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Hisense DHGA901NL Review

A simple and effective heat-pump tumble dryer, the Hisense DHGA901NL offers an efficient way to dry your clothes.

Verdict

Low running costs, good capacity and a decent asking price make the Hisense DHGA901NL a solid and efficient tumble dryer that's kind to your clothes. There are a few oddities about the controls around the Extra Dry setting – but, otherwise, clearly labelled programmes and options make this an easy to use tumble dryer.

Pros

  • Simple to use (for the most part)
  • Dries with care
  • Low running costs

Cons

  • Water tank fiddly to empty
  • Extra dry modes not clear

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £399.99
  • 9kg drying capacity
  • 600 x 850 x 625mm
  • 4.95-litre tank/optional hose
  • A++ energy efficiency
  • Bedding, ION refresh, Down Wear, Shirts, Wool drying modes

Hisense may be largely eschewing headline-grabbing features such as smart apps on its products, but it focuses instead on building reliable, quality products that get all the basics right. Take the Hisense DHGA901NL tumble dryer, for example. This 9kg model offers simple controls, a decent array of programmes, quiet operation and good running costs.

Hisense DHGA901NL design and features – Straightforward and easy to use

  • Large porthole makes it easy to load
  • Simple dial selection to pick a programme
  • Slightly confusing Extra Dry settings

The Hisense DHGA901NL doesn’t stray too far from other tumble dryers in the design stakes. There’s a large porthole at the front that opens up 180 degrees to get washing in. There’s plenty of space in the drum, even for larger items such as bedding, and it will happily take up to 9kg of wet washing.

As a heat-pump condenser tumble dryer, expelled water is sent into the 4.95-litre tank that pulls out of the front; its located where the detergent tray would usually be in a washing machine. It’s easy to remove, but fiddly to empty: turning it upside and pulling out the spout, I had to slosh the water backwards and forwards to get everything out.

HiSense DHGA901NL water tank

There are two filters in this tumble dryer. The main filter sits in the door, pulling up and out. At the end of each cycle, you’ll need to clean this out and remove any fibres caught on it.

HiSense DHGA901NL filter

There’s also a secondary filter for the heat pump, accessed through the door at the bottom. This has to be cleaned at least every five cycles. There are warning lights to indicate when it’s time to empty both the tank and to clean the filters.

Programme selection is via the dial on the front. Hisense does things a little differently from the competition, with the main programmes also setting how dry the washing will be: Storage (cupboard dry), Standard (dry) and Iron (slightly damp, so that you can iron more easily). Other manufacturers tend to let you set the dryness level for the programme you’ve selected.

HiSense DHGA901NL programme dial

If you want your clothes dryer, there’s an Extra Dry button, which offers three settings. It’s a little confusing: will the maximum level really get your clothes extra, extra, extra dry?

Specialist programmes are there for different types of item including Wool, Shirts and Bedding. Each one uses a customised set of options – say, using lower heat for wool items, while bedding gets its own drum rotation pattern to prevent tangling.

Finally, there’s an ION Refresh programme, which uses IONs to give your clothes a refresh, reducing odours. I prefer a steam option, of the type available with the LG Styler.

There’s an Anti-Crease option that keeps the drum moving from time to time, to avoid clothes crumpling if you don’t remove them straight away. There’s also a Start Delay option so that you can have a cycle finish at a time that’s more convenient for you. If you’re running the tumble dryer with few items in it, there’s a Half Load button, which cuts drying times.

HiSense DHGA901NL timer

Hisense DHGA901NL performance – Not the fastest, but running costs are low

  • Heat Pump technology keeps running costs down
  • Not the fastest tumble dryer
  • Quiet

As the HiSense DHGA901NL uses a Heat Pump, it isn’t particularly fast. Opting for Cupboard Dry can take up to 3hrs 55mins, although the time estimate starts will lower if clothes are drying faster. What you lose in speed, you gain in efficiency; this is an A++ rated appliance.

Selecting the Cupboard Dry option, I found that the tumble dryer used 0.56kWh of power, which is very competitive. At the end of the cycle, there’s always a bit of loss of material along with water – but my clothes had lost 0.02kg, which means that from wet, the tumble dryer hand removed 102% of water and material.

HiSense DHGA901NL dirty filter

That’s hugely impressive, and somewhere between 104% and 110% is normal – showing that the HiSense DHGA901NL is gentle on clothes. Opting for the maximum Extra Dry setting, the Hisense’s energy use jumped to 0.65kWh, but the clothes didn’t feel any dryer: here they lost 104% of water and fibres.

To work out costs across a level playing field, I use the energy label to work out the average cost per tumble drying load, which here is 25p. Tumble dryers are more efficient when run at full capacity, so I then work out running costs based on full loads.

In the UK, the average is 160 loads per year, which works out at 960kg of drying (assuming high use of 6kg per load), 720kg (medium use of 4.5kg loads) and 480kg (low use of 3kg loads).

Using the Hisense DHGA901NL to dry full loads, it would manage 106.67 loads for high, 80 loads for medium and 53.33 loads for low. That amounts to annual running costs of £27.20 (high), £20.40 (medium) and £13.60 (low).

If you buy a larger machine and use it to full capacity, such as the 10kg Hoover H-Dry 500, you can get slightly cheaper running costs because you’d be running fewer loads; but the cost per cycle would be higher.

Hisense DHGA901NL conclusion

Well priced and simple to use, the Hisense DHGA901NL offers low running costs and proved to be gentle on clothes. It’s a touch fiddly to empty and the Extra Dry controls don’t make a huge amount of sense. Plus, you miss out on the smart features included on more expensive tumble dryers, such as the Hoover H-Dry 500.

However, the 9kg capacity strikes a good balance between normal use and the ability to tackle larger items – and let’s be honest, you may not even want smart features. For more options, check out my guide to the best tumble dryers.

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