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Vented Vs. Ventless Dryers

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If you've purchased laundry machines recently or are doing research on the prospective options, you've probably encountered a variety of new technology being included. While many technological leaps have occurred in these appliances, most washers and dryers utilize conventional methods of accomplishing their tasks. Regardless of current trends, many people are opting for more modern, energy efficient alternatives. One such example is the advent of dryers without traditional ventilation systems. Ventless dryers are becoming increasingly popular for the various benefits they provide. In this article we will identify the different types of ventless dryers and the contrast between them and vented models.

ventless vs vented differences

Vented Vs. Ventless - What's the Difference?

Vented Dryers

The process by which conventional vented dryers dry your clothes is relatively straight-forward. These dryers draw in room temperature air which is then heated to effectively dry your things. The byproduct of this process is exhaust, comprised of evaporated moisture, that requires proper ventilation. This is generally accomplished by having a duct and ventilation that sends exhaust outside of your home. While this method works adequately, there are situations where these dryers are not ideal. These dryers typically use more energy than their ventless counterparts. Seeing as these models draw air from your home, if the air has been heated or cooled by an air conditioner or radiator, your dryer will have to treat this air - an energy intensive process. This type of dryer is most common but may not be viable or allowed in certain residences.

vented dryers
  • Lowest upfront cost option.
  • Dries clothing and belongings the quickest.
  • Generally has the largest capacity.
  • Requires proper ventilation setup.
  • Energy costs are higher over time.
  • Not an option in some living situations.
Featured Vented dryer models

Ventless Dryers

Condenser Dryers

Currently, there are two types of ventless dryers available on the market. The first are known as condenser dryers. Similar to vented dryers, condenser dryers draw air from the room in which they sit and the air is then heated. However, condenser dryers do not contain an outdoor ventilation mechanism. These dryers feature a "heat exchanger" that warms the ambient air which is then used to dry and absorb moisture. This air then loops back through the condenser where it's cooled to remove moisture. It is then reheated and sent back to the drum to repeat the process until drying is complete. The evaporated water is collected in a tray or pan that is emptied by the owner after the process is complete. While outside ventilation is not a requirement for these dryers, they do require ample airflow to properly function.

Condenser diagram
  • No ventilation setup required.
  • Energy costs lower over time than vented models.
  • Easy to install.
  • More expensive than vented dryers upfront.
  • Water tank requires emptying or connection to hose.
  • Not an option in some living situations.
Featured Condenser models

Heat Pump Dryers

A heat pump dryer draws air from its surroundings like its counterparts but uses a different method to complete the drying process. After drawing air, it is sent through a heat pump where the cold side condenses the vapor into a drain pipe or tank and the hot side reheats the remaining air for further use. This process is similar to that of the condenser dryers with a few noticeable differences. Firstly, heat pump dryers don't create hot air or moisture in the room which makes them ideal for small apartments or houses. Additionally, these models use less than half the energy per load that a condenser or vented dryer requires. While these dryers are often the most expensive of the three options, the energy savings over time may help to recoup any upfront cost differences.

heat pump dryers
  • Don't require ventilation setup.
  • Don't create hot air or moisture in surrounding room.
  • Most energy efficient option.
  • Most expensive option upfront.
  • Takes longer than vented models to dry clothes.
  • Generally, a smaller capacity than vented models.
featured heat pump dryer models

If you're in the market for a new dryer, there are certainly no shortage of options. Size constraints and ventilation options should be the first questions that are addressed when starting research. When considering price points, it is important to be mindful of upfront costs versus energy costs over time. Additionally, if the speed at which your clothes dry is top priority for you, it is best to research which models emphasize efficiency over pure drying power. Finally, there are a litany of features and options that vary between your favorite brands. Here at Appliances Connection we offer a vast collection of premium dryers of all types with several ways to narrow your search. Be sure to explore the other articles on laundry machines and other appliances in our Learning Center!

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