Dryers -- why are these so rare in Taiwan?

dryers and central air.

when i ask my taiwanese relatives why noone has a dryer, they usually reply that it’s too expensive. i don’t really buy this. i mean, how expensive could it be? with the amount of electricity being spent on air conditioners, the power needed for dryers doesn’t seem that bad. i guess i can see if the island was hot and dry and clothes just dried faster outside, but with the insane humidity and common downpours(drought excepted), it just seems to be the worst possible environment to be drying clothes outdoors. damn, what i wouldn’t give for a nice industrial strength dryer and a box of fabric softener.

as for central air, i understand that a lot of buildings here are old and so it wasn’t available and would be a pain to add. but i see brand spanking new buildings all the time with slots for air conditioners in the windows. besides the fact that they’re an incredible eyesore, it just seems very inefficient to keep relying on individual units.

i’m sure part of the reason is cultural. i remember on many trips to japan that dryers were not really universally used there, either. but is there a technological or other such explanation for why these things are in such short supply in taiwan?

Frugality is a virtue in Taiwan, despite ubiquitous Mercedes Benz and gold Rolexes, and it is cheaper to hang your clothes out to dry. They will dry eventually. Although many people also have simple Asian style clothes dryers that I think can be bought at Carrefour among other places.

There are several laundromats around the city to dry your clothes with industrial strength dryers and Bounce dryer sheets can be bought at Costco in Neihu or HsiChi. If you want your own big western style dryer, you should be able to find one for between NT$10,000 - NT$15,000 somewhere.

As for central air, well this goes back to penny pinching too. Why cool the whole house when you can cool room by room and pay less electricity bills. Turn one on in the bedroom at night. Turn one on in the living room by day.

I had central air when I lived in an expat community called Salzburg Villas in HsiChi in Taipei county. They also had big western style dryers, a real oven for baking, a huge double door refrigerator with ice maker, heated floors, carpeting in the bedrooms and even a dish washer. I think it is called Ou Zhou Lien Bang in Chinese but it isn’t cheap, between NT$60K to $85K per month and it is far away. Luckily my company paid for it.

Good luck in your quest for convenience.

Dryers - dunno. Dunno why they use those daft top loading washing machines like my granny used to have. All they are good for is tying up your clothes in knots.

Central aircon costs the builder a fortune as he has to provide for it. If he could get away without putting a roof on he would, and you will remember how easily building fall over in earthquakes / landslides. Builders just won’t run to centralised aircon. It used to be the case that when you bought a new apt you just got a shell without even interior walls. I know now a lot of firms will fit it all out for you - but traditionally you just got a shell.

Centralised aircon is only more efficient if all the apts were using it at the same time. I suspect it’s like why they never used to have (legal) centralised cable TV. You get faced with arguments such as “Oh I never watch TV”, and “Oh I hardly use the aircon” etc

I think most people hang up clothes inside and it only takes a day or overnight in summer to dry, so you don’t really need a dryer.

As for central air, I don’t like it because you always get one room too cold and one room to hot.


I saw a bunch of dryers in RT Mart the other day. NT$4,500-NT$7,000.

What is RT Mart. Someone told me it was just an ordinary supermarket so I didn’t bother going in to look.


It’s a store that’s very similar to KMart. Has pretty much everything. There’s one in Chungho (Jungho).

Its a supermarket but its pretty big and has appliances. I’m no connisseur (unlike with suits) – it just happens to be the only big store within walking distance for me.

I may be wrong here, too, but aren’t their trolleys a little higher than normal? I certainly feel they are more comfortable for that eyes-half-shut slouch in a semi-doze with a Heineken straight from the cold shelf while 'er indoors compares toilet paper.

Dryers: Expensive indeed. We got Whirlpools about 10 years ago and it cost an arm and a leg. Another guess I have is that a lot of clothes in Taiwan are “No tumble dry”, making it pretty pointless to have a dryer.

Central aircon: I think hexuan is pretty close. It’s expensive and difficult to build central aircon into RC buildings (versus wood frame) unless you have hung ceilings. Hence, pretty much the only places with central aircon are offices or very high-end apartments. I would bet that it would also be to avoid the question of who pays the electricity bill.

I have one … however … I shrunk half of my clothes (bought here) … which is F@%&ING anoying

I don’y have much space for hanging stuff and the dryer makes things rather … well, easy. (if you read the clothing labels …)

Peoples apartments are too small and it’s annoying to have a big machine in it when you don’t use it much…

We rent and it comes with a dryer. I just learned how to use it earlier this year. What ya mean, it shrinks clothes???

We have a Whirlpool washing machine which has no lint control. The dryer takes care of that, luckily.

I wish they had the washer/dryer setups I see in HK and Japan where the dryer is on top of the washer. Takes up very little space that way.

Maoman, I actually have seen these in Taiwan recently, although I forget where (I’m ever so helpful, no?). Check the typical appliance stores/hyper marts again if you haven’t in a while. Anyways, I’ll keep an eye out.

Enduring several damp, clammy, cold, Taipei winters - waiting for clothes to dry, convinced my roommates and I to jointly buy a dryer. Even though it was a piece of shite bottom-of-the-line “Whirlpool” [in fact it was a locally made OEM product identical to the bottom-of-the-line products with a couple of other well know manufactures labels on it], we loved having it.

When I moved into my own place, there were coin operated jumbo Maytag washers ad dryers on every floor - what a pleasure.

I think dryers are well worth having. I’d only suggest digging deepr into the pocket and going for a more substantial model. The beefy (American) companys make the dryer-on-top stacking units, I’m sure I’ve seen them somewhere in Taipei… B&Q? Daichi?

I remeber talking to a couple people about dryers, and they said they prefer hang drying clothes…something about how it (the sun) kills bacteria (???)

As for Centeral air/heat…maybe another reason is because in wood homes, the ducts go inside the walls…I’m not sure if you can do that with brick homes…

Originally posted by Geng: As for Central air/heat...maybe another reason is because in wood homes, the ducts go inside the walls...I'm not sure if you can do that with brick homes...
Most houses in Canada are made of brick, and they all have central heating. Most new homes have central air, also. Hell, my folks' place even has central vac! Most Taiwanese wouldn't be willing to pay for these extras.

Still, I could see how running duct work would be more difficult in apartments made of reinforced concrete, as most in Taiwan are. In Canada, is the entire home made of brick/concrete, or just the outside?

There is no problem running duct work through solid concrete if you have the right tools and the know-how.

It is however ludicrously expensive to do after the building is erected.

I saw UK style washer/driers in Taipei about 7 years ago. About NT50,000. Must be cheaper now ?

7 year ago we bought a Whirlpool (American) washer for abou 12K and a small Whirlpool dryer for about 8K.