With the rise of EnergyStar and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings, many appliance companies have good incentives to become more energy, water, and fuel efficient. This article will evaluate the best energy, water, and fuel-efficient appliances in each part of your home.
In the last blog, I tackled Native Trails Sinks as a part of our sustainability series. In this one, our focus will be on ventless drying and the application of heat pumps to dryers.
Ventless dryers have been the norm in Europe for the generations. The beauty of ventless dryers is that they can be placed anywhere in the home, as long as space, water, and electricity are available. Placing laundry in a closet upstairs is now a trend rather than hauling your laundry downstairs to the basement, for instance.
The second-best part of ventless drying is that you can save yourself thousands of dollars by avoiding the cost of creating a venting duct. You see many buildings in Boston with ventless dryers because it costs about $1,200 to cut a hole to vent outside and is less efficient.
The most common and popular type of ventless dryers is a condensation dryer with Miele, Bosch, Electrolux, and Samsung offering these types of dryers. Condensation dryers take in the air surrounding the machine, pass it through a condenser to heat it up, and then tumbles the clothes in the warm air.
As the warm air becomes moisture-laden, it exits the drum and loops back to the condenser where it cools off, in turn leaving water in the condenser which either gets pumped out by a drain hose or stored in a reservoir.
- This type of dryer is very energy efficient.
- You need good ventilation in the space in which your dryer is standing as its ability to dry is unpredictable upon its ability to take in dry air.
- Only available in compact sizes
- The drying times can also be double those of a vented dryer
Your second option is a heat pump dryer. A heat pump dryer differs from a condensation dryer in a few small but significant ways. Instead of a condenser, a heat pump dryer uses a refrigerant system that can be heated and cooled, making it the most energy efficient dryer.
The hot air coming from the drum is cooled to release the moisture. As the air is cooled, the heat energy is transferred into the heat pump which reuses the energy to warm up the cool dry air and send it back into the drum.
This is the only system reusing energy, virtually cutting its energy footprint in half.
- Double the efficiency of condenser dryer – less money spent on an energy bill
- Most environmentally friendly model.
- Available in full-size and compact units
- Gentle on clothes
- Less heat emitted into surrounding atmosphere
- More expensive than condensation
Still confused? Let’s take a quick look at this graph that breaks down the different kinds of drying methods
First, if you own a multi-unit building, the huge benefits of saving costs and picking up LEED certification is irresistible. If you are a homeowner, ventless dryers offer the convenience of having laundry wherever needed in your home.
Have more questions about laundry? Get the Yale Washer Buying Guide with features, specs, and capacities of all the major brands. Well over 240,000 people have read a Yale Guide.