Two Heat Pump Dryers on a platform against a wall in a room of a home

Heat pump dryers have become popular in several European countries over the past decade and are gaining ground worldwide. 

You decided to buy a heat pump tumble dryer and install it inside your home. As you’re washing your clothes, you wonder if this new appliance will heat your laundry area. 

So, will it?

This article will explore how heat pump dryers work, whether they require vents, and the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

But first, let’s sort out your question regarding whether these dryers also heat the space around them.

Does a Heat Pump Dryer Heat the Room, Too?

Heat pump dryers do not heat the room. Instead, they have a closed system that circulates the air and reuses it to dry clothes without releasing most of it back into the room. As a result, the dryer can release minimal hot air when you open the door.

How a Heat Pump Dryer Operates

Heat pump dryers pass the hot air over your clothes, and the condensed water from the clothes is collected in an internal tank. Unlike other dryers, you have to drain the water manually.

This type of dryer’s highest operating temperature can reach 122ºF (50ºC) compared to other dryers that run from 158-167ºF (70-75ºC).

Unlike condenser dryers, they use a closed-loop system with a refrigerant called tetrafluoroethane (R134A) to get the hot air inside. 

illustration of technology behind heat pump dryers in relation to conventional dryers
Courtesy of Stark’s Appliances

The hot air is then sent to a compressor to heat up even more. The air that circulated through the compressor is returned to the dryer, and the process repeats itself. This process also makes heat pump dryers energy-efficient.

Air Around the Dryer

Since the hot air in the heat pump tumble dryer is reused, the device will not release any hot air into the room where it is installed. However, the air around the dryer may be warmer due to the heat produced while running the device.

The dryer may release some heat and moisture as soon as its door is opened, but this is minimal. To ensure it does not release more heat and humidity than expected, you must have your dryer correctly installed.

If the room in which your dryer is installed has poor ventilation, the room’s temperature may increase, especially when using the dryer. In such cases, you should open the windows and doors.

Does It Require a Vent? 

Unlike vented dryers, a vent is not required in heat pump dryers since they recycle the hot air to dry your clothes, and the water collected is stored in an internal tank. Vents are installed in other tumble dryers to remove excess heat produced during their operation to prevent fires.

However, you must drain the water collected in the internal tank before using your dryer again. You may also choose to use a drain hose that usually comes included with the dryer to drain the water into a nearby sink.

Closeup on the internal storage tank in a heat pump dryer
Courtesy of HVAC-Buzz

Can the Dryer Do Reverse Tumbling? 

Heat pump tumble dryers cannot reverse their rotation direction as they only use a single motor for running the fan and drum. Reversing the rotation of the dryer’s drum also reverses the fan, which increases the risk of damaging the dryer.

Reverse tumbling may also affect the drying of several fabrics, such as towels, curtains, and sheets, which may end up not being thoroughly dried. It can also allow cold air inside the dryer, which won’t help to dry your wet clothes.

To solve this issue, manufacturers have programmed heat pump dryers to allow reverse tumbling during the drying cycle for only up to 90 seconds. 

Pros and Cons of Using Heat Pump Tumble Dryers

Here is a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of using heat pump tumble dryers.


  • Good for health and hygiene: New research has found that leaving your laundry out to dry inside your home increases the moisture levels in the air, which is risky for those with asthma, hay fever, and allergies.
  • No need to rely on the weather to dry your laundry: These appliances can be installed inside your home and be used indoors, so you don’t have to wait for the sun to appear before doing your laundry.
  • Can be placed anywhere: Heat pump tumble dryers do not require plumbing work as the water collected from the dryer is stored in its internal tank. They also do not need vents, making them easier to install anywhere
A homeowner inspects a piece of clothing as she removes it from the heat pump dryer in her kitchen
  • Reduce your energy bill: Since they are energy-efficient due to their reheating process, heat pump dryers will help reduce your electricity expenses and save money for other purposes.
  • Environmentally-friendly: As heat pump dryers use less energy, they also help reduce carbon emissions. The water collected from the dryer’s internal tank can be recycled or used for watering your plants.
  • Gentle on clothes: These dryers are less abrasive on your clothes and fabrics than traditional dryers as they use a lower temperature to heat the air, and the hot air is reused. Using a lower temperature to dry wet clothes increases their lifespan and reduces the chances of shrinking.


  • Expensive: Buying a heat pump tumble dryer has a steep price tag compared to traditional dryers.
  • Longer time to dry clothes: They work in lower temperatures than condenser or vented dryers. It will take almost double the usual time before your clothes get dry.
  • You must regularly drain the water container: Since they do not require a vent, you must manually drain the water from its internal tank before using it again.

Final Thoughts

A heat pump dryer is designed for recycling the hot air it uses, avoiding the possibility of increasing the temperature of the room where it is installed. However, the air around the machine may be warmer when used, and the dryer may release some hot air once its door is opened. 

However, the amount of air released should be negligible to affect the room’s temperature.

Ensure that the dryer is installed correctly. Additionally, since it does not have a vent, you must drain the water collected from drying before using it again.


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