A homeowner looks quizzically at the door of his dryer

Dryers are one of the handiest household appliances you can rarely do without. However, they can consume a lot of electricity, especially when used regularly, which is the case in most households. 

The energy consumption of the different types of dryers available on the market can differ by as much as 30%, so if you’re keen on savings like us, an energy-efficient dryer is your best bet. 

This article will discuss what is your best bet if you’re in the market for an energy-efficient unit. We will also discuss the other types of dryers, including their features, pros and cons, and other factors to consider before buying one. 

What Is the Most Energy-Efficient Dryer Type?

The most energy-efficient dryer is a heat pump dryer. It expends 50% less energy than other types of dryers, thanks to its hot and cold coils that generate heat and release moisture simultaneously. They may be expensive, but you’ll save money on electricity in the long run. 

Why a Heat Pump Dryer Is the Most Energy-Efficient Dryer

A heat pump dryer may be the neophyte in the world of dryers, but it packs a punch regarding energy efficiency. The secret lies in recycling the heat it has already produced, rather than just expending it as most other types of dryers do. 

This technology is brought about by the presence of hot and cold coils responsible for repeatedly generating heat and eliminating moisture until your clothes are dry. 

This type of dryer provides the most innovative technology on the market today. A heat pump dryer uses a heat pump equipped with both cold and hot coils. Like a condenser dryer, it pulls in air from its surroundings and sends it straight to the heat pump, where the coils are put to work. 

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

The cold coils begin by condensing the air, generating heat, and releasing moisture. On the other hand, the hot ones work continuously, reheating the dry air as it moves throughout the tumbler. Thanks to this technology, heat pump dryers have been found to consume much less energy than other types of dryers. 

Heat pump dryers are generally compact, making them ideal for practically any space. They are ventless, do not require ducts, and do not increase humidity in their immediate surroundings. They are considered the most energy-efficient dryer among the types available today. 

All these perks come with a price, making heat pump units arguably the most expensive type of dryer. However, a heat pump is a worthwhile investment since you’ll save money on running costs—your investment will pay off after a couple of years, especially if you use your dryer frequently. 

Other Types of Dryers

There are different types of dryers to cater to various needs and preferences.

Here are the main dryer types you can choose from and what you can expect from each of them:

Gas Dryers

These types of dryers need gas to generate heat. They can dry clothes surprisingly fast because they can generate heat pretty quickly. However, a gas-powered dryer comes with its own ventilation system. As a result, it is bulkier than most other dryers, requiring more floor space. 

A homeowner installing a heat pump dryer in his garage

A gas dryer is equipped with a burning chamber where propane is used to produce an open flame. The igniter is activated once the dryer is turned on. 

Hot gas is then released to produce heat and keep hot air circulating within the tumbler. The use of natural gas rather than electricity makes this dryer an energy-saver.  

Gas units are typically more expensive than other types of dryers. However, they are known to be an energy-efficient dryer, so potential savings may make up for the hefty price tag. But unfortunately, electricity is still required for the dryer’s other elements, such as the tumbler and blower.

Vented Dryers

This is arguably the most common and least energy-efficient dryer nowadays. Vented dryers work by sending hot air into the tumbler to dry clothes. The glitch is that the air eventually becomes too moist to be effectively used for drying. 

The system then vents this moist air out and replaces it with hot air to resume the process of drying. You would need to install a venting duct to improve ventilation within the premises. 

Vented dryers are usually on the low end of the price range, but the long-term expenses, particularly electricity, can be pretty costly. 

The moist air they continuously expel can also make their immediate surroundings very humid, so consider this when choosing a location for your vented dryer. Boosted humidity can ruin furniture and carpets and encourage the proliferation of mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Ventless Dryers

Generally believed to be a more energy-efficient dryer than their vented counterpart, ventless dryers do not need to have venting ducts. They are capable of containing both heat and moisture. 

A ventless dryer is typically compact and smaller than a vented unit, so homeowners can store it inside a large cabinet or in obscure corners of a room. 

Condenser Dryers

Condenser dryers are unconventional in the sense they provide heat differently than other types of dryers. 

