What is a Condenser Tumble Dryer?
Here's everything you need to know about condenser tumble dryers...
21 Feb 2020
Ideal for homes or flats where it's difficult to vent a dryer to the outside, the condenser tumble dryer provides a versatile answer to your drying your clothes quickly, as long as you are aware of certain differences from the conventional dryers.
This article will give you an overview of how your condenser dryer works and highlight a few common questions that arise and their solutions.
How does the Condenser Dryer work?
The condenser tumble dryer removes humidity by using two separate airflows. Air re-circulates inside the machine and is heated. Then it is passed through the damp clothes where it picks up moisture. Damp air is passed through the condenser in one direction while the room air is passed through the condenser in the other direction. This causes the moisture in the air to condense into water which is then pumped to the water tank or out through the hose.
What about any extra humidity?
Ideally, you should fit a condenser dryer in a well-ventilated room that will allow some of the warm air to escape. The warm dry air coming from the dryer can raise the room temperature and condense air moisture onto a cold surface such as a wall or window. This might cause a problem if the room is small, damp or lacks ventilation but shouldn't cause a problem if air can circulate.
If the warning light for the tank off, is the tank is full?
The float switch that indicates the water tank is full is located in the bottom of the machine. The switch activates the light when the tank is full and has overflowed into the bottom compartment, which is also full. Make sure to empty the water tank after every cycle to avoid interruption to the cycle.
How does the sensing circuit work and how is it different from a timer?
Many conventional or older model dryers do not have a sensor as they work on a time setting. The result was extremely dry clothes however the high heat could also cause shrinking and structural changes to the clothes and made them difficult to iron whilst the modern sensing program is designed to protect your clothes.
This sensitive sensor circuitry measures the resistance across two sensing bars in the front drum support. The resistance value of the clothes depends on relative humidity (dampness). At the beginning of the drying cycle, the relative humidity will be high and hence the resistance will be low. As the clothes dry, the resistance will rise.
Depending on what you want to do with your clothes after the dryer stops, you can choose the level of humidity left in your load. So if you'll be ironing some of the clothing afterwards, you may choose to leave 8-12% humidity in to save energy and make them easier to press. For ready-to-wear or if you want to put them away immediately, choose 0-2% humidity.
What would keep my load from drying properly?
There are a few things that could prevent your clothes from drying fully, or cause them to take too long to dry. Here's what to check...
Is the lint/dust filter clean?
Make sure to clear out the lint after each cycle. 70% of the wear on clothes is due to wearing them. Additionally, 20% is from washing and the remaining 10% can be attributed to drying. Tumble dried laundry is free from lint, dust and lose fibres.
Is the condenser clean?
Checking it every month and flushing it out with water will keep your machine running optimally. When the filter or condenser becomes clogged, the thermostat may also overheat and interrupt your cycle.
How full is the water tank?
When the tank is full, your machine will interrupt the cycle so to keep your tumble dryer working smoothly, be sure to empty the water after every cycle.
What is in your load?
Drying similar types of clothing together will help. If the load contains a mixture of cotton and synthetics, the synthetics will dry much faster than a cotton-only load. The result will then be that the sensors detect that the load is dry and finish the cycle. However, cotton clothes may still be damp.
What is the size of your load?
If the load is too large or small, the same problem can occur. A large load cannot be completely dried because there is not enough space in the drum for the air to circulate. This can also trip the overheating thermostat. A small load will not make contact with the sensing strips and the cycle might finish before the clothing is dry.
Note that if you stop the drying cycle mid-point and restart the dryer on a timed programme, the sensing circuit will be disconnected. In that case there is a risk of shrinkage for the items that are already dry.
Even if you're used to using a vented dryer for years, it only takes a few simple adjustments to make condenser drying your favourite way to dry clothes!