Ventless Dryer Pros and Cons Explained

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Flamingo
May 6, 2024
Dryer Repair

Ventless dryers make up only around 2% of the dryer market in the USA, with vented dryers proving way more popular. Across Europe, the exact opposite is the case, with ventless dryers being used in the vast majority of homes.

That begs the question: What are the pros and cons of ventless dryers that are driving this differing demand? That’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this article.

If you’re considering purchasing a ventless dryer, but aren’t quite sure how it stacks up against its vented counterpart, stick around as we reveal all the benefits and drawbacks to help you make an informed decision.

The pros of ventless dryers

Let’s start with the good aspects before moving on to the drawbacks. There are several key selling points of ventless dryers that are definitely worth thinking about.

1. Place one anywhere

Since ventless dryers don’t need to vent the air outside, you can put one pretty much anywhere in your house. All you need is a wall outlet and a space measuring about 2.5 square feet and you’re good to go—it’s a highly versatile appliance.

The compact design and lack of external venting makes a ventless dryer ideal for apartments or homes with limited space or where fitting ductwork is not a possibility. This is why they’re the more popular choice in Europe, where homes tend to be smaller and less suitable for venting than those in the USA.

2. Ease of installation

Again, this comes down to the lack of venting. There’s no need to drill holes in an exterior wall or fit ductwork when installing a ventless dryer, making installation a breeze. This could also save you money since many would hire a tradesperson to do this. However, these benefits apply mostly to homes without existing ducts and venting.

3. Low maintenance

With ventless dryers, the only maintenance you need to do is clear the lint trap, and for some models, empty the condensation tank, after each load. You don’t need to worry about clogs in the vent or cleaning the vent yearly to prevent fire risks, unlike with vented dryers. This makes ventless dryers the lower maintenance option.

4. Energy efficiency

Ventless dryers are more energy-efficient than vented dryers, making them better for the environment and your wallet thanks to lower energy bills. Many ventless dryers use a convection system that recycles and reuses the hot air in the dryer, rather than expel it outside like a vented dryer. This means they require less energy to maintain heat levels. They also run at a cooler temperature than vented dryers. 

5. Gentler on clothing

Since ventless dryers run at a lower temperature, they are gentler on your clothes, towels, and other laundry than vented dryers. You will notice that clothes feel cooler compared to those from a vented dryer when you take them out after a cycle. This means your clothes will last longer and won’t get as much wear and tear from the dryer.

The cons of ventless dryers

If ventless dryers were better than vented dryers in all aspects, everyone would own one. But that isn’t the case. There are also some drawbacks of ventless dryers when comparing them to their vented counterparts.

1. Slower drying times

Since ventless dryers use less heat, this means they also take longer to dry clothes than vented dryers. It’s similar to how the eco mode on dishwashers is a longer cycle because it uses lower water temperatures and less powerful jets, meaning it takes them longer to clean.

So, it’s worth asking yourself: What do you value more in a dryer—time efficiency or energy efficiency?

2. Less capacity

Ventless dryers tend to be smaller and more compact than vented dryers, meaning they have a smaller load capacity. If you have a large family, this may mean you need to run smaller loads more frequently. So while their compact design makes ventless dryers great for small spaces, the reduced capacity is something to consider if you frequently wash large loads.

3. More expensive to buy

The upfront cost of a ventless dryer is typically more than that of a vented dryer. However, this additional cost might be offset by reduced installation fees if your home doesn’t already have a vent and ductwork fitted. Likewise, the energy efficiency of a ventless dryer may also help to gradually offset the larger upfront investment in the long run through reduced energy bills.

4. Increased humidity

Ventless dryers don’t expel the hot moist air outside like a vented dryer, meaning they release more moisture into the laundry room. For those with homes that are already humid, or if you have issues with mold or mildew, a ventless dryer may exacerbate the problem.

FAQs about ventless dryers

Here are some commonly asked questions about ventless dryers.

How often should I clean the lint trap?

The lint trap should be cleaned after every load to ensure your ventless dryer continues to operate efficiently.

Do ventless dryers last as long as vented dryers?

Yes, both ventless and vented dryers have a similar expected lifespan of around 10 to 15 years.

Do ventless dryers need a drain? 

Some ventless dryers have a drain hose that takes water to the home drainage system, automatically expelling the water that’s released during drying cycles. However, some ventless dryers have a container known as a condensation tank that collects the water and needs to be manually emptied after each cycle.

Summary

Now that you know about the pros and cons of ventless dryers, all you need to do is weigh up whether it is the best choice for you. If you appreciate the ease of installation, space-saving advantages, gentle washing action, and energy efficiency, then ventless is likely the way to go.

However, if you prefer fast drying times and a large load capacity, and have a home where fitting a vent is no issue, then a vented dryer is likely the best choice for you.

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