Residential dryers consume a lot of energy. Therefore, it is essential to consider an energy-efficient option to keep your utility bills low. The dryer features can significantly impact the amount of energy used in the home.
Thus, you have a choice between a dryer with exhaust and one without. We will explain the difference between vent vs. ventless dryers, including the pros and cons, to help you decide on the best option.
As the name suggests, a vented dryer requires an exhaust vent to be installed on the wall to direct the air out of the dryer.
The vent provides a path for the hot air from the dryer to be directed outside.
For this to be possible, you will need a laundry room in your home or a suitable location for your dryer. It should be near a window or an exterior wall in most cases.
Vent dryers are more economical and less expensive because they simply transfer moisture to the outside without circulating it in the drum.
Pros of a Vent Dryer
- Vent dryers are fast and can dry an average load of laundry within 45 minutes.
- Vent dryers wick moisture to the outside, promoting air circulation and preventing mold from forming on surfaces.
- They are cheaper than condenser models.
- Easy to use, as you do not need to drain the water from the dryer manually.
- Overall, modern dryers with venting are more energy-efficient than dryers without venting.
Cons of a Vent Dryer
- An exhaust dryer may not dry as much laundry as it can wash. So be prepared to handle multiple loads of laundry to dry your clothes properly.
- They may over-dry the laundry, which can damage the fabric.
- They are costly to clean because you have to disassemble the exhaust and vent.
- Dryers with vents require more maintenance than dryers without vents. This is important because lint can get caught in the vent system, leading to a fire hazard. In addition, lack of maintenance can cause the air to remain moist, increasing the risk of mold growth on surfaces.
When installing a dryer, pipes usually need to be attached to a vent duct to expel warm and humid air out of the house.
Unfortunately, finding a suitable location for the dryer vent can be difficult, especially if you live in an apartment, studio, basement, or mobile home that does not have an exterior wall to install a dryer vent.
And if you don’t have adequate ventilation, you need a unit that will not release moist air into the surrounding.
A ventless dryer offers endless opportunities for many households since it does not need installation. It also eliminates the need for a laundry room.
While a vented dryer draws in air, heats it, and releases it to the outside through a vent, a ventless dryer does not require a vent because its internal design is different.
Instead of expelling moist air, a ventless dryer draws in air and uses it repeatedly through a recirculation process. It then dries the excess moisture using an evaporator or heat exchange.
The excess water is discharged down the drain or can be reused.
In addition, ventless dryers have a combination of a washer and dryer. Further, the drum has a dual function in that it washes the laundry and then dries it. This eliminates the need for a washer and dryer, which saves space.
There are two types of ventless dryers, condensation dryers, and heat pumps.
A condensation dryer is equipped with a heater and heat exchanger that condenses the moist air to dry the clothes.
During a wash cycle, the airflow ring draws little air into the dryer and passes it over the condenser unit for heating.
The hot air is then forced into the drum, heating the wet laundry and allowing the moisture to evaporate.
Since the dryer has no vent, the air remains inside and is returned to the condenser for cooling. The process repeats until the clothes dry.
Heat Pump Dryer
The second model uses heat exchange and compression to condense the air through the evaporator-heat exchanger, which helps in saving energy.
The condenser recovers the heat for drying the laundry.
These dryers are more energy-efficient than vented and condenser models because they achieve similar results even at low temperatures.
Pros of a Ventless Dryer
- Due to its unique design, a ventless dryer is more convenient and can be placed anywhere in the house. Therefore, it is helpful if you live in a small space like an apartment.
- Unlike vented clothes dryers with long pipes that can make cleaning difficult, ventless models are easy to clean. To clean a ventless dryer, you must remove the condenser and clean it with a hose or powerful water pressure.
- Heat pump models are more energy-efficient than vented dryers.
- Ventless condenser dryers are gentle on clothes because they use less.
- They require less maintenance, at least once a month.
- Because of the washer and dryer combination, you’ll find that cleaning clothes are much easier since you don’t have to keep on tossing them. You can simply set the dryer and forget.
Cons of a Ventless Dryer
- The clothes are not warm and cozy.
- They are expensive, and the cost can run into the thousands.
- They have a smaller capacity, so they may not be suitable for larger families.
- Condenser dryers take longer to dry clothes, so more energy may be used. An average load of laundry can take up to 2 hours to dry, while heavy laundry items like blankets can take three hours.
Vent vs. ventless dryers, which one should you buy? Ventless dryers are small and may not suit those needing to process high amounts of laundry.
Still, their compactness makes them a good choice for people living alone or with smaller families. They will definitely save you a trip to the laundromat.
It all comes down to what you need. Heat pumps may be the best choice if environmental protection is on your mind. On the other hand, heat pump dryers are energy efficient and gentle on fabrics.
Whichever option you choose, your decision will depend on your preferences, usage, budget, space, and design.