Condenser vs vented dryer

Condenser Dryer vs Vented Dryer: Which is best?

Not everyone has an outdoor space to dry their clothes, so choosing a dryer is the next best option, but where do you start to look when you want to buy? Two popular models of dryers are condenser dryers and vented dryers. While both these dryers have some great benefits and features, one may be the better choice for you. Read our full guide on vented vs condenser dryers to see which kind might be the right choice for you.

What’s the difference between a condenser dryer and a vented dryer?

Vented dryers remove moisture through a ducting vent fitted to an external wall or window,  typically coming with a long hose that vents the hot air outside the house. Condenser tumble dryers extract moisture from your clothes and store it in a removable water tank or reservoir fitted within the dryer itself. Some models will require you to empty the water tank manually when it’s full, while others will have a hose that drains the water automatically. 

Condenser dryer pros and cons

ficher and paykel condenser dryer

Condenser dryers present a number of pros and cons regardless of the fact that they’re more convenient and can be placed anywhere in the home without needing ventilation. The pros and cons include:


  • Offer more drying settings
  • Gentle on clothes and fabrics
  • Can be placed anywhere in the home


  • Take longer to dry your clothes
  • More expensive to buy and run
  • Less energy efficient
  • Can get hot while operating 

Vented dryer pros and cons

electrolux vented dryer

Vented dryers do need to be placed in a very specific spot given they need ventilation, but they do offer a number of benefits as well as some drawbacks: 


  • Cheaper to buy and run
  • More energy efficient
  • Dry your clothes quicker
  • Simpler to use and repair


  • Need to be installed in a space with good ventilation
  • Can create lint and excess moisture in the room
  • Offer limited technology settings

Which type of dryer is more energy efficient?

Vented dryers are slightly more energy efficient as they can dry your clothes quicker than condenser dryers by venting excess moisture straight outside, as opposed to condensing it into a water reservoir. Condenser dryers consume more energy as they tend to take more time to dry clothes. The energy consumed vs drying time ratio between the two dryer types isn’t a huge margin of difference. Heat pump clothes dryers are the most energy-efficient dryers and typically have higher efficiency ratings.

Is it cheaper to run a condenser or vented dryer? See what you could expect to pay on your energy bill for both types of dryers in Canstar Blue’s running cost analysis.

How much does each dryer cost?

When buying a dryer in general, you can expect to spend $300 at an absolute minimum. Different dryers will offer different settings and features to suit your needs and budget so you can spend up to a few thousand dollars for some models. 

How much do condenser dryers cost?

For condenser dryers, you can expect to spend between $600 and $1500 depending on the brand and model. Brands like Esatto, Electrolux and Beko all sell middle-of-the-range condenser dryers that won’t break the bank.  

How much do vented dryers cost?

For a vented dryer you can expect to spend from $400 to $900 for smaller models from some brands. They are a slightly cheaper option for dryers and you can find models from brands like Fisher & Paykel, Beko and Esatto for more entry-level appliances. 

young woman using the dryer

Which dryer has more functions?

Condenser dryers overall have more features than vented dryers. They will often come with additional settings like auto-sensing to prevent over-drying and to save on energy. Some other features to consider when purchasing a dryer are: 

  • Reverse tumbling: rotates the drum both ways and pauses in between to keep your laundry separated and dry fabrics evenly
  • Anti-wrinkle: anti-crease technology to reduce wrinkles in your clothes while drying
  • Delay start: allows you to choose when your drying cycle starts and finishes
  • Fast-drying: speeds up the drying process without putting strain on your clothes

Should I buy a condenser or vented dryer?

If you’re looking for a dryer that’s flexible and comes with all the bells and whistles in terms of design and features, then a condenser dryer is for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful model that dries your clothes quickly and that’s simple to use and low maintenance, then a vented dryer is ideal. Compare dryers to see which kind is the best choice for your home and your budget. 

Compare Clothes Dryers

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