Approximately 80% of homes in America have a clothes dryer, and if you don’t, you may find yourself collecting quarters to visit the laundromat. If you are limited for space, you may think that you are stuck using those giant machines and waiting around for an hour, but there is another option; the ventless dryer. These appliances are not considered mainstream here in America, but they have been used in Europe for decades. So, here we will explore all you need to know about these great devices.
Why Ventless Dryers are Popular in Europe
If you visit many European countries, a ventless dryer is considered standard and use it just as we would use our conventional dryers. The reason why these appliances are so prevalent in Europe is that European homes tend to be far smaller than a typical U.S home and they just cannot accommodate the large, vented dryers we have here. This means that if you have a smaller home, you can take inspiration from the Europeans and opt for a ventless dryer.
Ventless models can fit under a counter or even in a closet, provided there is proper airflow and an electric socket. If you do use your dryer in a closet, you will need to open the doors while you’re drying to maintain air circulation. Another attractive feature of a ventless dryer is that they can be stacked or placed side by side with your washer. This means that you can save space. For example, you could create a dining table over your washer and dryer in your kitchen to create an area for eating when you’re not doing laundry.
How Ventless Dryers Work
Vented dryers pull air from the laundry room to be heated. The air is rolled around with the clothes before it is blown out the exhaust with any evaporated moisture. In order to vent this exhaust, there needs to be a hole in the wall, but this can create problems. For example, when the air is cold, your home won’t be warmed up, so the furnace needs to work harder to compensate. The reverse can also be true; if you are drying in summer, you’ve paid money to cool your indoor air only for your dryer to warm it up again.
A ventless dryer does not need exhaust. While it does pull in cool air to heat it up, it uses a heat exchanger to cool the heated air and draw the moisture into a containment chamber. This cycle is repeated until the clothes are dried. There is no need to vent any exhaust as the water is either collected in a tray or passed down the drain.
The Benefits of a Ventless Dryer
There are numerous benefits of using a ventless dryer, but the most obvious is that there is no need to punch a hole in your wall. This also means that you’re not wasting energy heating or cooling air with your HVAC system only for it to be channeled outside.
Ventless drying is also more gentle on your clothing. You’ll find that your clothes come out of the dryer cooler. Although you may enjoy that “toasty, warm” feel from your dryer, this is not great for the fabric. In fact, the heat of a vented dryer can cause over-drying and create fading, color running or shrinking.
Ventless dryers also tend to be more economical. Not only are they less expensive to install, but they typically use 30% less energy compared to traditional models. There is also less chance of clogging as there is no vent to accumulate lint and debris to create a fire risk. So, while it does take a little longer for your clothes to dry, it should have a positive impact on your energy bills.