Heat pump dryers run on electricity and do not require venting (they condense and drain evaporated water rather than exhausting warm, humid air). As opposed to non-heat pump condensing types, these units incorporate refrigerant to help recover heat and use electricity more efficiently.

Compared to a traditional vented electric dryer, they cost at least 30% less to operate and reduce space heating costs in winter since they don’t require cold makeup air from outside to balance the exhaust airflows. They’re also gentler on clothes since they operate at lower temperatures. These units add heat to the laundry area and can pair nicely with a heat pump water heater, which draws heat from the space.

Maintenance and performance differ from vented dryers, so read your user manual cover to cover! Initial tips for optimal operation (may vary with exact product):

  • Clean the lint filters after every use or as directed in the care manual.
  • The dryer’s moisture sensor will become impaired by residue over time; clean monthly and review the manual for guidance.

Heat pump dryers typically require more time to dry laundry than traditional dryers. For best performance:

  • Use the washing machine’s highest speed spin cycle whenever possible to extract as much water from clothes before drying.
  • Review the user manual thoroughly to best understand the best program options for your fabrics and size of loads.
  • Remove laundry soon after end of drying cycle, ideally within half an hour. Note that with condensing dryers, items can sometimes feel damp until you remove and shake them out.
  • Use the "Wrinkle Free" option to help prevent residual moisture in the drum from re-condensing on clothes if you’re unable to remove them at the end of a cycle.

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Comments (2)

I think a big lesson learned from first gen heat pump dryers is the crazy amount of lint that collects on the heat exchanger (condenser coils) over the years, hugely impacting performance and increasing drying times. And in older models like my Whirlpool, there’s no provision to access the heat exchanger short of disassembling the entire dryer 🙄

So the key attribute I’d look for in a heat pump dryer is “self” or “auto” cleaning condenser. We need to add this attribute to the products listed here… I know that Bosch has at least one model w this feature, but they don’t make large capacity dryers. I’d check out the 7.8cu ft (!) LG DLHC5502B that also offers this:

Best Buy selling this for $1300. And I’d highly recommend shelling out for the 5-yr protection plan… usually I think these are a ripoff but not for washers and dryers!! We’ll add this new product to the dryer list.

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