Heat Pump vs Condenser Dryers

Heat Pump vs Condenser Dryers

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If you are looking for a new clothes dryer one of the first decisions to make is whether you need a heat pump dryer or a condenser dryer. They both do the same job but have different designs and drying methods. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, this guide takes a closer look so you can choose the best clothes dryer for your needs.

How Do They Work?

Heat Pump Dryer

A heat pump dryer heats the air and absorbs the moisture from the clothes. The warm, damp air is cooled to remove the condensation and then it is reheated and recycled to dry the clothes. This method of recirculating the air makes these appliances very energy efficient. A heat pump generally uses a lower temperature which means a longer drying cycle but better protection for clothes.

Condenser Dryer

In condenser dryers, the air is heated and used to dry the clothes. The condensed water is collected and is usually automatically drained but some models have a water tank that needs to be manually emptied. A condenser dryer can be plugged in anywhere in the home but aren’t as energy efficient as other dryer options.

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Important Differences Between These Clothes Dryers


A condenser dryer does not need a vent to the outside but does need to be kept in a well-ventilated room. Similarly, a heat pump dryer can be placed anywhere in the house. It is generally advised to keep them out of garages as they need a minimum ambient temperature range to work properly. A vented dryer is more restrictive than these two dryer types as venting means the dryer needs to be placed near a window, door or vent for access to outdoors.

Drying Time

A condenser dryer is able to offer quicker clothes drying time as it uses more heat. If you need to dry large loads of laundry or you want your laundry to dry quickly then a condenser dryer is the best option for you. As a rough guideline, the most energy-efficient heat pump dryer will take an average of 2 hours 45 minutes to dry a full 8kg drum of laundry. A condenser dryer will take around 2 hours 15 minutes to dry the same amount of laundry. This is 30 minutes faster and is due to the high drying temperature used.

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Impact of Fabrics

A heat pump dryer is gentler on fabric as they use a lower air temperature. This means your clothes are kept looking their best for longer when you use a heat pump dryer for clothes rather than a condenser dryer.

Energy Efficiency

Heat pump dryers are the more energy-efficient option. They recycle the hot air rather than expel it. On average, heat pump dryers use around 50% less energy per load than other dryer technologies. If you save energy you will also save on cost in the longterm.

Purchasing Price

Condenser dryers are cheaper to buy than heat pump tumble dryers. However, they are more expensive to run due to energy use. If you purchase a condenser dryer you will get a good initial price and larger energy bills whereas a heat pump dryer is much more to buy initially but you will save on monthly bills. The purchasing price of heat pump dryers is reducing but they are still costly compared to condensers.

Running Costs

As heat pump dryers reheat air that is circulating in the machine it keeps the energy within the dryer. This helps to keep your energy costs low and ensures your monthly bills are kept to a minimum. A condenser dryer expels the air so costs more to run.

Functions and Features

Both types of dryer offer the same selection of features. They are both durable and offer multiple drying settings as well as auto-sensing technology. When you are choosing between clothing dryers consider the drum size and capacity, noise levels, fast-drying capabilities and whether the machine has features such as reverse tumbling to help keep your clothes separated and dry them evenly.

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Which is Best?

The best product for you will depend on how much laundry you are drying and how quickly it needs to be dried. Generally speaking, a condenser dryer is best suited to handling large loads of laundry quickly. So if your priority is getting lots of laundry dried quickly, for example, if you have a large family or live in a big household, a condenser dryer is ideal.

A heat pump dryer on the other hand is best for saving energy and reducing carbon emissions in the long term. The initial cost may also influence your decision but remember to factor in the running costs as paying slightly more upfront can save you money long term.

This article was written by Cara Holmes

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