Ventless dryers have actually been around for decades, and still present a wonderful solution for those who live in small spaces, want more flexibility, or are looking for a more energy-efficient alternative. With heat pump dryers, the appliance will not require a heating element since the heat is generated inside the actual dryer itself (by compressing Freon gas).
This complex energy-efficient heat exchange system helps to conserve, and reuse the same air, hence why this has been a go-to option for generations in the U.S. and Europe. Heat pump dryers are the perfect way to rid your home of the wasted heat, and humidity coming from your laundry, and recycle wastewater, and heated/cooled air.
To go into further details on the mechanics of a heat pump dryer, as well as their multiple benefits, we have gathered the following information.
What is a Heat Pump Dryer?
Heat pump dryers are a type of (ventless) condenser dryer that provides top-tier efficiency by recycling the heat used with each load, while extracting the moisture, and reusing the hot air for future cycles.
The heat will dry the clothes in the drum before the hot air is filtered for lint, and then cooled down in an evaporator.
Heat collected from the evaporation system is then transferred into the heat pump, reusing the energy to warm up the cool, dry air before sending it back into the drum.
At this point, you shouldn’t find it surprising that ventless dryers (in general) are much more efficient than traditional dryers.
The Pros and Cons of a Heat Pump Dryer
The pros for heat pump dryers include:
- More efficient
- More convenient
- Gentler on your clothes
- Cheaper to run.
Due to the dryers reheating and recycling process, they are just about as energy-efficient as it gets. On average, you will be saving yourself a lot of money because you’re using about half the energy of a vented electric dryer. And because their drying air temperature is considerably lower than conventional dryers, the process will be much easier on your clothes.
Also, since all ventless dryers carry more flexibility as to their location, you can avoid attempting to cram everything into a small laundry room the way you would with a traditional dryer. Most heat pump dryers also feature multiple sensors to detect moisture, so that your clothes are treated with more consistency, and care throughout the entire process.
The cons for heat pump dryers include:
- More expensive (upfront)
- Worse performance
- Smaller size/capacity
Since heat pump dryers use a heat exchange (similar to a refrigerator/AC unit), so the item will need a compressor, gas, and more knick-knacks which will drive up the price. With there being a lower volume of units sold, as well as a higher cost. You can expect to pay nearly double for a traditional dryer versus a heat pump dryer.
Also, heat pump dryers do not get as hot as traditional dryers, and so it will likely take longer for each load to actually get dry. This on top of the diligent cleaning out of filters, traditional dryers can provide a much more powerful (and effective) dry, without the need to constantly maintain the appliance.
Furthermore, most heat pump dryers are only available in compact sizes, and have a much smaller capacity, generating substantially less heat. While this dryer’s size and efficiency may allow you to save some money, it will also mean that you can expect each load to take much longer than it would for a vented dryer.
Are Heat Pump Dryers Worth the Money?
Heat pump dryers provide exceptional versatility, convenience, and efficiency, however, is the expensive cost upfront worth it? Well, this will depend on a variety of factors like how often do you do laundry? How many people use the unit? How much open space do you have? What’s your budget? These are just some of the questions that you will need to ask yourself in order to make this decision.
Since heat pump dryers cost more money but are less powerful, and smaller in size. Many people are likely to simply opt for the more affordable vented alternative. However, what many people don’t realize is that the extra money you spend on the appliance upfront, you are almost guaranteed to make back with the amount of money you’ll save on the energy bill.
Now, this isn’t to say that ventless dryers are for everyone. In fact, you may be the sort of person that can hardly find the time to do laundry, and so it would make no sense to invest in a more expensive ventless dryer. Though, for the average person, a heat pump dryer is an exceptional alternative to a standard vented option.
All In all, heat pump dryers come with a multitude of benefits, as well as it’s a fair share of less desirable features. Though, for those willing to make the initial investment, you can find tremendous rewards by purchasing such an appliance. Even compared to other ventless options like condenser dryers, heat pump dryers take the cake in terms of convenience, versatility, and efficiency.
At the end of the day, much of your decision will come down to personal preference. But hopefully, we have equipped you with enough knowledge in our heat pump dryer pros and cons list to make an informed decision.
Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.