Dryers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. Each type has a different way of functioning, whether it is vented or ventless or if it uses electricity or gas. The way that a dryer functions can impact how long it can last and, therefore, how long a warranty is offered.
Dryer lifetimes can span from 10 to 20 years depending on the brand and type of dryer. Despite this large range, most types of dryers have the exact same warranty period and type. Keeping up with maintenance can drastically lengthen your dryer’s lifespan, even beyond the warranty.
On average, ventless condenser dryers last 12 years, ventless heat pump dryers last 20 years, vented electric dryers last 10-13 years, and vented gas dryers last 13 years. Heat pump dryers run at lower heats, accounting for the long lifespan. Most vented and ventless dryers have a 1-year limited warranty.
Average Lifespan of Dryers
Below, I will provide you with the average lifespan of the main two types of ventless dryers and the main two types of vented dryers. I will also give you a list of the most important maintenance requirements, which are imperative to the dryer actually lasting as long as it should. Finally, we will look at why the average lifespans of ventless dryers and vented dryers differ because they do certainly differ.
On average, condenser dryers should last about 12 years.
While emptying the water container and lint filters seem like tedious tasks, especially because they are typically done after each cycle, condenser dryers are still less maintenance-heavy than vented models.
Heat Pump Dryer
A heat pump dryer has a lifespan of about 20 years.
- empty the water container
- empty the lint filter
Heat pump dryers are similarly low-maintenance compared to vented units.
Electric Vented Dryer
An electric vented dryer is projected to last 10-13 years.
- empty the lint filter
- clean the ducts
So, electric dryers still only have two major maintenance requirements, but cleaning the ducts out is a much bigger job than emptying a water container!
Gas Vented Dryer
A gas vented dryer has a very similar projected lifespan to an electric vented dryer. This is because they run fairly similarly.
Gas vented dryers last about 13 years on average.
- empty the lint filter
- clean the ducts
Reasons for Different Average Lifespans
Condenser Dryers Vs Vented Dryers
Vented dryers last 10-13 years on average, which is similar to condenser dryers.
The reason for the similarity is that, while condenser dyers have no vents, they are still powered by heating elements and run at higher temperatures compared to the more advanced heat pump dryer. High and regular heat exposure is worn on any mechanism, so this limits the lifespan of condenser and vented dryers.
Condenser dryers that last longer than vented dryers likely do so as a result of the fact that there are fewer ways in which they can overheat. A clogged vent is one of the main reasons why dryers overheat. As condenser dryers are ventless, overheating is less likely and the lifespan may be longer.
To account for the fact that some condenser dryers last fewer years than vented dryers we need to look at the capacity of the dryers. Condenser dryers are smaller and hold less clothing at a time than their vented counterparts. This means that to dry one load of washing, you usually need to do two condenser dryer loads, while you would only need one for a vented dryer.
More use equates to more wear, but it is not a proportional relationship in this case, i.e., the lifespan is not halved as the number of loads doubles.
Heat Pump Dryers vs Vented Dryers
Heat pump dryers last much longer than any of the other dryers looked at in this article. This is because of their drying mechanism. They use heat pump technology, which does not involve any kind of heating element or gas-powered flame.
Instead, heat pump dryers use coolant, which is compressed and expands at various points in the mechanism. When compressed, the coolant becomes hot and it heats the air flowing over the pipes in which the coolant is contained. When allowed to expand, the coolant’s temperature decreases, and this is used to cool the air.
This method of heating the air does not reach temperatures nearly as high as the other dryers. Less heat means less wear. Yes, the washing takes longer to dry, but that’s often outweighed by the energy efficiency of these dryers.
Do Warranties Reflect Projected Lifespan?
Condenser Dryer Standard Warranty Period
Overall, it seems that, although a condenser dryer can last 12 years or more, the warranty period for most condenser dryers does not reflect this.
Each one I researched gave a limited one-year warranty for parts and labor. This included the brands GE, Electrolux, and LG.
One special warranty I came across was for an LG condenser dryer. They offered a one-year limited warranty for parts and labor but also offered a three-year warranty for the dryer drum and a ten-year warranty for the dual inverter, compressor, and inverter motor.
