Heat pump dryers are not new, but are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. as folks try to cut back on both energy use and reliance on fossil fuels.
What Exactly is a Heat Pump Dryer?
A heat pump dryer works in a closed loop system as it continuously recycles the air that dries your clothes. Like a regular clothes dryer, it does have a tumbler, but it works quite differently.
A conventional dryer blows hot air over the clothes and then releases that air through a vent. A heat pump dryer, on the other hand, 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 couple different options for how you handle the water being drained. You can have the drain hose automatically discard the water into a nearby sink or drain pipe, manually drain the water tank or install a device that lets it use the clothes washer drain to remove water.
What so many love about heat pump dryers is that since they don’t need ventilation, they can be placed anywhere in the home, and many are stackable!
Pros of Heat Pump Dryers
Let’s take a look at more of the benefits of owning a heat pump dryer.
Costs Less to Operate: Heat pump dryers are more efficient than conventional dryers. In fact, Energy Star reports 28% more efficiency!
Better for the Environment: Due to using less energy, heat pump dryers are better for the environment. Gas dryers rely on fossil fuels.
Ventless: As mentioned above, a ventless dryer means a few different advantages. One, there’s no need to add a hole in the wall; two, no risk of lint building up in vents and becoming a fire hazard; three, ventless means they can go anywhere - making them particularly great for apartments; four, many are stackable, making them a space-saving option.
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 a few drawbacks to owning a heat pump dryer.
More Expensive Up Front: Heat pump dryers often have a higher upfront cost, but they do save enough on energy bills to make up for it.
Longer Drying Time: Due to running at lower heats, heat pump dryers take longer to dry a load of laundry. This means planning accordingly and adjusting expectations. We do suggest pairing your heat pump dryer with an energy star front-load washer. Those remove much more water during the spin cycle, providing maximum efficiency.
Maintenance: Just because there is no vent doesn't mean there is no lint. Most of it is caught in filters that will need cleaning, just like a regular dryer. Some lint is also captured by the evaporator coils and condenser, and those will also require periodic cleaning.
Less Capacity: Right now, most heat pump dryers are smaller than conventional dryers. Manufacturers are working to change this, so a greater selection of larger ones are on the horizon.
Overall, with a heat pump dryer’s lower cost and energy savings, and being ventless, we think it’s a great choice for homeowners.
If you are considering one as a replacement for your gas dryer, you will need a dedicated circuit added to your electrical panel. Our highly-skilled electricians are ready to help!
If interested in learning more, check out this helpful video.