Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco

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Pros

  • Very energy efficient
  • Wealth of programmes
  • Good drying levels
  • Lots of options
  • Shoe-drying feature
  • Good value

Cons

  • Complex programmes and options
  • Standard Cotton is a little too dry
  • Not the quietest machine in use

Key Features

  • Review Price: £409.00
  • Heat-pump technology
  • A+ energy rating
  • 16 programmes
  • Condenser drying
  • Shoe drying rack and programme

What is the Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco?

Indesit has been having a pretty tough time with its old tumble dryers of late, but the IDPE 845 A1 Eco comes to the TrustedReviews test bench proving the brand’s latest machines are at the cutting-edge of technology. This flagship condenser model offers sensor drying for up to 8kg loads, A+ energy efficiency and 16 drying programmes.

It delivers the goods, too, with great drying results on the sensor programme, and plenty of manual and timed options for those whole like things a little more traditional. It isn’t quiet by current standards, and will take a while to get used to, but there’s no arguing with its effectiveness and very low energy consumption figures.

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Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco – Design and Features

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is just as well because the IDPE 845 A1 Eco’s odd take on contemporary style didn’t exactly woo anyone in the test team. The bright green and red LCD panel is rather garish, while the main programme knob is a rather retro shape. However, it did feel solid and positive to use.

The swooping lines of the pull-out water container and full-width door, matched to a bottom vent that looks like it came off a boy-racer hot hatchback, are, well, unique. Arguably, it might pull off this style better in a black or silver finish – additional options to the white model we had to test.

Thankfully, its technical design and features are far more exciting. Prime among these is the heat pump technology. By a process of swapping heat with air in your kitchen, the IDPE 845 A1 Eco uses about half as much electricity as a traditional tumble dryer sporting a standard electric heater element.

It can dry at lower temperatures, thanks to clever air-circulation and moisture sensors that automatically adjust temperature and drying times with selected programs.

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Speaking of which, there are no less than 16 programs, plus several additional options that result in multiple drying levels from which you can choose. You even get a shoe rack for the Shoe programme. It’s meant for sports footwear – and I can vouch for its effectiveness with wet cycling shoes.

The full-width door is a nice touch for those who don’t like traditional port hole doors, and the large drum has a fluted surface to aid drying. The water container and both in-drum and lower fluff filters are easy to access and clean too.

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Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco – What is it like to use?

Multiple options, varying loads for different programmes, plus several manual modes do not make for an easy to understand appliance. This machine will take a while to get to grips with and frequent reference to the manual will be required. Otherwise, you’ll likely overload programmes or forget what various programmes or options are meant to do.

However, perseverance is the key here because once you do get to grips with the IDPE 845 A1 Eco it has plenty to offer. There are a total of 16 programmes and each handles a different maximum load, dries to a slightly different level, and takes varying amounts of time.

The legends on the fascia don’t provide any clue beyond the programme name, and the display offers limited information on the cycle – just estimated drying time and a few symbols.

Above the display sit four buttons that offer programme selection options. These include a high heat mode for faster (although less economical) drying, delay start, and a memo mode that stores your single favourite programme and options for easy access. There’s also a Fast Iron button that selects the final moisture level to ensure easy ironing of clothes. So confident is Indesit of the efficacy of this mode that its website suggests that “ironing becomes a game.” If only…

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The 5-litre water container can be found in the traditional position top-left, and slides out easily for emptying. If you’re unfamiliar with a condenser dryer then you might be surprised by how much water your wet washing actually holds – and it will likely require emptying every full-load cycle.

There are also two fluff filters to keep clean. One pulls out from the lip of the porthole inside the drum, while the condenser filter is located behind a panel at the bottom.

After a week or two, we began to get the hang of the IDPE 845 A1 Eco – but don’t expect “plug and play” perfect results from the outset. It’s complicated, but once you get the programmes, options and settings just right for your load, it works a treat.

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Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco – How noisy is it?

The IDPE 845 A1 Eco is far from an ultra-silent tumble dryer, but it did test a fair bit quieter than the very high 69dB noise level stated on the energy label. We measured around 63-64dB through most of the drying cycle, which is about average for a mid-priced condenser dryer. That’s around the sound level of normal chatting. So while it will certainly be heard in your kitchen, it won’t drown out your conversation.

Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco – What programs does it have?

Brace yourself, this could be a long section. Heading up the 16 main programs are two Eco modes that use the lowest temperature possible to get the drying job done. Eco Cottons and Eco Synthetics have a maximum load of 1kg of dry washing and take a fair while to complete, even though the load is very small. However, they use very little electricity at less than 0.4kWh.

