthetics and Cottons programmes. This outcome makes it cheap to run at only 5p per cycle. Compare these findings with other models we’ve tested and clothes retained less water on this cycle (77g on Synthetics, 93g on Cottons). Shirt wrinkles were pretty much the same as on the Cupboard Dry cycle: fairly deep, but fell out after hanging.

We then also tested the Extra Dry function. This time, there was no doubt and our clothes came out so dry that not a single gram of water was retained. Power usage rose to 0.87kW, however, which bumped up the cost per cycle to 13p.

So that we can compare all of the tumble dryers that we review, we work out yearly running costs based on the EU Energy Label (see how we test tumble dryers for more information). This gave us costs of £30.99 for high usage, £23.24 for medium usage and £15.49 for low usage. These are very competitive costs and this tumble dryer will be efficient to run.

EASE OF USE AND FEATURES

The AEG T96699IH is a stylish-looking machine. The brushed metal-effect top and simple, clean dial system makes this look like an expensive tumble dryer (which, of course, it is). The drawer itself and all the controls feel good quality, not in the least bit flimsy or of poor construction. This is a high-end machine, and in looks and feel, it certainly delivers there.

The programme dial lets you select from a number of features, including Extra Dry, Easy Iron, Active Wear for outdoor technical fabrics and also a Silk/Lingerie cycle to look after your delicates. The rack provided, that sits inside the drum to prevent items ‘tumbling’, will also help to keep your delicate garments, shoes and cuddly toys in good condition.

It’s a particularly quiet machine, with an Extra Silent function (though how it can be even more quiet than silent baffles us slightly!). Other functions include Dry Plus (which may be necessary for every load according to our test figures), the ability to set your spin speed, an Anticrease function and a Time Dry function where you can specify the drying time.

CONCLUSION

On the face of it, our tests show that certain cycles have very low running costs. Having said that, we felt that our test load came out a little too damp for our liking. The Extra Dry function fared better here – our clothes came out bone dry – but while it does exactly as it says it does, the cost per cycle was significantly more. In fact, it gave us our highest cost per cycle so far. With that in mind, the performance and low running costs of the Panasonic NH-P80S1 make it a better choice.

Specifications

Drying Capacity (wet clothes in kg)9kg
Dryer Typeheat pump
Typefreestanding
Rated efficiencyA
Size (HxWxD)600x600x850mm

Benchmarks

Cupboard Dry timeN/A
Cupboard Dry energy use0.41kWh
Iron Dry timeN/A
Iron Dry energy use0.35kWh
Fully Dry timeN/A
Fully Dry energy use0.85kWh
Average yearly running costs£24.47

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