What is a condenser clothes dryer?

There are lots of considerations you need to make before choosing which clothes dryer to purchase – not the least of them being which type to invest in. You may not have known that dryers come in so many varieties:

  • Electric vented models,
  • Condenser dryers,
  • Gas powered dryers,
  • Heat pump dryers, and
  • Washer / dryer combos.

We’re going to explain how the condenser model works, as well as some of the pros and cons of this type of dryer. We’ll also explain heat pump dryers – as they operate using similar machinery.

How does a condenser dryer operate?

Your stock standard vented clothes dryer pulls in air, heats it up, and injects it into the tumbler. This air moves around the moving clothes, which eventually dries them out. However, this also means the air becomes moist, and so it gets sucked out through the vent and expelled from the machine. This is why your laundry room can become muggy when your dryer is running.

A condenser dryer works a little differently. It cycles hot air through clothes, similar to a vented model. Moisture-laden air is then extracted and passed through a heat exchanger – a device that transfers heat from one place to another. Here, it ‘recondenses’ the water, and stores it elsewhere. The now dry air is reheated and then passed through the tumbler again. The water extracted from the machine can be fed through a hose into a sink, or into a container for later disposal.

How do heat pump clothes dryers work?

A heat pump clothes dryer operates similarly to a condenser dryer. The heat pump extracts the heat from the air generated in the recondensing process. This means more efficient operation, where heat is more effectively channelled. Unfortunately, it also means these machines will usually cost more than standard condenser models. The question is: Are they worth the money?

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of a condenser dryer?

In all honestly, there aren’t many differences between a condenser dryer and a standard vented model. Here are some we found:

  • They tend to be heavier, and therefore cannot be wall mounted.
  • They don’t require ventilation – making them ideal for those living where space is premium.
  • They don’t vent hot air, but can get hot when operating.
  • They can be more expensive than vented models.

Whatever clothes dryer model you decide is right for your household, you’ll need to look out for a brand that delivers in all the right ways – such as energy efficiency and value for money. Our clothes dryer customer satisfaction ratings can show you which brands make the cut.

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