The Standard Cotton programme accepts the maximum 8kg load, offers sensor drying and variable timing, and promises to dry to a cupboard-dry level. All the available options including High Heat, Fast Iron, Memo, Alarm and Delay Start are available on this programme. It’s also the programme on which the A+ energy rating is based.

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A Cotton Ready to Wear programme also offers the maximum 8kg load. This dries your clothes to the maximum possible dryness, so perhaps isn’t the best for easily creased clothes. Alternatively, there’s a full-load Cotton Hanger programme that dries your clothes to a level that allows them to finish off final drying on a hanger to minimise creasing and help ironing.

The other 11 programmes each offer a slightly different slant on load size, material choice, drying level and options available. There’s zero chance of you remembering many of those combinations, so the manual is likely to be an essential accessory by the side of the dryer.

The Xpress programme is for 1kg loads to be quick-dried in just 45 minutes; an Easy Mix program is aimed at mixed fabrics; and there are material-specific programmes for Delicates, Wool and Synthetics. You get the Special Shoes shoe-specific program and its accompanying rack, which is ideal for soggy sports shoes; a Fitness program for tracksuits and Lycra; and a Jeans option for denims. Got a puffer jacket? Then yes, there’s a programme for Down Jackets as well.
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The list is complete (hurrah!) with two “refresh” programmes. The Crease Relax cycle is a short 10-minute programme that relaxes garment fibres, making them easier to iron. The Freshen Up programme is designed to spruce and fluff up dry garments in just 20 minutes.

Being a heat-pump model and very energy efficient, don’t expect any of the main programmes to be quick. A full 8kg cottons load will take over four hours on normal heat mode (assuming it’s spun at 800-1,000rpm). Thankfully, the sensor technology does mean the time reduces with smaller loads – about an hour for 1kg of cottons, for example.

Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco – How well does it dry?

That rather depends on the programme, heat level or time you choose. It’s highly variable and that is where some confusion is going to lie before you get used to this machine.

However, after several runs with different loads and different programmes we can say that, overall, this Indesit airs slightly on the dry side of typical settings. For example, our Standard Cotton test loads retained just a few grams of moisture which we would rate as ‘very dry’ and certainly ready to wear or put away if you are not ironing the garments.  

The flip side of that level of dryness is that if you are looking at a big load of clothes that need ironing, it is perhaps a bit too dry and creases tend to stick in there tenaciously. In that case, you can use the Fast Iron option which shortens up the cycle and leaves a little more moisture in the clothes for easier ironing.

The take home from the review is that somewhere in this Indesit’s expansive array of features, programmes and options you’ll find programs that fit your requirements.

After extensive trial and error, Jackie perhaps summarised the Indesit’s overall drying performance best as “nicely dry”. Not sure that will catch on as common drying level terminology, but “pretty good” is what we’re getting at.

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Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco – How much will it cost to run?

Not a fraction of what your 10-year-old traditional condenser tumble dryer would have cost to run, that’s for sure. The heat-pump technology is very well implemented and, unless you opt for high heat or some of the more obscure programmes, the energy efficiency results are very good indeed.

We tried several loads and programmes, with the Standard Cottons being the most efficient overall for larger loads spun in our 1,200 spin speed machine before drying. This ranged from a 1kg (dry weight) load using 0.54kWh and taking just over an hour, to a 5kg load using 0.98kWh and taking just over 3 hours.

Your results will vary depending on load, previous spin speed of your washing machine and the programme and options you choose, of course. However, if you used this machine 150 times per year at 100 full loads (80% or 6.4kg to replicate real world use) and 50 small loads from 1-3kg, in the Standard Cotton program, it would cost you around £40 per year in electricity to run.

That certainly lives up to its A+ energy efficiency rating and would halve the running costs of an old traditional tumble dryer.

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Should I buy the Indesit IDPE 845 A1 Eco?

The IDPE 845 A1 Eco is an accomplished and well-featured tumble dryer, combining heat-pump energy efficiency with a cornucopia of programmes and options.

That wealth of programmes, each with its own maximum load, drying level and available options, means this isn’t a “plug and play” dryer. Having the manual close to hand will be essential until you pin down the programmes and options that work for you every day. Yet make the effort, refer to the manual, and the IDPE 845 A1 Eco is a top performer and great value too.

Verdict

A modern, efficient tumble dryer with rather complex programmes and options, but it delivers solid drying performance at a good price.

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