Frigidaire Affinity FASE7074NW Dryer Review
Micromanaging laundry on a budget.
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One of the manufacturer’s highest-end laundry units, the Frigidaire FASE7074NW (MSRP $1,049) is a stackable electric dryer with lots of fringe benefits. A huge list of cycles and features give you a lot of laundry care options, but our lab tests showed that performance was only so-so.
Design & Usability
Smooth and simple, with stainless trim.
As far as external appearances go, the FASE7074NW is a pretty classy dryer. The white finish may be rather basic, but the stainless door, bright blue indicator lights, and LCD timer screen add visual flair. The stainless interior is a plus, too. Unlike white drums, it doesn’t run the risk of flaking or rusting over time.
Frigidaire gets usability points for its unusually large lint trap. The soft screen is uncommonly soft to the touch, and is very easy to clean. The door, however, is set low for optimal use either when stacked with a matching washer or placed on a pedestal. While the door is perfectly easy to open or close, we had to bend down pretty far to reach the handle.
The control panel is probably the dryer's most impressive visual element. Everything is exceptionally readable, and all the buttons are clearly labeled. The only downside is that accessing specialty cycles isn’t as intuitive as we’d like—hiding cycles reduces clutter on the console, but doesn’t change the fact that they’re still hidden—though that’s a small hurdle easily overcome by spending just two minutes playing with the machine.
Performance & Features
Endless possibilities, limited efficacy
If nothing else, the fact that this Frigidaire boasts 15 different cycles is enough to garner it some attention. You’ve got all the basics, like Normal and Delicate, as well as some more specialized options such as Towels and Mixed Load. Six of the cycles are accessible by selecting the Specialty Cycles option on the control dial. This lets you use some really specialized options, such a cycle designed specifically for drying pet beds or stuffed toys.
Steam Refresh and Quick Dry don’t utilize the dryer’s sensor—which is standard for that type of cycle—but at the same time, you can’t adjust how long they run. Time Dry is the only option available which lets you manually control how long the dryer will run. Unfortunately, you can only set the dryer to one of five preset intervals ranging from 15 to 90 minutes.
Aside from those notable exceptions, this dryer is pretty customizable. Five temperature settings (including air dry) and five dryness levels (including damp dry) give you plenty of control over the final outcome of your laundry. Settings like Wrinkle Release and Delay Start, among others, are all pretty standard for a machine in this price range. One rather uncommon one is the Shrink Guard, which lowers the initial drying temperature of a sensor-based cycle. (Keep in mind that tumbling has a larger impact on shrinkage than temperature.) What’s more, the steam hookup lets you utilize both a generic Add Steam feature, as well as a specific Anti Static option. While this machine may lack a separate sanitize cycle, it does sport a high-heat Allergy setting.
Unfortunately, for all of its customizable variations, the basic performance of this dryer was only mediocre. Workhorse cycles like Normal and Delicate got our test loads completely dry, but ran noticeably warmer than ideal. Specialized cycles, like Quick Dry and Heavy Duty, just couldn’t get our clothes dry enough to be wearable. While some of this can be corrected by playing with temperature settings and dryness levels, it’s important to note that the default performance leaves a bit to be desired.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Bounty on a Budget
A cheaper—and fairly sound—alternative to high-end machines.
The price on the Frigidaire Affinity FASE7074NW is actually quite accessible for what it offers. The 15 cycles and oodles of extra functions are enough to make even the most jaded techie drool at the prospect of doing laundry. Sure, the performance could have been a bit more nuanced in favor of gentle and effective drying, but in the end, it almost always got the job done.
For really effective drying, you only have to spend $50 more on the Electrolux EIED50LIW (MSRP $1,099). If you’re looking for a more competent machine that can also match the Frigidaire’s impressive cycle list and feature array, however, you’re going to have to spend a substantial amount more on something like the Electrolux EIMED60LSS (MSRP $1,399). For a machine with such an impressive amount of versatility, this Frigidaire (and its price) is hard to match—especially when you consider that sales bring it down to about $850.
By the Numbers
While the Frigidaire Affinity FASE7074NW (MSRP $1,049) turned up the heat most with its broad range of cycles and features, the drying performance was only lukewarm. The Frigidaire did wind up producing perfectly dry clothes more often than not, but at the expense of higher-than-ideal temperatures that may prematurely wear on some fabrics.
Normal & Delicate
Bringing the heat. Too much heat…
Our workhorse test cycles—Normal and Delicates—both produced perfectly dry clothes, but ran about 15ºF warmer than we would want to see. Normal cycles averaged one hour even, which is fine, but peak temperatures were as high as 152.7ºF. Ideally, this cycle would top out at about 145ºF or less; fragile fabrics should be saved for another cycle…
Like Delicates, for instance! This cycle averaged a length of 55 minutes—much shorter than the average hour and a half—and heated up to a balmy 138.3ºF. We’d prefer temperatures at that level on the Normal cycle; really delicate clothing may require you to manually adjust some settings on the Frigidaire before you can get optimally gentle performance.
Quick Dry & Bulky
Lackluster all around.
Just because a cycle is labeled a certain way doesn’t mean it’ll actually do a good job drying those items. Take the Frigidaire’s Quick Dry cycle, for instance: just 25 minutes, with peak temperatures of 131.6ºF. Sounds great, but in the end our test load still retained 25 percent of the added moisture. That may not sound like much, but only 75 percent dry is essentially unwearable.
Despite the lengthy cycle list, this Frigidaire didn’t have a specific setting for bulky items. As such, we opted to use the Heavy Duty cycle, our go-to alternative. After 54 minutes and getting up to 143.4ºF, our test comforter came out 74 percent dry. While it’s still too wet to be usable, that’s more or less on par with most other dryers.