Condensing Dryers Vs. Vented Dryers

Updated February 21, 2017

When it comes time to purchase a new dryer, your major choice is between a condensing dryer and. a vented dryer. Venting dryers are the appliances that most people are familiar with. In these dryers, hot air and lint are expelled through a vent in the back of the dryer into the air. Condensing dryers use a system inside the appliance to extract the water from the clothes inside. Condensing dryers are also called ventless dryers because they don't need to be hooked up to a venting system.

Energy Use

Condensing dryers can be more energy efficient than vented dryers. Vented dryers use energy for the heating element, the motor and the blower and typically require 220 volts to operate. Condensing dryers use a number of different methods to remove water from the clothes, including heat exchangers, blowers and internal water systems.

Dryer Maintenance

Both dryers require that the lint trap be changed between loads or whenever it becomes full. Beyond that, condensing dryers require more maintenance because the condensing chamber must be emptied whenever it becomes full. These condensation tanks can be quite heavy and cumbersome to lift and drain.


Vented dryers, as the name implies, must be vented. This requires hooking up a hose to a vent on the exterior wall. These vents can be difficult to install, depending on the wall type. Once installed, the vent's ductwork also must be cleaned at regular intervals, otherwise lint can built up, leading to the possibility of a fire.

Space Requirements

Condensing dryers can be installed in smaller spaces than venting dryers because there is no need for ductwork. This also makes condensing dryers good choices for rooms that are far from exterior walls.

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About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.