Condensing clothes dryers offer owners and designers aesthetic alternatives to conventional ducted systems. Vented dryers can present mechanical design challenges since they must exhaust hot air directly to the outdoors and are therefore required to be located next to a wall or a vent. In contrast, condensing dryers (also known as ventless or ductless dryers) are capable of operating without a connection to the outdoors and can be located virtually anywhere with an electrical outlet present. This is possible because ventless dryers operate through a dual loop airflow system. In the first loop, condensing dryers will draw air from the surrounding environment and heat the air up. The heated air is then circulated through the drum and wet clothes, which causes the moisture to evaporate and the clothes to dry. From here, instead of expelling the hot and humid air to the outdoors, the air enters the second loop and is funneled through a condenser. The condenser cools the air and returns it into the drum, where the cycling process is repeated. The moisture collected by the condensing unit is collected in either a tray that can be manually emptied or the dryer will be equipped with tubing that can be connected to a waste water pipe.
Condensing dryers also offer the following benefits:
- There is no need to clean out long dryer vents, which lowers maintenance costs
- The chances of overheating are lowered
- Condensing dryers are gentle on clothes
Another option would be to install a Heat Pump Ventless Dryer. These types of dryers use heated refrigerant to dry clothes. Heat pump dryers are the most energy efficient dryer choice but are typically more expensive than both condensing and vented dryers. When deciding on the best dryer for occupants, project teams should take into consideration space restrictions, maintenance costs, and energy efficiency among many other factors.
For more information on choosing the most efficient appliances for your development project, contact VCA Green below.
Contributing Writer: Alina Bonto, LEED AP (Homes & BD+C)
Moe Fakih, Principal