A heat pump dryer in the corner of an eggshell blue-walled room

If considering replacing your tumble dryer, you should mull over superseding it with a heat pump dryer. These dryers are environmentally friendly, cost less than a traditional machine, and can save you a fortune on energy bills. 

Although, you may also wonder if a heat pump dryer needs an outside vent.

Keep reading to learn the answer to this question, how a tumble dryer works, and the benefits you can enjoy when selecting this clothes dryer. 

Does a Heat Pump Dryer Need To Be Vented?

A heat pump dryer does not require a vent, unlike a traditional clothes dryer that needs a vent outdoors. You can install this dryer anywhere in your home since it does not need to have a permanent vent to the outside. Instead, it uses recycled warm air to dry the laundry. 

A heat pump dryer is an efficient way to dry laundry. Combined with the technology that powers this dryer, the fact that you can install a heat pump model anywhere is a compelling reason to choose this dryer type. 

Why Heat Pump Dryers Don’t Need Vents

The heat pump dryer passes hot air through the appliance’s drum. As the air circulates inside the drum, it absorbs water. When the air moves out of it, it travels through a condenser that collects the water, and the hot air returns to the drum to continue drying your clothes. This dryer is incredibly efficient with its gentle, effective drying action. 

All the excess moisture funnels into an inbuilt reservoir which you may change manually—or install a hose to pump the water into a drain or sink. 

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

Benefits of a Heat Pump Dryer 

One of this dryer type’s unique characteristics is its air reuse. A traditional dryer pulls in new air for each cycle, while the heat pump dryer recycles the air that dries the clothes. 

Some benefits of heat pump dryers include:

  • Energy-efficiency the new technology and the recycled air give you energy savings not found in a traditional clothes dryer. 
  • Environmental friendliness – the heat pump dryer needs significantly less energy to dry a load of clothes than a traditional dryer. 
  • A lower heat setting to dry the clothes the speed of the recycled air returning to the drum means your laundry dries faster at a lower rate, adding a layer of protection for your clothes. 
  • It can be installed anywhere in a home, even in a closet you need to install a traditional dryer in an area where it can vent to the outdoors, and you can’t move it from that location. 
  • Less expensive to run due to the recycled warm air – the energy savings can be up to fifty percent more than a traditional dryer. 
  • The moisture pulled from the clothing collects in a drawer of the unit – you can use this clean water to water your plants or for another reuse. 

Where To Install a Heat Pump Dryer

A heat pump dryer can work anywhere in your home. This machine dries your clothes safely without the high heat, making it ideal for homes with limited space for clothes dryers. You can install a heat pump dryer in any home area, including a closet, bathroom, or garage. 

A homeowner inspects a piece of clothing as she removes it from the heat pump dryer in her kitchen

This dryer type is perfect for smaller homes or a home where you prefer to use an environmentally-friendly drying method. 

Homes that are perfect for a heat pump unit include:

  • Townhomes
  • Condominiums
  • Apartments
  • Any home where you want to enjoy energy savings and a portable clothes dryer

A heat pump dryer is too heavy to mount on the wall, but it can fit in small spaces other dryers cannot. 

Heat Pump Dryers vs. Traditional Clothes Dryers 

A heat pump model works in a specific way that is quite different from a traditional clothes dryer. When you compare the two appliances, you can see the characteristics of each one. 

A heat pump dryer works this way to dry your laundry: 

  1. You place the clothes into it and turn on the cycle.
  2. The refrigerant in the heat pump pulls in the warm air to the unit.
  3. The heat pump then forces the warm air through a compressor, making the air hotter. As the clothes turn over in the hot air pumped into the dryer, the dryer air absorbs water from the clothing.
  4. The condenser removes the water from the air and drains it into a storage basin
  5. The dry air moves back through the compressor to heat again and returns to the drum to pull more water from the laundry
  6. This cycle continues until the clothes are dry. 
  7. When the laundry is dry, you empty the extracted water reservoir. 
illustration of technology behind heat pump dryers in relation to conventional dryers
Courtesy of Stark’s Appliances

A traditional tumble dryer works differently and poses certain disadvantages, including:

  1. Once the clothes are in the dryer, warm or hot air flows into the drum as it turns. The warm air removes the moisture from the clothes as they spin.
  2. The humidity has to escape, and this happens through the vent.
  3. The dryer vents warm air outdoors via a pipe that goes through the wall to the outside. 
  4. The vent must be metal since plastic can melt due to the hot air. 
  5. The vent must follow specific dimensions to comply with municipal building codes.
  6. It would be best to clean the dryer vent yearly to remove the lint that builds up, potentially causing a fire. 


A heat pump dryer gives you energy savings and convenient installation options, and the moisture sensor prevents overdrying your clothes. When you dry your clothes in one, they have less shrinkage and last longer due to better care and less abrasion. 

Since a heat pump dryer needs no outdoor vent, it can be an ideal addition to your home for convenient and safe clothes drying. In addition, using recycled air means you are helping the environment by consuming less energy and reusing collected water from the machine. 


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