What is a Condenser Tumble Dryer?

Here's everything you need to know about condenser tumble dryers...

10 Aug 2021

Looking for a tumble dryer and not sure where to start? We’ve got you. Laundry appliances aren’t an everyday purchase, and the jargon can make things a little complicated.

The first thing you’ll see when looking for a tumble dryer is that there are three main types: vented, heat pump and condenser. So what’s the difference?

Vented tumble dryers remove all the moisture they collect through a hose that leads outside. In other words, you’ll need a decent space to place it near a window or door.

Heat pump tumble dryers separate the water from the warm air circulating in the drum, then re-pump the air back in to dry your clothes faster.

Condenser tumble dryers collect the water vapour in a container, so they do need emptying. But that also means you can place them virtually anywhere at room temperature, and that makes them ideal for homes where it's difficult to vent a dryer to the outside.

Once you know how to maintain your condenser dryer, you’ll get great results every time, easy. We’ll show you how:

 

How does a condenser dryer work?

Condenser tumble dryers remove humidity using two separate airflows. Air re-circulates inside the machine and is heated, then it’s passed through the damp clothes where it picks up the moisture.

The damp air is then passed through the condenser in one direction while the room air is passed through the condenser in the other. This causes the moisture in the air to condense into water, which is then pumped to the water tank, or out through the hose if you choose to have the dryer plumbed in.

 

Sensor drying

Most new condenser tumble dryers feature sensor drying technology. That means instead of a simple timer, where you choose how long the cycle lasts, the dryer is smart enough to know exactly when the clothes have reached the optimal dryness level.

Sensor dryers have different cycles to suit the fabrics you’re drying. Many dryers have a host of different cycles for jeans, cottons, towels, even for laundry that’s going to be ironed. The sensors know exactly when to stop, which keeps your clothes good as new and your energy bills low.  

 

What about any extra humidity?

Ideally, you should fit a condenser dryer in a well-ventilated room that lets some of the warm air escape. The air from the dryer can raise the room temperature and condense air moisture onto cold surfaces like walls and windows. If the air can circulate around the room, that shouldn’t happen.

 

How to get the best from your condenser dryer

There are a few easy things you can do to get the best from your dryer every laundry day. Here’s what to check each time you use your dryer…

 

Is the lint/dust filter clean?

Make sure to clear out the lint after each cycle. Around 70% of the wear on clothes is due to general wear, but 20% is from washing and the remaining 10% can be attributed to drying. Removing the lint every time means that hot air can escape, so the dryer won’t overheat.

 

How full is the water tank?

When the tank is full, your machine will interrupt the cycle to keep your tumble dryer running smoothly. So, be sure to empty the water after every cycle.

 

What fabrics are in your load?

Here’s a super useful tip - 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, you might not get the best results. A load that’s too big for the drum cannot be completely dried because there isn’t enough space for the air to circulate. That can also trip the overheating thermostat, so don’t rush to pile all your laundry in at once if you know there’s too much.

Plenty of condenser dryers with sensor drying tech also have a timed cycle option. When you use this, the sensing circuit is disconnected. So, don’t leave your clothes to dry longer than they need!

Even if you're used to using a vented dryer for years, it only takes a few simple adjustments to adapt to condenser drying. Give it a go...

Upgrade to a feature-packed new tumble dryer

Related in Laundry advice

6 signs it’s time to replace your washing machine

24 Sep 2021

7 laundry myths busted

20 Aug 2021

Washing machine capacity guide

18 Aug 2021

10 laundry hacks for saving time and money

03 Aug 2021

A guide to washing machine symbols

29 Jul 2021