Closeup side angle view of the top front of two condenser dryers side-by-side

An energy-efficient condenser clothes dryer is a suitable replacement for a traditional dryer when you need a new model. However, even energy-efficient dryers can still draw a substantial amount of power.

Condenser dryers are quite efficient, using only two-thirds the amount of a vented dryer.

Please keep reading to learn how this dryer works, ways to increase its efficiency even more, and how to find the best model for your laundry needs.

How Much Electricity Does a Condenser Dryer Use?

A condenser clothes dryer uses around 3,000 watts of electricity per hour. The equivalent cost to dry a load of clothes depends on the electricity rates in your area.

However, condenser dryers are efficient and consume less energy than a traditional, vented dryer. 

Condenser Dryer Energy Consumption

Most dryers use between 1,800-7,200 watts of electricity per hour of drying time.

For a more specific value, your dryer manual will tell you how much energy your machine uses.

The average electricity usage is around 3,000 watts, and utility companies convert watts to kilowatts for billing. 

If a condenser clothes dryer averages three kWh (kilowatts of electricity per hour), the energy consumption for that hour would be 3,000 watts. Therefore, your electricity costs $.15 per kilowatt; the cost would be $.45 to dry a load of laundry. 

The two main factors that determine the condenser dryer energy consumption include:

  • The number of cycles the dryer completes influences the energy consumed – the more cycles, the more power it uses. 
  • The drying time of a particular cycle determines energy usage – some condenser dryers have a setting for lightweight workout clothes and another for multiple towels. 

The Energy Star rating of the dryer is always a good way to check its energy efficiency. The higher the rating, the less energy the unit uses. 

The Energy Star rating is an increasing scale from 1-6. Most times, a six-star rating indicates exceptional efficiency.

However, the scale can sometimes go up to 10 for newer machines. 

A stylish, modern condenser dryer with a digital display and glass door.

This improvement is because, with technological advancements, newer models manage energy much more efficiently than their older counterparts.

How a Condenser Dryer Works

Conventional clothes dryers remove the moisture from damp clothing by extracting it from the air inside the dryer and sending it out of a vent pipe outdoors.

However, a condenser dryer works differently. 

The basic working principle between both is similar. Both machines use electricity and heat exchange to dry clothes. However, condenser dryers differ in how they handle the hot air afterward.

Here is how a condenser dryer uses a dehumidifying method on a closed loop:

  1. The machine blows air over a heated coil to produce warm air for drying. 
  2. The drum turns the clothing as heated air circulates. 
  3. The heated air extracts moisture from the clothing and deposits the water into a reservoir.
  4. The cooled air recycles to be heated again and returns to the drum for the same process to occur repeatedly.

In contrast to standard vented dryers which simply expel the majority of hot air produced in the process, condenser dryers keep the air.

This extra step reduces heat loss and energy consumption by recycling the warm air to dry the clothes.

A diagram displaying how a condenser dryer works
Courtesy of Reviewed

Since they keep the moisture stored rather than expelling it, condenser dryers are a much better option for small rooms as they cause much less humidity.

However, it’s also essential that the overall heat in the room will be roughly the same as with a vented dryer.

Ways To Maximize Condenser Dryer Efficiency

You can increase the efficiency of your condenser dryer to help it dry faster and cheaper.

All dryers use a lot of electricity, so incorporating habits that help reduce the drying time is beneficial.

Here are some tips for maximizing your condenser dryer’s efficiency, including:

  • Do not overload the condenser dryer – dryers are only built to hold up to a certain weight. Passing this limit significantly reduces efficiency by increasing the amount of work the dryer has to do. Rather than overloading the dryer, split the load into different stacks of full loads. Since fewer clothes require less energy and promote better airflow, it’s a much more efficient option.
  • Remove excess water by wringing out the washed clothes or running them through the spin cycle again. 
  • Clean the lint filters after each load to increase drying effectiveness – a clogged lint filter makes heat transfer much harder, and since this is how the dryer does its job, it has to work harder to dry your clothes. Unfortunately, a clogged filter can also cause dryer fires, so it’s vital to clean yours regularly. 
  • Straighten the clothes before placing them in the dryer – as items wash, they can tangle. When you put them in the dryer without untangling them, there will be large wet spots in the tangle. 
  • Wait to wash and dry a full load – drying small loads uses as much energy as a full load, so wait until you have a full load to wash and dry clothing. 
  • Buy the most energy-efficient model – Pay attention to the energy rating when buying a condenser dryer. According to the Energy Saving Trust, an A+++ dryer is much more energy-efficient. Refer to the table below for the different condenser dryers and their energy consumption rates.
  • Choose an ideal dryness level based on the clothes – You don’t need bed sheets to be 100% dry. When you select a dryness level, the cycle ends when the sensors sense that the clothes have dried to the selected level. This saves you energy.
  • Use tumble dryer balls – Using tumble dryer balls lowers the drying time by circulating warm air around the clothes. This dries the clothes faster, conserving more energy.
  • Service the dryer regularly – Just like any other machine, your condenser dryer will operate more efficiently when installed properly and well maintained. Servicing the dryer regularly will also allow you to identify any faults before they cause serious issues.
Dryer ModelEnergy Consumption Per Dry Cycle (kWh)Average Energy Consumption Per Year (kWh)Energy Efficiency Rating
Model A1.09175A+++
Model B1.47235A++
Model C1.93309A+
Model D3.51561B
Table 1: Condenser dryer models and their energy consumption. Source: Cool  Blue.

Features To Look For in a Condenser Clothes Dryer

As you investigate the condenser clothes dryer that will meet your needs, here are some crucial considerations to note, including:

  • Ensure your dryer is properly sized – measure where you plan to place the machine to ensure a good fit. 
  • An auto sensor on the condenser clothes dryer will stop the machine when the laundry is dry – since dryers naturally run on timers rather than clothes dryness, it can sometimes be inefficient. With an auto sensor, the machine stops once its job is done rather than when its timer goes off. Over time this can save you quite a bit in utility costs.
  • An easy-reach lint filter will ensure you can remove the lint after each load – if the lint filter is in an awkward place, you might be tempted to leave it alone, reducing the dryer efficiency.
A worker in white T-shirt and blue dungarees carrying out maintenance on a condenser or a heat pump dryer.
  • Having an electronic display is a convenience worth the investment – with a digital display, you can see how much time remains at a glance.

Choosing the Right Condenser Dryer Size

Like washing machines, you should select the condenser clothes dryer that most closely meets your needs.

For example, if you are single, you would not need the same size condenser dryer as a family of five. 

The drying results for a small load in a big drum will be less satisfactory than a small load in a smaller condenser dryer and will use more energy than necessary. 

This dryer type comes in two sizes:

  • A medium condenser dryer comes in a 7-9 kg size. This size is generally appropriate for up to four people.
  • The large condenser clothes dryer is 10 kg and can dry clothes for up to six people. The large dryer is the heaviest and needs the most space for proper operation.


A condenser dryer is a wise choice to reduce your energy footprint without sacrificing the convenience of clean, dry clothes.

Unfortunately, while it would be ideal if every person could hang their clothing outside to dry, this is not an option for many people.

A condenser dryer combines the benefits of having a clothes dryer that works well but also reduces your electricity bill.

In addition, since they work on a closed-loop system to extract the water from the clothing, you can have the added benefit of using the water in the reservoir for other household uses. 

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