Buyer’s Guide: Types of Tumble Dryer – Heat Pump, Condenser & Vented

Looking to buy a new tumble dryer for the home, to make light of laundry loads and keep your clothes clean and fresh? RDO is here to help.

There are different types of tumble dryer available with unique benefits and drying technologies, and picking the right one can be tricky. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to the different types of tumble dryers, how they each work, and the essential considerations to make before buying.


Types of Tumble Dryer – Heat Pump, Condenser & Vented 

There are three main types of tumble dryers, each with their own advantages and potential limitations:

  • Vented Tumble Dryers: Vented dryers expel moist air through a vent, usually connected to an external wall or window. They require proper ventilation around the machine and typically start at a lower price point – but they are less energy-efficient compared with condenser or heat pump dryers.
  • Condenser Tumble Dryers: Condenser dryers collect moisture into a removable container or through a plumbing connection. They don't require an external vent, making them more flexible in terms of placement. However, they require greater care and maintenance to empty the water container or clean the condenser unit.
  • Heat Pump Tumble Dryers: Heat pump dryers are the most energy-efficient option. They use a heat pump to recycle and reuse the hot air generated during the drying process. They are gentler on clothes and operate at lower temperatures, making them suitable for delicate fabrics. While more expensive upfront, they offer attractive long-term energy savings.

RDO offers a range of branded vented, condenser and heat pump tumble dryers to suit every home. View our full range of tumble dryers now.



Heat Pump vs. Condenser vs. Vented Tumble Dryers

While all three types of tumble dryers are suitable for home laundry chores, different models provide unique benefits.

So, it’s important to understand the advantages and potential limitations of each tumble dryer to know which is right for you.

  • Drying Time: Vented tumble dryers generally offer the fastest drying times, followed by condenser tumble dryers. Heat pump dryers have a slower total drying time due to the lower operating temperatures used to conserve energy.

  • Energy Efficiency & Cost: Vented tumble dryers are typically the most affordable option for buying outright – and running costs can be lower due to a simpler design. Condenser dryers are moderately priced upfront, but running costs are higher due to the energy required to condense and remove moisture. Heat pump dryers typically come with the highest price point but offer the lowest running costs.

  • Technology: Vented tumble dryers use the simplest drying technology, relying on a vent to expel moist air. Condenser dryers use a condensing unit to collect and remove moisture, offering greater flexibility in terms of placement. Heat pump tumble dryers incorporate advanced heat pump technology to recycle and reuse hot air, making them the most energy-efficient option.


Which Type of Tumble Dryer Is Best?

It’s important to consider the pros and cons of each type of tumble dryer – as well as how and where you intend to use them – before buying.

Below are some of the key considerations for each type of dryer:

Vented Tumble Dryers:

  • Ventilation: Ensure there is appropriate ventilation around the machine, such as a vent or window, to expel the moist air from the dryer.
  • Installation: Determine if the space allows for proper installation of the venting system.
  • Budget: Vented dryers typically come at a lower price point, making them suitable for those on a budget.

Condenser Tumble Dryers:

  • Water Collection: Decide between a removable water container or a plumbed model for continuous drainage.
  • Flexibility: Built-in moisture disposal means the machine offers greater flexibility over the placement area.
  • Maintenance: Consider the unique maintenance requirements, including emptying the water container or cleaning the condenser unit.

Heat Pump Tumble Dryers:

  • Energy Efficiency: Heat pump dryers are the most energy-efficient option, making them cost-effective and more sustainable to run.
  • Drying Time: Longer drying times mean heat pump dryers may not be suitable for those looking to dry loads on a tight schedule.
  • Budget and Long-term Savings: Determine if the higher price point of the machine is negated by the long-term energy savings available.

At RDO, we recommend heat pump tumble dryers for those prioritising long-term savings and sustainability. Heat pump models are the best choice due to their energy efficiency, cost savings over time, and gentle care for fabrics. Despite a higher initial cost, the environmental and economic benefits make them a worthwhile investment for many households. Shop our range of heat pump tumble dryers now!



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What Does a Heat Pump Mean on a Tumble Dryer? 

A: A heat pump in a tumble dryer is an advanced technology that utilises a closed-loop system to recycle and reuse hot air, allowing for more energy-efficient drying. It operates at lower temperatures, making it suitable for delicate fabrics, while reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.

Q: What Type of Tumble Dryer is Cheapest to Run?

A: Heat pump tumble dryers are generally the cheapest to run due to their high energy efficiency. The built-in technology recycles and reuses hot air, resulting in lower energy consumption compared with vented or condenser dryers. Although heat pump dryers may have a higher upfront price point, they represent long-term savings on running costs.

Q: Where Does the Water go in a Heat Pump Dryer?

A: In a heat pump dryer, the water extracted from the drying process is typically collected in a condensing unit. This water is either stored in a removable container that needs to be manually emptied or can be plumbed into a drainage system for continuous removal.

Q: Do Heat Pump Dryers Make the Room Hot?

A: Heat pump dryers generate less heat compared with traditional vented dryers. They operate at lower temperatures and recycle hot air, making them more energy efficient. As a result, they have a minimal impact on room temperature and are generally less intrusive in terms of heat output.

Q: Do Condenser Dryers Make the Room Damp?

A: Condenser dryers can contribute to increased humidity levels in the room due to the moisture extracted from the clothes during the drying process. However, this dampness is typically negligible and can be minimised by ensuring proper ventilation or installing the dryer in a well-ventilated area.