Heat pump dryers are energy-efficient, gentle on fabrics, long-lasting, and come with many features. They don’t need a vent, so they can be installed almost anywhere. They are expensive and slow to dry the clothes. If they aren’t connected to a drain hose, the water tank has to be emptied manually.
|No need to install vents.||Take longer than other dryer models to dry clothes.|
|Dryer can be installed anywhere in the house.||The water container must be manually emptied regularly.|
|Gentler on fabrics than traditional dryers.||Fewer options and limited availability.|
|Can be connected to a drain hose.||Potential for mold growth|
|Modern design and features.|
Pros of Heat Pump Dryers
Very Energy-Efficient (Low Run Costs & Eco-Friendly)
Heat pump dryers are the most energy-efficient dryer models out there.
Electricity powers the heat pump of the dryers, but the air is heated by refrigerant enclosed in coils.
When the refrigerant passes through the narrow parts of the coil, the pressure increases and causes the temperature to increase as well. Air passing over these coils is heated.
When the refrigerant passes through the wider parts of the coil, the pressure and temperature decrease. When air from the drum is passed over these coils, it is cooled, water condenses out, and the air is heated again.
Powering a heat pump requires a lot less energy than powering an electric heating element.
Heat pump dryers reduce energy usage by 28%-50% compared to conventional electric units.
Gas dryers also do not use electricity to heat the air. However, comparing the gas energy consumption of gas dryers to the electrical energy consumption of heat pump dryers shows the latter to still be more efficient.
Lower electricity usage equates to monthly savings and also makes an impact on the amount of fossil fuels burned, making heat pump dryers the more eco-friendly option.
There are also secondary energy-saving benefits of heat pump dryers.
As the air from the drum is cooled, dried, and heated again until the program is completed, the dryer does not keep pulling in air from the surrounding environment.
This means that your HVAC system is not constantly having to condition new air as the previously conditioned air is used and expelled by the dryer, which is what happens with traditional electric and gas models.
Doesn’t Have a Vent
The cyclical use of what we can call one batch of air, and the ability of the machine to remove lint (filters) and water (condenser) from the air before it is released from the machine, means that a vent is unnecessary.
Venting a dryer involves making holes in walls and/or ceilings on the interior of the house and through the external walls or roof.
This is a hassle and the installation and maintenance of ductwork come with certain unavoidable expenses.
Blocked and damaged vents are also two major causes of dryer leaks. If you install a heat pump dryer, your dryer won’t suffer from vent-related issues.
In addition, making holes in your house introduces weakness that can lead to cracks or sagging. The holes are also points through which air and water can breach the house perimeter and ruin drywalling, wooden beams, paint, wallpaper, furniture, and more.
Ventless dryers like heat pump models are highly beneficial in this regard.
They Are Convenient
No one will argue that bringing an appliance home, plugging it in, and dusting off your hands after a job well done is much easier than having to run ducts through the innards of the house and cut holes in your walls, ceiling, and roof.
Thus, heat pump dryers lay claim to greater installation and setup convenience than their traditional counterparts.
Additionally, with a vented dryer, you are limited as to where you can install the dryer. Without access to an external wall or the roof, installing a traditional electric or gas dryer is very difficult or even impossible.
This flexibility is great for individuals who do not have a laundry room or people who aren’t sure of the best location for the dryer and would rather not make any permanent changes to their home.
Heat pump dryers come in smaller sizes, so they are also ideal for people who live in tight apartments.
They are also perfect for anyone who cannot or does not want to install a dryer that vents outdoors. For instance, individuals who wish to install their dryer in an enclosed space, like the master closet, or people who live in rentals and aren’t permitted to install a vent.
If you do not have a laundry area, installing a vented dryer can negatively affect the aesthetics of the space. With heat pump units, you wouldn’t have to worry about that.
Relatively Gentle on Clothes
Tumble dryers in general have a reputation for causing fabrics to shrink and wear a lot faster than they should.
However, some dryer models are a lot more dangerous to the health of your clothes than others.
The level of shrinkage is linked to the heat to which the fabrics are exposed. Gas dryers are known to operate at the highest temperatures. But electric dryers have drying temperatures only a few degrees lower.
