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Heat Pump Dryers Pros and Cons

Heat pump dryers are energy-efficient, gentle on fabrics, long-lasting, and come with many features. They don’t need a vent, so they can be installed almost anywhere. They are expensive and slow to dry the clothes. If they aren’t connected to a drain hose, the water tank has to be emptied manually.

Very energy-efficient.Expensive.
No need to install vents.Take longer than other dryer models to dry clothes.
Dryer can be installed anywhere in the house.The water container must be manually emptied regularly.
Gentler on fabrics than traditional dryers.
Can be connected to a drain hose.
Modern design and features.

Pros of Heat Pump Dryers

Very Energy-Efficient

Heat pump dryers are the most energy-efficient dryer models out there. They reduce energy usage by 28%-50% compared to conventional electric and gas units

illustration of how heat pump recycles air

Unlike their vented counterparts, heat pump dryers do not expel heated air once it passes through the dryer drum. Instead, moisture is removed from the air through condensation within the machine, and the air is recycled back into the drum eliminating the need to continuously draw in conditioned air from the room.

This process is repeated throughout drying cycles, causing the HVAC system to work extra hard to bring the room to the desired temperature because conditioned air is continually being expelled and unconditioned air replacing it.

Like heat pump units, condenser dryers do not feature a vent. The major difference between them is their manner of operation. Heat pump dryers run at lower temperatures than condensers leading to greater energy savings.

This, combined with the fact that heat pump dryers create so little work for the HVAC system, is what makes them the dryer that will save you (and the planet) the most energy.

Doesn’t Have a Vent

One of the reasons homeowners are opposed to vented units is that they have very little flexibility in regard to the dryer’s location. Installing a conventional dryer involves creating a hole in the wall, and this is always best suited for people with dedicated laundry areas located near external walls.  

Heat pump dryers do not need to expel moist air outdoors. Instead, they adopt a special mechanism that involves cooling down the heated air in order to condense the moisture into water that is then transferred to a water collection tank or drained through a drain hose.

Since you do not have to install a vent, you’ll avoid the expenses and hassle that come with vent installation and maintenance. The absence of a vent makes the unit easier to install than traditional models.  

Vents can leave your home vulnerable to air leaks and pests. Heat pump dryers eliminate this risk. 

Blocked and damaged vents are also two major causes of dryer leaks. If you install a heat pump dryer, your dryer won’t suffer from vent-related issues.

They Are Convenient

When installing a heat pump dryer, you wouldn’t have to make permanent changes like drilling a hole through your wall to install a vent. 


Thus, heat pump dryers can be installed anywhere in the house. This is great for individuals who do not have a laundry room or people who aren’t sure of the best location for the dryer and would rather not make any permanent changes to their home. 

Heat pump dryers come in smaller sizes, so they are also ideal for people who live in tight apartments. 

They are also perfect for anyone who cannot or does not want to install a dryer that vents outdoors. For instance, individuals who wish to install their dryer in an enclosed space, like the master closet, or people who live in rentals and aren’t permitted to install a vent.  

If you do not have a laundry area, installing a vented dryer can negatively affect the aesthetics of the space. With heat pump units, you wouldn’t have to worry about that. 

Relatively Gentle on Clothes

Tumble dryers have a reputation for causing fabrics to shrink and wear a lot faster than they should. It has even been argued that tumble drying shrinks clothes twice as much as air drying.

However, some dryer models are a lot more dangerous to the health of your clothes than others. 

A heat pump dryer is one dryer model that does not cause as much damage to your fabric. It’s designed to run at a lower temperature. So, your clothes would be less exposed to high temperatures that cause damage to fabrics.

Can Be Connected to Drain Hose

Although heat pump dryers feature a water collection tank, with most models, you’re also given the option of connecting a drain hose to the dryer. This can empty into a convenient sink or it can be plumbed in and linked it to your laundry drain.

This allows you to forget about having to manually empty the water container and instead drain water from your appliance through the drain pipe.

Great Durability

The durability of a dryer unit would usually, to a large extent, depend on the brand and model of the dryer. 

However, heat pump dryers typically have a life span of 20 years, while the life expectancy of traditional dryers is, in general, somewhere between 10 and 13 years. 

The cost and life expectancy of heat pump dryers might not affect the length of their warranty as most brands use the same warranty for a range of products. 

Modern Design and Features

Over the years, there have been many improvements made to the appearance, features, and energy consumption of heat pump dryers. 

modern design

Most heat pump dryers feature an auto-sensing technology that detects moisture and automatically stops the cycle once the laundry is dry. This way, drying is gentler and more consistent. It also helps you save energy. 

One of the main complaints people used to have about heat pump dryers is that they were all compact and had a small load capacity. However, nowadays, there are brands that provide heat pump dryers with the capacity of a regular dryer. 

Some models also feature heaters that can help clothes dry faster. Furthermore, heat pump dryers also feature multiple drying settings to appeal to different fabric types. 

Cons of Heat Pump Dryers

High Price

The cost of purchasing a heat pump dryer is higher than that of traditional models. They are arguably the most expensive type of dryer out there.  

high price

The allure of heat pump dryers is their energy efficiency. This makes this type of dryer most ideal for large families or individuals who go through a lot of laundry monthly.

It is not a cost-effective option for people who do not do washing regularly or who prefer to air dry their clothes because the amount of money the dryer will save them throughout its life might not be worth their initial investment.

Additionally, heat pump dryers aren’t as common, or rather, as easily accessible as vented dryers. 

Take a Long Time to Dry Clothes

Heat pump dryers function at a lower temperature. Thus, they take longer than other dryer models to dry a load of laundry. 

Vented dryers typically take between 30 minutes to 45 minutes to dry an average laundry load. It would take a condenser dryer between 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes to dry the same laundry load.

A heat pump dryer, on the other hand, would require between 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes to dry the same load of laundry.

long time to dry clothes

Additionally, many heat pump dryers are smaller than traditional models. A smaller drum capacity means that you have to split your clothes into smaller loads. Therefore, the whole drying process will take up even more time.

The Water Container Must Be Emptied Regularly

Although heat pump dryers come with a drain hose, this feature is only useful if you have a drain area. If the dryer isn’t located close to a basin, sink, or tub, you would be unable to use the drain pipe. 

So, if you are unable to link the hose to a drain, you’d have to make do with the water tank. The water container is not automated, and the water inside has to be manually emptied regularly (preferably after one or two loads).

The good news is that there are many uses for this condensed water that could both help you save some money and have a lesser impact on the planet.


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