Heat Pump Dryer Standard Warranty Period
As with condenser dryers, heat pump dryers, although they last about 20 years on average, mostly only have one-year warranties. The warranties are limited and cover labor and parts, which is similar to the condenser dryer warranties.
This includes the brands Samsung, Whirlpool, and Summit.
Electric Vented Dryer Standard Warranty Period
The seemingly insufficient warranties are not exclusive to ventless dryers. Electric vented dryers’ warranties do not reflect the projected lifespan of the dryer either.
For each dryer I researched, they all had limited one-year warranties where parts and labor were covered.
The brands include GE, LG, and Samsung.
The LG electric vented dryer had an added warranty of ten years for the dryer drum.
Gas Vented Dryer Standard Warranty Period
Once again, the projected lifespan of the dryer made no difference in the warranty length for gas vented dryers.
For each dryer, the warranty period was one year and was, once again, limited and included parts and labor.
The brands I researched were Samsung, GE, and Whirlpool.
3 Main Reasons Ventless Dryers Fail Early
With such short warranty periods, you will need to do everything you can to maintain your dryer and get it to last to the full lifespan for which it is capable of functioning.
There are three main reasons why a dryer can fail before its time. Read through these carefully so that you don’t end up in a situation where you rue the short warranty period available for your dryer.
1. Faulty Manufacturing
Dryers are complex machines that have many moving parts that are put together intricately.
Thanks to technological advances, appliance assembly has become fairly cheap, fast, and accurate. Despite this, mistakes do happen and they can show themselves in your new dryer.
Faulty manufacturing can include missing parts, parts not assembled correctly, wiring not done correctly, and more.
Now, there is nothing you can do to control these failures. However, you will be glad to know that if your new dryer is a product of faulty manufacturing, it is likely that you will notice it within the first few cycles.
Faulty manufacturing will most likely affect the ability of the dryer to do its job well. You may notice that the dryer never turns on, won’t start a cycle, or your clothes aren’t dried properly.
Because faulty manufacturing is often discovered within the first few cycles of the dryer, it is very likely that your warranty will cover this since most of these dryers have one-year warranties.
As long as the warranty conditions are met, your dryer will be fixed and good as new with no cost to you.
2. Improper Maintenance
Ventless dryers require far less maintenance than vented dryers do since they do not require vent cleanings. Nevertheless, ventless and vented dryers both require maintenance that has to do with lint.
Both vented and ventless dryers have lint traps. These should be cleaned after each use of the dryer. If they are not cleaned, a fire may occur. A fire is a safety hazard and can also break your dryer prematurely.
Lint traps full of lint will also reduce the airflow in the dryer which can force the dryer to work harder. This will shorten the lifespan of the dryer.
Ventless dryers have the special issue of containing condensers. Lint can accumulate on condensers and reduce the efficiency and longevity of the dryer. It is recommended that the inside of your ventless dryer is cleaned out at least four times a year.
On the other hand, the lower temperature of heat pump dryers means that less lint is formed, so this means there is less to accumulate.
For vented dryers, lint accumulates at the lint trap as well as in the vents. The vents can accumulate a large amount of lint, which can lead to fires and decreased performance of your dryer. Both of these events can lead to the premature of your dryer.
It is recommended that your dryer vents are cleaned thoroughly at least once a year.
As with all appliances, the more you use your dryer, the more it will degrade over time.
If you use your dryer several times a week while the average user only uses it two times per week, your dryer is bound to break down sooner than the average user.
Premature breaking down of your dryer can also result from loads being too full.
Not only is it likely that your clothing won’t be fully dried, but a large dryer load can also restrict airflow through your dryer as well as lengthen the drying cycle considerably. Both of these scenarios require more work from the dryer which can lead to overheating and a shortened lifespan.
Clothes that are sopping wet can also damage your dryer.
When you put clothes in your dryer, they should be fairly damp but not dripping excessively. This excess water can damage the bearings on the dryer. This water can also leak and cause components of the dryer to rust and break.