Heat pump dryer or condenser dryer

The main difference between a heat pump dryer and a condenser dryer is as follows: A condenser dryer blows the warm and moist air outside while drying. A heat pump dryer uses this warm and humid air again, which makes it much more efficient in drying. This is not only good for the environment but also for your wallet!

Heat pump dryer or condenser dryer



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A wash geek since 2017

Types of tumble dryers

When it comes to tumble dryers, you have a choice of three types: an airflow dryer, a condenser dryer or a heat pump dryer. Because the airflow dryer uses a lot of energy when drying, we’ll focus on the other two types in this article. For this, we will start with a similarity between the heat pump dryer and the condenser dryer. Basically, both types of clothes dryers do the same thing; they dry your laundry. They also remove the moisture in the same way. With both heat pump and condenser dryers, the humid hot air can be expelled in two ways:

  1. The condensation is collected in a reservoir. The tank is built into the dryer and must be emptied after running a drying program.
  2. You connect the dryer to the water drain with a drain hose. With this option, the damp air will be expelled directly through the water drain. It is important, however, that you have a drain in the room where you will install your dryer.

Below you can read exactly how a heat pump dryer and a condenser dryer differ.

Energy consumption

When you look at the heat pump dryer and the condenser dryer, the heat pump dryer is the most energy efficient. This difference is in the type of motor. The heat pump dryer uses a heat pump and a refrigerant when drying your laundry. The condensing dryer, on the other hand, dries with an electric heating element, which consumes a lot of energy. To be called ‘energy efficient’, a tumble dryer needs to be at least in energy class A++. That’s why it’s hard to find an energy-efficient condenser tumble dryer. Heat pump dryers are more energy efficient. Because the condenser dryer uses a high temperature, it can dry your laundry quickly and often has shorter drying cycles than a heat pump dryer, which dries at a low temperature.

Affect on laundry

However, you should be aware that high drying temperatures can be harmful to clothing and other laundry. The high temperatures increase the risk of wear and shrinkage. A heat pump dryer uses a low drying temperature, which means your laundry will last longer. In general, heat pump dryers are more expensive to buy than condensing dryers. On the other hand, we would like to mention that heat pump dryers use significantly less energy. This means that the costs of using your new dryer will be a lot lower. If you choose an A++ energy class dryer (the most energy efficient), you can save up to 75 euros per year on your energy bills compared to a condenser dryer with energy class B. Over its lifetime (about 12 years), that’s about 900 euros. Are you on a budget and need a new dryer?


We always recommend energy efficient drying. This is the good choice for the environment but ultimately for your own wallet. If you want an energy-efficient dryer, a heat pump dryer is the best choice. Heat pump dryers are usually more expensive to buy, but because they keep your energy costs so much lower, you’ll end up paying less. Plus, heat pump dryers are better for your laundry and less likely to wear out. Also good to know; most dryers that are currently being sold have a heat pump! This means that the choice of heat pump dryers is huge!

Buy a heat pump dryer or a condenser dryer; what should you look for?

We’ve now gone through the different types of dryers – which is a very important topic when you’re shopping for a new one – but of course, there are many other specifications that you should look for. The tips below will help you understand exactly what you need to consider when buying a new dryer.

Condensation drain

We mentioned earlier that most tumble dryers offer you the choice of a condensation drain through the water outlet or with a tank. If you know you don’t have a drain in your laundry room, or you’re not comfortable emptying a tank, check to be sure your dryer is not draining. Check to see if the dryer you have in mind actually has the condensation drain you desire.

Fill weight

The fill weight of a dryer indicates how many kg of laundry it can hold. We recommend that you choose a dryer with the same load as your washing machine. That way, you can always fit all your wet laundry in the dryer and always have a full drum to dry. Are you buying a new heat pump dryer and washing machine? Use the chart below as a guide:

  • a 1 or 2 person household will need a 7kg tumble dryer.
  • a 3 or 4 person household will need a 8kg tumble dryer. Most clothes dryers have a 8kg capacity.
  • a household of 5 or more people will need a clothes dryer with a 9kg or larger drum.

Energy label

If you choose an energy-efficient dryer, you can save a lot of money on your energy bill each year. Often, energy-efficient dryers are more expensive to buy, but you’ll make it worth your while. To keep your energy costs as low as possible, buy a heat pump dryer with energy class A+++, this will save you around 75 euros a year compared to a condenser dryer with energy class B.

Drying programs

Like your washing machine, heat pump dryers also offer different drying programs for different types of laundry. There are special programs for wool, shirts, silk, baby clothes and towels. These programs ensure that your laundry dries perfectly and lasts longer. Almost all newer tumble dryers also have an eco-setting, to further reduce energy consumption, or a setting that makes your laundry ‘extra dry’.

Ease of Use

Dryers today offer all sorts of clever features to make drying as easy as possible for you. These include options such as a self-cleaning condenser, app-based controls, delayed start and an illuminated drum. Do you think you and your household will benefit from this? The build quality of a dryer is an indication of its drying performance and lifetime. Looking at the build quality, tumble dryers are divided into basic, mid-range and top-of-the-range. Not all stores, online shops and brands are equally transparent about the build quality, so we suggest you also look at the brand. According to the Consumers’ Association, these are the best brands for tumble dryers: Miele, Bosch, Siemens, AEG and Samsung. These brands are generally more expensive, and therefore score less well on ‘value for money’ according to the Consumers’ Association. Brands that do excel in this respect are Beko, Indesit and Zanussi.

Picture of Yannick

A wash geek since 2017

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