Heat pump dryers are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. as consumers are cutting back on both energy use and reliance on fossil fuels.
What is a Heat Pump Dryer?
Compared to a conventional dryer, a heat pump dryer uses less energy and does not require a vent. Heat pump dryers work in a closed loop system as they continuously recycle the air that dries your clothes. While they have a tumbler just like a regular clothes dryer, they work quite differently.
With a conventional dryer, hot air is blown over the clothes and then released through a vent. In contrast, a heat pump dryer warms the air in the tumbler and condenses the moisture into water with evaporative cooling. The water then drains through a tube.
There are a few options when it comes to how the water is drained. You can have the drain hose directly discard the water into a nearby sink or drain pipe, drain the water tank manually, or install a device that uses the clothes washer drain to remove water.
One of the characteristics that folks most appreciate about heat pump dryers is that they don’t require ventilation, which means flexibility to place them anywhere in the home.
Pros of Heat Pump Dryers
Here are several benefits of switching to a heat pump dryer.
Ventless: Ventless dryers do offer a few advantages. There is no need to drill a hole into the wall; zero risk of lint building up in vents and becoming a fire hazard; ventless means they can go anywhere - making them particularly great for apartments; and stackable heat pump dryers save space.
Costs Less to Operate: Energy Star reports 28% more efficiency in heat pump dryers over conventional dryers, making them a great cost-saving option.
Better for the Environment: With less energy use, heat pump dryers are better for the environment. Remember, gas dryers rely on fossil fuels.
Better for Your Clothes: Heat pumps dryers run at lower heats than conventional, which helps clothes last longer.
Cons of Heat Pump Dryers
There are also a few drawbacks to heat pump dryers.
More Expensive Up Front: Heat pump dryers usually cost more than a conventional dryer, but fortunately they save enough on energy bills to make up for it.
Longer Drying Time: Since they run at lower heats, heat pump dryers take longer to dry a load of laundry. This means planning accordingly and adjusting expectations when doing your laundry. We strongly suggest pairing your heat pump dryer with an energy star rated front-load washer. These remove much more water during the spin cycle, providing maximum efficiency.
Maintenance: Heat pump dryers still produce lint. Without a vent, most lint is caught in filters that will need cleaning, just like a regular dryer. Some lint is also captured by the evaporator coils and condenser, so these also require periodic cleaning.
Less Capacity: Currently, most heat pump dryers are generally smaller than conventional dryers. Manufacturers are working to change this, so a wider range of larger ones will be available in the near future.
A heat pump dryer’s lower cost and energy savings, and ventless flexibility, makes it a great choice for homeowners. We encourage you to make the switch!
Please note that if you are considering a heat pump dryer as a replacement for your gas dryer, you will need a dedicated circuit added to your electrical panel. Our highly-trained electricians are ready to help!