Heat pump and condenser dryers technically perform the same job – to dry your clothes after washing – and both extract moisture the same way using different technologies. Both designs also have their own sets of pros and cons. So, which is best?
Heat pump vs condenser dryer: how do they work?
A heat pump dryer is for all intents and purposes, a type of condenser clothes dryer. It uses a heat pump to heat the air and absorb moisture from your laundry. The warm damp air is then cooled to help remove the condensation and then reheated and recycled inside the unit to dry your fabrics.
On the other hand, condenser dryers extract moisture from wet clothes and drain it away as condensed water. The dry air is heated and used to dry the clothes. Most condenser dryers come with a drainage tube that automatically drains condensed water down the sink, but there are still models out there that have a water container that needs to be manually emptied periodically.
Heat pump vs condenser dryer: which performs best?
Condenser dryers are more fast-drying than heat pump dryers, as they generate more heat to dry the load – and because of that, they tend to emit a lot of moisture during operation and therefore should be placed in rooms with good ventilation. They’re typically heavy-duty performers which come with a larger wet weight capacity, ranging from 6kg to 10kg, and are quieter in operation. Ideal for families and large households.
However, heat pump dryers offer better protection for clothing and textiles, as they use a lower air temperature to do the job. They’re also more eco-friendly, as they recycle the hot air (while condenser models expel) they create back into the drum to keep the cycle going. Another benefit of heat pump dryers is that they don’t need to be vented, since they recycle hot air and don’t produce as much heat as condenser dryers. This means you can place these dryers practically anywhere in the house. This is an ideal choice if you live in an apartment.
Heat pump dryer pros
Condenser dryer pros
|More energy-efficient and eco-friendly||Larger capacity|
|Easier on fabrics||Quick-drying|
|No need for ducted venting||Ideal for apartment living|
|Heat pump dryer cons||
Condenser dryer cons
|More expensive upfront||Too heavy to be wall-mounted|
|Limited capacity||Need to be connected to a drain or the water tank emptied frequently|
|Not as quiet in operation as condenser dryers||Can damage garments overtime|
Heat pump vs condenser dryer: which is cheapest?
Heat pump dryers cost between $200 and $500 more to buy upfront than condenser models, but this will easily be offset by energy savings in the long term, as this is the most energy-efficient design of the two. Here’s a quick price comparison for a 7kg heat pump vs condenser dryer from brands found on Appliances Online.
Heat pump dryer prices
Condenser dryer prices
|Euromaid 7kg Heat Pump Dryer (HPD7KG): $1,039*||Esatto 7kg Condenser Dryer (ECD7): $599*|
|Beko 7kg Heat Pump Dryer (BDP700W): $1,149*||Altus 7kg Condenser Dryer (ADC70W): $599*|
|Teka 7kg Heat Pump Dryer (THPD70): $1,499*||Beko 7kg Condenser Dryer (BDC710W): $949*|
|V-Zug AdoraDry V2000 Heat Pump Dryer (AT2TWHWR): $3,499*||Euromaid 7kg Condenser Dryer (CD7KG): $1,149*|
*Prices are taken from Appliances Online, correct as of May 2021.
Heat pump vs condenser dryer: which is more energy efficient?
Thanks to the reheating and recycling process of heat pump dryers, these are the most energy-efficient types of dryers on the market. Heat pump dryers use less than half the energy per load than condenser dryers. Condenser dryers typically consume about 3kWh per average load, while heat pump dryers will use roughly 1.5kWh per load.
Heat pump vs condenser dryer: which has more functions and features?
Heat pump and condenser dryers are pretty much tied in the way of functions and features. Both are well regarded for their smart drying and durable designs. Most heat pump and condenser dryer models on the market today will typically come with auto-sensing technology which automatically stops the drying cycle when your clothes are dry to prevent over drying and save on energy, and multiple drying settings to cater for different fabrics such as silk and wool. Other features to look out for include:
- Drum size: this will impact the functionality and efficiency of your dryer, so choose a large enough capacity to accommodate your household’s needs.
- Reverse tumbling: rotates the drum both ways and pauses in between, to keep your laundry separated and dry fabrics evenly.
- Dampener system: reduces noise operating levels.
- Fast-drying: speeds up the drying process without putting strain on your clothes.
Heat pump vs condenser dryer: which is best?
If your priorities are fast action and a large capacity to get as much drying done as possible with each load – which is often the case for families and large households – then a condenser dryer may be best suited to your needs. On the other hand, if reducing your carbon emissions and saving on energy in the long term is more important to you, then a heat pump dryer is an ideal choice, that is if you’re prepared to pay a little more upfront. When shopping for a new dryer, it’s also important to consider the additional features, functions, design and cycles of each model, plus energy efficiency and stated performance.
Picture credits: Shablovskyistock/Shutterstock.com, Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock.com, Mdbildes/Shutterstock.com.