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Ventless Dryer | Cost per Load Compared to Vented

Clothes dryers are one of the highest energy-consuming devices in the home. But not all dryers consume the same amount of electricity. Each dryer type has a unique composition and mode of operation.

There will be variations in brand and model, but ultimately, the type of dryer you use will determine how much electricity you spend on drying clothes.


It costs $0.14-0.16 to run one load in a ventless heat pump dryer and $0.37-0.56 in a ventless condenser dryer. It costs $0.13-0.20 to run the same load in a vented gas dryer and $0.34-0.45 in a vented electric dryer.

How Much Power Do Dryers Use?

The amount of energy your dryer consumes will be reflected in the dryer unit’s wattage. The wattage of a dryer determines how much electricity travels through a circuit per second, so the higher the wattage, the more power is consumed. 

Here is a table showing the average wattage of the different dryer types. 

Dryer Watt
Ventless Heat pump800
Vented Gas*1800
Ventless Condenser3000
Vented Electric3000
*Gas dryers still require electricity to function. The gas is only used to heat the air. The control panel, fan motor, drum motor, light, etc., are powered by electricity.

Why Heat Pump Dryers Use Less Electricity

Heat pump dryers are the most energy-efficient dryers on the market, making them a great fit for people keen on energy saving. In fact, they’ve been known to consume 40- 50% less electricity than conventional electric dryers. 

Samsung 4.0 Cu Ft Capacity Small Space Heat Pump Dryer with Sensor Dry, 12 Preset Machine Cycles, 40 Minute Express Drying, DV22N6800HW/A2, White

Their lower energy consumption is owing to the unique heat pump technology that the dryer adopts. Unlike regular dryers, which use a heating element to dry clothes, heat pump dryers use a refrigerant contained within coils to heat the air that is used to dry clothes.

The entire process of heating the air consumes minimal electricity. There are still motors, lights, and control panels that need to be run, but the actual heating process consumes far less energy than a heating element would. The other side of this is that these dryers are not capable of running at such high temperatures, so drying times are longer.

Average Drying Time of Different Dryers

The table below presents the average drying time of the different dryers for an identical load of washing. 

DryerAverage dying time per load
Vented Gas30 to 45 minutes
Vented Electric 45 minutes to 1 hour
Ventless Condenser50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes
Ventless Heat pump1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes

It’s important to highlight the factors that affect drying time apart from the amount of heat produced. 

  • The moisture content of the washing, i.e., how wet the clothes are when you put them in the dryer. The wetter they are, the longer they take to dry because air can only hold a certain amount of moisture before reaching saturation point. The air will have to be replaced or the water condensed out (depending on the type of dryer) before further drying can take place.
  • Load size. Larger loads take longer to dry because there is more moisture in the drum overall and less space for airflow.
  • The thickness of the fabrics. Thicker fabrics tend to hold more water.
  • The temperature setting of the dryer. Naturally, the higher the temperature setting, the faster the clothes will dry.
factors that affect drying time apart from the amount of heat produced of a dryer

The Cost of Electricity Can Differ

The cost of electricity varies from one region to the next. So, how much you spend would depend on your locality. 

LocalityElectricity price per kWh ($)
New England0.249
Middle Atlantic0.171
East North Central 0.146
West North Central 0.124
South Atlantic0.137
East South Central0.131
West South Central0.139
Mountain0.133
Pacific0.190
US average 0.151
Information obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and reflects prices as of April 2022.

The price of electricity in a region is usually determined by a variety of factors:

  • Energy source and cost of producing electricity. 
  • Financing and operating cost of power plants.
  • Transmission and distribution costs.
  • Weather conditions
  • State electricity regulation and legislation.
  • Energy market structure, i.e., is the market regulated or deregulated? If the market is deregulated, it allows for competition between energy providers. 
cost of electricity of different states and countries

Cost to Dry a Load of Washing

Taking all these factors into consideration (unit wattage, drying time, and cost of electricity, let’s look at the cost of drying a load of washing.

Below is a table showing the average cost per load of the different dryer types. The calculations are based on the average drying time, wattage, and the US average cost of electricity discussed in previous sections of this article. 

