Vented Dryers Overview
Vented dryers are far more common than condenser dryers. The two look similar and perform the same function; the primary difference is that vented dryers have an external vent.
Vented dryers work by drawing in air around them. That air is heated and blown through the machine as clothes tumble. Some of the warm, moist air is evaporated during the drying process, but the rest is exhausted through a vent leading to the outside of the home.
How Much Does a Vented Dryer Cost?
Most vented dryers cost anywhere from $300 to $1,500. As with any appliance, the more money you spend, the more features you’ll get. On the high end of that price range, you can expect to see features such as steam cycles, LED displays and a wide variety of settings.
Vented Dryers Pros
- Cost – Vented dryers are less expensive than condenser dryers, partially because they are far more common.
- Efficiency – Vented dryers are more efficient than condenser dryers. They dry clothes faster and use less energy.
Vented Dryers Cons
- Limited placement – Vented dryers need to be placed near a door, window or exterior wall so that exhaust can be vented outdoors. This can be difficult or impossible in cities or apartments.
Condenser Dryers Overview
Condenser dryers, also called ventless dryers, do not have an external vent. Instead, warm air is passed through a heat exchanger to remove any moisture. That moisture is either collected in a separate container to be emptied later or drained through the washing machine plumbing. The dry air that remains is recirculated through the machine to continue the drying process.
Generally, people opt for condenser dryers because they’re unable to run an exhaust vent to the outdoors. Condenser dryers are ideal for city or apartment living, where venting can be difficult or impossible.
How Much Does a Condenser Dryer Cost?
Condenser dryers are more expensive than vented dryers. They start at about $600 and range up to $2,000 or more. As with conventional dryers, more expensive models have a wider range of features.
Condenser Dryers Pros
- Unlimited placement – Because there’s no need to run a vent to the outside, a condenser dryer can be placed anywhere you’d like. The machine doesn’t need to be situated near a door, window or exterior wall. And condenser dryers are suitable for apartments where venting to the outdoors is not possible.
- Easy to install – Condenser dryers are easy to install. In many cases, installation is as easy as plugging in the machine.
Condenser Dryers Cons
- Cost – Condenser dryers are significantly more expensive than vented dryers. Budget about $300 to $500 more.
- Efficiency – Condenser dryers are not as efficient. They use more energy and clothes take longer to dry.
- Maintenance – To keep your condenser dryer in good working order, you’ll need to clean the condenser unit about once a month. Condenser dryers can also be more difficult to repair.