A heat pump dryer has a much lower operating temperature because the heat generated and imparted by the refrigerant is incapable of reaching the temperatures generated and imparted by electric heating elements and gas-powered flames.
This makes heat pump dryers gentler on your clothing.
Can Be Connected to Drain Hose
The water condensing out of the air exiting the drum has to go somewhere. Typically, this is a water collection tank.
However, most models give you the option of connecting a drain hose to the dryer. This can empty into a convenient sink or it can be plumbed in and linked to your laundry drain.
This allows you to forget about having to manually empty the water container and instead drain water from your appliance through the drain pipe.
The greatest difference between heat pump dryers and other dryers is one that is linked to the durability of the appliances.
The method of heating and the fact that such great temperatures cannot be attained by a heat pump dryer means that the acceleration of wear and tear caused by the heat is lower in these ventless models.
This is clear by the projected lifespans of the different dryers. Heat pump dryers typically have a life span of 20 years, while the life expectancy of traditional dryers is, in general, somewhere between 10 and 13 years.
Modern Design and Features
Heat pumps are a fairly new technology and, in a way, it is more complicated than that of traditional electric and gas dryers.
As a result of this, heat pump dryers typically have modern designs and features.
Most heat pump dryers feature an auto-sensing technology that detects moisture and automatically stops the cycle once the laundry is dry. This way, drying is gentler and more consistent. It also helps you save energy.
One of the main complaints people used to have about heat pump dryers is that they were all compact and had a small load capacity. However, nowadays, there are brands that provide heat pump dryers with the capacity of a regular dryer.
Furthermore, heat pump dryers also feature multiple drying settings to appeal to different fabric types.
Cons of Heat Pump Dryers
Heat pump dryers cost more than traditional models. They are arguably the most expensive type of dryer out there.
The allure of heat pump dryers is their energy efficiency. However, the savings per cycle will not quickly compensate for the high initial price. This will take time.
Furthermore, it is not a cost-effective option for people who do not do washing regularly or who prefer to air dry their clothes because the amount of money the dryer will save them throughout its life might not be worth their initial investment at all.
Take a Long Time to Dry Clothes
While lower temperatures equate to lower energy consumption and less damage to clothing, they also mean that less moisture is removed from clothing per unit time.
In other words, they take longer than other dryer models to dry a load of laundry.
Vented dryers typically take between 30 and 45 minutes to dry an average laundry load.
It would take a condenser dryer (another type of ventless dryer) between and 60 and 75 minutes to dry the same laundry load.
A heat pump dryer, on the other hand, would require 80 minutes to 100 minutes to dry the same load of laundry.
Additionally, many heat pump dryers are smaller than traditional models (although comparative sized models are becoming more easily available).
A smaller drum capacity means that you have to split your clothes into smaller loads. Therefore, the whole drying process will take up even more time.
The Water Container Must Be Emptied Regularly
Although heat pump dryers come with a drain hose, this feature is only useful if you have a drain area. If the dryer isn’t located close to a basin, sink, or tub, you would be unable to use the drain pipe.
So, if you are unable to link the hose to a drain, you’d have to make do with the water tank. The water container is not automated, and the water inside has to be manually emptied regularly (preferably after one or two loads).
This can get tedious and even messy.
The good news is that there are many uses for this condensed water that could both help you save some money and have a lesser impact on the planet.
Fewer Options and Limited Accessibility
Particularly in the USA, where ventless dryers are a lot less popular than electric and gas dryers, you can encounter difficulty in finding heat pump dryers.
Furthermore, even if you were to find some available to you, the array would likely be limited in terms of size and feature variations.
Potential for Mold Growth
Standing moisture attracts mold, which, once it takes hold, spread quickly and is difficult to get rid of completely.
Vented dryers remove the moisture-laden air from the machine immediately whereas heat pump dryers condense and store the water within the machine.
Even when they are plumbed in, the water is still first condensed inside the machine. A small amount remaining after the rest is drained out is sufficient to support mold growth if there are spores present.
Regularly emptying the tank and assessing it for signs of mold growth is vital.