DryerkWhCost to dry 1 load of washing ($)
Ventless Heat pump0.9-1.070.14-0.16
Vented Gas0.9-1.350.13-0.20
Vented Electric2.25-3.00.34-0.45
Ventless Condenser2.5-3.750.37-0.56

To calculate the cost, of running your dryer, here are the steps to follow: 

  1. Divide the wattage of your dryer by 60 minutes. E.g., a 2500-watt dryer would use 41.6 watts per minute.
  2. Time how long your dryer takes to dry a load of laundry.
  3. If your dryer takes over an hour to dry washings, convert the time to minutes and multiply the time by the wattage per minute. This helps you get the watts per load. 
  4. Convert to kilowatt by dividing the wattage by 1000. 
  5. Check for the cost of electricity in your locality and multiply the amount by the kilowatt per load. 

Monthly and Yearly Costs

The monthly or yearly cost of running your dryer would depend on how often you use the unit. For instance, even if they are using the same type of dryer, the monthly drying cost of a household that dries 6 loads of laundry weekly would definitely be more than that of a family that dries 3 loads of washing weekly. 

Using the information provided in previous sections of this article, I’ve put together a table showing the average energy cost of the different dryer types based on 4 loads a week.

DryerMonthly costYearly cost
Ventless Heat pump2.24-2.5626.88-30.72
Vented Gas2.21-3.427.04-41.6
Vented Electric5.78-7.6570.72-93.6
Ventless Condenser6.29-9.5276.96-116.48

Ventless Dryer Loads Are Typically Smaller

Even though it’s great to consider the cost per load of each dryer model, you should also take drum size into consideration. 

Although it’s possible to get a ventless dryer with a size similar to that of vented units, more often than not, ventless dryers come in smaller sizes. On average, a vented dryer can hold about 9-20 lbs (4-9 kg) of washings while a ventless dryer holds between 6.5-13 lbs (3-6 kg) of wet fabrics.  

As a result, it might take a ventless dryer two cycles to dry a load of washing that a vented unit can dry at once. 

So, if your reason for purchasing a ventless unit is improved energy savings, it would be best to go for a unit with a bigger drum size. 

Factors That Can Affect the Running Costs

Age of the Dryer

Like most devices, dryers can become less efficient as they age. This is especially true if the unit is poorly maintained or if it has undergone a series of repairs. 

As the dryer ages its drying speed might reduce as well. So, it would take longer to dry clothes. You might even have to run multiple cycles because the clothes come out damp after the first cycle. 

The prolonged drying time means increased electricity consumption. If you have a dryer like this, you might end up spending two times the amount you used to spend on a load of washings. 

Dryer Maintenance

Proper maintenance does not only increase the lifespan of your dryer but also reduces its running cost.

Ventless dryers are pretty easy to maintain. To prevent your dryer from using more electricity than it should, you have to ensure that the lint filters are emptied regularly. 

Ventless dryers feature a primary and a secondary lint trap. The primary lint trap, which you’d be familiar with, is usually emptied after every drying load and the secondary lint filter should be emptied at least once every month. 

If the lint trap isn’t emptied, it would get clogged and this would restrict airflow, forcing your dryer to work extra hard to dry your clothes. If this happens, your dryer would use up more electricity to dry laundry. 

Apart from repairs, it is recommended that yearly routine checks be carried out to ensure that the dryer components are functioning properly 

Does the Dryer Have a Light?

Some dryers come with additional features like lights. While having a light inside the dryer drum is convenient and user-friendly, it can add to the dryer’s operating cost. 

How much electricity the light consumes would depend on the type of light installed

However, the presence of lights is not likely to have a significant impact on the running cost of the dryer. So, if it’s a feature that you like to have in your dryer, then you should go for it. 

How Wet the Clothes Are

Dryers are primarily designed to wring moisture out of clothes. So, the wetter the clothes are, the longer it would take to dry them and vice versa. 

If you hand washed the clothes, you should leave them out to air dry for a while before putting them in the dryer. 

If your washer is functioning correctly, it shouldn’t leave your clothes soaking wet. The excess moisture could be because of a faulty washer, wrong washer setting, overloading, or poor electrical connection.

A good way to get rid of the excess moisture is to set your washer at a high spin setting. However, this setting might not be appropriate for delicate fabrics.  

factors that affect the running costs of a dryer

Sources

https://academic.oup.com/ijlct/article/16/2/294/5900659

https://www.whirlpool.ca/en_ca/blog/washers-and-dryers/how-many-kwh-does-a-dryer-use.html#

https://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state/

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/prices-and-factors-affecting-prices.php#

https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/data/averageenergyprices_selectedareas_table.htm#

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