CDA logo
Where to buy
Customer Care Line:

01949 862012

Trade Sales: 01949 862010
looking for help

CDA Buying Advice – Tumble Dryers: Condenser Vs Vented

What’s the difference between condenser and vented tumble dryers?

If you have ever wondered what the difference is between a condenser tumble dryer and a vented one, it simply refers to the way in which the moisture saturated air is extracted from the dryer during the cycle.

As moisture is taken out of the load, it has to then be removed from the machine. There are two ways to do this: either condense the water in the damp air down into a liquid that can be periodically emptied from the machine or vent the damp air directly out of the machine and outside of your home.

The type you choose will come down to the space allocated to a tumble dryer in your home. If you are installing the appliance close to an external wall, a vented dryer can be fitted which is maintenance free in terms of it automatically emptying the water extracted from your drying load. If this is not an option, a condenser dryer allows you to still reap the benefits of drying clothes inside even if you cannot permanently install a vent to the outside. The only maintenance required with a condenser dryer is that you will need to regularly check and empty the water reservoir, where the extracted dampness is collected.


If you have a condenser tumble dryer how does the ventilation work?

Even if you go for a condenser dryer, where there is no need to vent to the outside, your tumble dryer still needs a ready supply of cool air that will allow it to breathe. Without this, the water may condense on the machine itself or not extract it properly from the clothes, hindering the performance of your appliance. Whether you go for a condenser or a vented dryer, always ensure that you consider the location of your machine. A cool, dry place is perfect for optimum drying results.

How do you install a vented tumble dryer?

Installation of any electrical appliance must be completed by a qualified professional. When installing a vented tumble dryer, the long, flexible vent hose that is connected to the appliance permanently at one end must be vented to the outside of your property through a window, a door or preferably through a permanent connection. You must also consider the vent hose itself and ensure that there are no more than three right angled bends along the hose, it is not distorted in any way and that it is not shared with another appliance; all of these things could hinder the performance of your appliance.


What is a gas tumble dryer?

A gas tumble dryer uses gas to dry the clothes, instead of electricity. Mains gas is used to heat the laundry load and expel dampness. Electricity is still used to turn the drum, but this is only around 10% of what is used in an electric dryer.

It is advisable to obtain a quote from a Gas Safe engineer for installing a gas tumble dryer before purchasing. This would add significantly to the cost of buying one. Also, you are limited on install locations with this type of dryer as it must be vented through a door or window for safety.

What is a heat pump dryer?

A heat pump dryer uses, as described, a heat pump to warm the clothes in the dryer rather than using electricity. This type of technology is more energy efficient to run than an electric system but will cost more to buy at the outset. Heat pump dryers are also slightly slower to dry a load of clothes, when compared to electric tumble dryers.


Is a condenser dryer better than a vented one?

The main benefit of a condenser dryer is that it can be installed anywhere and doesn’t need to be located next to a door or window. The downside is that you will have to regularly empty the reservoir of extracted water.

A vented dryer is usually cheaper to buy than a condenser model, however it does need to be installed in a suitable location for venting.

You can get both integrated and freestanding versions of each type of appliance so you can decide on the style of kitchen you have and whether it is important to have your dryer installed behind a cabinet door or not.

Both styles dry efficiently, your decision will be made on cost and the convenience of installation in your home.


Could my tumble dryer set on fire?

There have recently been articles in the news about incidences of fires with certain models of tumble dryer. Rest assured that none of these models are manufactured by CDA.

The most important thing we can recommend to lower the risks associated with this type of home appliance is to regularly empty and clean your lint filter. Lint clogging up the filter will restrict the air flow and so it is always important to keep this part of your appliance well maintained.


More in the Laundry advice centre: