Closeup on the open door of a heat pump dryer and some towels halfway-loaded

Heat pump dryers are famous for their convenience of not needing vents, but that doesn’t always mean they’re the better option. After all, energy efficiency is becoming a much more pressing matter. 

So if you’re worried about your dryer’s output or want to upgrade to a new type, it’s time to compare heat pumps to traditional vented dryers.

This article will explain why heat pump dryers are more energy-efficient than vented dryers, how their ROI stacks up against vented models, and how much money you’ll save in the long run.

Are Heat Pump Dryers More Energy-Efficient Than Vented?

Heat pump dryers are more energy-efficient than vented dryers because they use up to 50% less energy. They use coolant and evaporation to recycle the heat and store the moisture in a water tank or drain system. In addition, the reused heat reduces the heater’s energy requirements, saving money.

Why Heat Pump Dryers are More Energy-Efficient Than Vented

A heat pump dryer is much more energy-efficient than any vented dryer on the market. The lack of a vent means the dryer can reuse all the heat from the electricity or gas. You also don’t have to worry about dealing with nearly as much mold and mildew produced by vented dryers.

Here’s a breakdown of why heat pump dryers are the more energy-efficient way to go:

  • They use much less energy to heat your clothes – according to Beko, heat pump dryers use 50% less energy than vented dryers, meaning you won’t have to worry about having as much of a negative effect on your wallet or the environment. Eliminating the vent also prevents VOCs from getting outside.
  • Heat pump dryers reuse every bit of heat – vented dryers need vents to eliminate excess moisture. However, the humidity brings lots of heat, so the dryer needs to generate more heat. The humidity is drained with a heat pump dryer, and the heat stays in the appliance.
illustration of technology behind heat pump dryers in relation to conventional dryers
Courtesy of Stark’s Appliances
  • You can recycle the greywater produced by a heat pump dryer – many people use the water in the drain tank to water their gardens, lawn, trees, etc. Homeowners can also use it to wash their sidewalks, driveways, or porches. Reusing greywater is extremely energy-efficient because it reduces the energy required to purify more water.
  • Evaporative heating is widely known as an eco-friendly option – it’s an accelerated version of a natural process, which means you don’t have to generate upward force to release moisture. Instead, your clothes will gently dry, preventing them from wrinkling or getting damaged.
  • Heat pump dryers use a higher percentage of energy they consume than vented dryers – all dryers pull energy, but some need a much more constant flow. Heat pump dryers use almost all the power pulled, whether gas or electric. On the other hand, vented dryers waste nearly half of the energy demanded.

The initial cost is typically the biggest concern for people who want to upgrade to a heat pump dryer. After all, they’re a bit more expensive. So, if you’re in the market for a new dryer, you may be interested in the operation costs listed below.

Are Heat Pump Dryers Cheaper to Run Than Vented?

Heat pump dryers are cheaper to run than vented ones because they require much less energy and charge about half as much in operational costs. Ventless heat pump dryers often cost as little as 14 cents per load, whereas a vented dryer can cost up to 45 cents. As you can see, they’re much cheaper over the course of several months.

HVAC Buzz explains heat pump dryers usually don’t cost more than 16 cents per load, meaning you’ll spend a fraction of what you would if you had an electric vented dryer. That said, some vented dryer cost as little as 20 cents. So you’ll save a decent amount of money in either scenario.

Quick Note: Operational costs always depend on your local utility provider. Check with the company to know if gas or electricity is the cheapest option for your dryer. You could also inquire about local ventless dryer operational costs versus vented dryer operational costs. This would give you a better idea of which model offers the best return on your investment.

Do Heat Pump Dryers Cost More Than Vented Dryers?

Heat pump dryers cost more than vented dryers because they’re more energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and user-friendly. However, they’re almost always the better choice, so they cost a bit more. Nevertheless, you’ll get an improved return on your investment that often makes the upgrade more than worth it.

Trusted Reviews claims heat pump dryers are the most expensive type. They often cost two to five times more than vented dryers. However, vented dryers consume far too much energy. Furthermore, they waste a large portion of their energy demand, making them some of the worst dryers for the environment.

Inside the tumble drum of vented vs. condenser vs. heat pump dryers. The drum is metal and contains a white article of clothing.