Rather than utilizing a heating element in its system, a condenser dryer will suck in the surrounding air and pass it through a condenser to heat it. The hot air is then directed to the tumbler to do its job of drying clothes.

Illustration of a condenser dryer showing how it functions
Courtesy of Compact Appliance

A condenser unit uses more energy because the machine’s temperatures don’t go as high as the other types of dryers, translating to longer drying periods. The longer the time needed to thoroughly dry clothes, the higher the energy consumption. 

The great thing about this dryer’s cooler temperatures is the gentleness on the clothes—extreme temperatures can shrink and damage clothing, so a condenser dryer is ideal for delicate fabric. It is also generally more compact than other types of dryers and can be placed practically anywhere in your home. 

All About Your Dryer’s Energy Efficiency

Anyone who owns a dryer uses it probably at least once a week. Depending on the type of dryer you have, you will most certainly feel the effects on your electricity bill. 

That’s why the upfront cost isn’t the only factor worth considering when choosing an energy-efficient dryer. You must also think about the long-term expenses that you might incur.

Some essential factors to consider regarding energy-efficient dryers include:

  • A dryer uses twice as much electricity as a refrigerator
  • A dryer expends as much as four times more energy of a washer
  • A washer that can remove more water during the spin cycle can significantly help a dryer expend less energy
  • A dryer is more energy-efficient if it has dryness sensors in the tumbler rather than merely gauging the exhausted air’s temperature
  • Temperature-controlled dryers tend to overdry clothes, unnecessarily using more energy
  • Timer-controlled dryers are the least energy-efficient dryer since they are most prone to overdrying clothes—overdrying is known to cause damage to clothes and can thus rack up additional expenses

Other Things To Consider When Buying a Dryer

Aside from energy efficiency, there are other factors to consider when buying a dryer for your home. Remember your objectives in buying one, how often you’ll be using it, and how much space you can allot for it.

Some of the more critical aspects to consider include:

Power Source

There are two primary sources of power for dryers—gas and electric. Gas-powered dryers rely on natural gas (propane) to function. Propane allows the heating system to work and blast hot air within the tumbler. 

Generally, gas-powered dryers may still require the use of electricity, although at a minimal amount, to provide power for its other functional parts, such as the tumbler. 

A homeowner sitting behind a gas dryer as he performs maintenance on it
Courtesy of the spruce

In contradistinction, electric dryers rely on metal coils to generate heat—they are powered solely by electricity. They are the more popular choice these days because they are more convenient, safer to use, and simpler to install. 

However, gas-powered dryers win hands down when it comes to energy efficiency. Although they may carry a heftier price tag, they can help you save money in the long run since they consume significantly less electricity than electric units. 

Ventless or Vented

Vented dryers can either be gas-powered or electric, but they take up much space. In addition, they generate steam which needs to be vented out via aluminum ducts. You must allot extra space, money, and time to install these ducts.

On the other hand, ventless ducts are more compact, practical, and cost-efficient. They can either be a condenser or a heat pump dryer. They can be placed practically anywhere in your home, even inside a closet or in an empty corner. 


Interior view of a heat pump dryer

You can choose between a full-size or compact dryer. Full-size dryers can be as wide as 29 inches (74 cm), while compact dryers are only about 24 inches (61 cm) wide. Your choice will depend a lot on the available space in your home. You can even go for a wall-mounted or stackable dryer if space is an issue. 

Your typical laundry load is also a significant factor when choosing the best type of dryer for your home. Standard full-sized dryers can carry as much as 8.3 cubic feet (0.23 cu m). 

Remember that your dryer’s load capacity should be twice that of your washing machine’s. This consideration will allow you to dry a full load in one go comfortably. However, avoid going for much larger load capacities since you might end up wasting energy.

Key Takeaways

A dryer is meant to make daily household chores much simple. But, unfortunately, it is not an inexpensive purchase because they can fetch a handsome sum. A dryer shouldn’t put such a significant dent in your monthly savings, though, especially with the various available options nowadays. 

When choosing adryer for your home, ensure you have ample space and that it is large enough to take on your usual load. More importantly, make sure it is an energy-efficient dryer. This essential feature will help you save more money in the long run.


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