A homeowner adjust the water line on his tumble dryer

So, you’re considering purchasing a new tumble dryer and wondering whether a heat pump dryer is the best option.

With so many different dryers on the market, you might ask what sets a heat pump dryer apart from vented and condenser dryers. 

You might also wonder if these dryers need a water connection.

This article will answer that question and explain how a heat pump dryer works and why they are such an excellent choice for your home.

We’ll also review some benefits of owning a heat pump dryer.

So let’s get started!

Does a Heat Pump Tumble Dryer Need a Water Connection?

Heat pump dryers do not need a water connection as they work by recycling the hot air used to dry the clothes. This system is much more efficient than traditional tumble dryers as they use less energy.

How Heat Pump Dryers Work

A heat pump dryer works by recycling the hot air used to dry your clothes. This process uses less energy—resulting in less wear and tear on your clothes.

The heat pump uses hot air in a closed loop system to extract moisture from your clothing. After the air passes through the cycle, the warm air passes through:

  1. A condenser
  2. The drying chamber
  3. The auxiliary cooler
  4. The evaporator

Once the warm air reaches the evaporator coil, it removes the moisture. The dryer then reuses the warm air to continue drying your clothing. 

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

Unlike condenser and vented dryers, the beauty of the heat pump technology is that you don’t need to vent the hot air from the machine.

Recycling warm air instead of expelling it means the dryer does not have to use energy to reheat fresh, cooler air. 

Like a condenser dryer, the heat pump system stores water in a reservoir. The moisture extracted by the evaporator channels into a catchment area that you empty manually.

Alternatively, you may use a drain hose to eliminate the fuss of emptying the reservoir.

Benefits of Heat Pump Dryers

There are many benefits of heat pump dryers, including:

  • Energy efficiency – heat pump dryers are up to 50% more energy efficient than traditional tumble dryers.
  • Cost savings – heat pump technology can save you money on your energy bills.
  • Less wear and tear – these dryers cause less wear and tear on your clothes.
  • Environmentally friendliness
  • Low carbon footprint — The energy efficiency of heat pump dryers translates into a reduced carbon footprint. By using less electricity, these dryers contribute less to the emission of greenhouse gasses.
  • Avoidance of harmful chemicals — Unlike some conventional dryers that use chemical-based fabric softeners or fragrances, heat pump dryers rely solely on heat and air circulation to dry clothes.
    This eliminates the potential release of harmful chemicals into the environment, promoting indoor air quality and reducing pollution.

The Drawbacks of Heat Pump Dryers

There are a few disadvantages of heat pump dryers, including:

  • Higher initial cost – heat pump dryers can be more expensive than traditional tumble dryers.
  • They require regular maintenance heat pump models require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them running efficiently.
A worker in white T-shirt and blue dungarees carrying out maintenance on a condenser or a heat pump dryer.
Maintenance costs are important to consider but often are not taken into account by people buying a new dryer.
  • It can take longer to dry clothes – heat pump models can take longer to dry clothes than traditional tumble dryers.

How Heat Pump Dryers Differ From Traditional Dryers

Just to give the competition a fair shake, let’s look at other types of dryers on the market and their contradistinctive.

  • Traditional tumble dryers – conventional tumble dryers are the market’s most common type of dryer. They work by drawing in air from the room, heating it, and circulating it through the clothes. The hot air extracts moisture from the clothes and vents the hot air outside.
    However, tumble dryers are not as energy efficient as heat pump dryers and can cause wear and tear on your clothes.
  • Gas dryers – gas units work similarly to traditional tumble dryers but use gas instead of electricity to heat the air.
    Gas dryers are more energy efficient than conventional tumble dryers but can be more expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Condenser dryers – condenser dryers draw in air from the room, heat it, and circulate it through the clothes.
    The hot air extracts moisture from the clothes and condenses it into water. This water then collects in a tank you need to empty after each use.
  • Vented dryers – these dryers work similarly to the condenser dryer. Still, instead of condensing the moisture into water, these dryers recycle the warm air and reheat it in the condenser while it is still warm, then vent the hot air outside.

Choosing the Right Heat Pump Dryer for Your Home

Now that you know all about heat pump dryers, how they work, and their benefits and drawbacks, you can decide if one is right for you.

A heat pump dryer is your best bet if you’re looking for an energy-efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly tumble dryer.

When choosing a heat pump dryer for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind, including:


When considering a dryer for your home, size is an essential factor.

A heat pump dryer can be an excellent option for a family, as they are available in both full-size and compact models.

However, heat pump dryers with larger load capacities take up more space—so you need to consider how much space you have at your disposal. 


a women looking inside a washer dryer unit stainless steel tub looking frustrated at the clothes inside

Another critical factor to consider when choosing a model is capacity.

Most units have a load capacity of 15-20 lbs (7-9 kg), but some larger models have a load capacity of up to 26 lbs (12 kg). Larger capacity dryers suit those with families or high laundry volume. 

Energy Efficiency

When choosing a heat pump dryer, it’s essential to consider energy efficiency.

Heat pump dryers are more energy efficient than traditional tumble dryers but can still vary in energy efficiency. The most energy-efficient models are usually the larger models with a capacity of 20 lbs (9 kg) or more.


Of course, price is also an essential factor when choosing a heat pump dryer.

They can be more expensive to purchase than traditional tumble dryers, but they will save you money in the long run on your energy bills.

Considering these factors will help you choose the model that is the best fit for your home and your needs.

Final Thoughts

A heat pump dryer is a perfect option if you’re looking for an energy-efficient means to dry your clothing.

Despite a few drawbacks, such as a higher initial cost and the need for regular maintenance, they are still an excellent option for those looking to save money on their energy bills.

When choosing a heat pump dryer, be sure to take into consideration size, capacity, energy efficiency, and price. With so many options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect dryer for you.

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