Most people who get heat pump dryers do so for a long-term financial boost. Thus, they should be seen as an investment that offers plenty of perks for your home and bank account. Although they cost the most upfront, they provide better returns on investment than any dryer system you’ll come across.

Does a Heat Pump Offer a Better ROI?

Heat pumps offer a better return on investment because you save much money on operation costs. While they might be a bit more expensive upfront, you can’t deny their reduced energy usage. Reusing the water in the water tank is another way you can save money by watering your lawn and garden.

Let’s look at each of these reasons in more detail.

  • Reduced operating costs – perhaps the best reason heat pump dryers offer a great ROI is their lowered energy costs. You don’t have to worry about spending almost half a dollar per load. You’ll save plenty of money throughout the year, especially if you run three or more loads of laundry per week.
  • Recyclable grey water – as mentioned, reusing the water from the dryer’s water tank saves a lot of money on your water bill. You can use most of the water from the washing machine since it’s stuck in the clothes—remove the water tank and disperse it throughout your yard for rapid plant growth.
  • Better heating options – vented dryers typically only work with a few speeds or timer settings. On the other hand, heat pump dryers let you choose how gentle the cycle is, how long it takes, how much water is removed based on heat settings, and more. These options allow you to decide how much money you save from excess energy usage.
Closeup side angle view of the top front of two heat pump dryers side-by-side
  • Potential tax credits – most places offer energy efficiency rebates to encourage homeowners to switch to heat pumps, solar power, etc. These rebates come off your tax returns, drastically increasing the ROI. Always check with the dryer’s manufacturer to know if the appliance qualifies for energy rebates.
  • Reduced renovation costs – if you have a new house or you’re renovating the laundry room, you won’t need vents and windows if you have a heat pump dryer. All you need is an electrical outlet. Some models let you use drain hoses, but they don’t require too much remodeling that dips into your ROI.

Are you wondering if you’ll save enough money to make the upgrade worth it? Read on for a detailed breakdown of how much money you’ll save on a year’s worth of laundry to know if you should switch to a heat pump dryer.

How Much Money Will You Save Switching to a Heat Pump Dryer?

You can save hundreds of dollars switching from a vented dryer to a heat pump dryer. Most people notice between $50-$100 in annual savings. The amount of money you save annually depends on how many loads of laundry you run per month.

Let’s do a few quick calculations based on the average amount of laundry loads per year:

  • If you run the dryer 15 times per month, you can save up to $55.80 annually.
  • If you run the dryer 20 times per month, you can save up to $74.40 annually.
  • If you run the dryer 25 times per month, you can save up to $93.00 annually.

*These estimates are based on the previously mentioned utility costs of $0.14 per load for a heat pump dryer and 0.45 cents per load for a vented dryer.

Using these calculations, you can see how you can easily save $930 or more over the course of a decade. This means you’ll almost completely pay off your heat pump dryer when the dryer still has about half of its lifespan left. The rest of your savings stay in your pocket!

Final Thoughts

Heat pump dryers are excellent choices for anyone who wants to save money down the road. They use less energy than vented dryers and condenser dryers, not to mention their reduced maintenance requirements. They also don’t need vents, which means you can place them almost anywhere in your home.



  1. I’ve heard heat pump dryers take much longer to dry clothes than conventional dryers. Is there any truth to that?

    1. I also need to know this, my vented dryer was done with a cycle in around an hour at most. Most heat pump dryers I’m checking seem like they’d take 3 hours.

      And then considering this what impact would it have on the energy costs? If a vented one consumes double the energy but in less than half the time then does it balance out in terms of running costs?

  2. Hi Eric and Mim, thanks for your questions!

    Yes, it’s generally true that heat pump dryers take longer to dry clothes vs. conventional dryers. They take moisture out of the air instead of heating up the air to high heat (then venting it), and this process takes longer. The benefit of that is that it can help your clothes last longer due to not being so harsh on them.

    The exact time to dry also depends on your ambient room temperature, humidity, load size, and other variables.

    But even with the heat pump running for longer, you should still save 1/2 to 1/3 on energy bills because they are indeed that much more efficient. I hope this helps!

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