Dryer types - what differences are there?

Clothes dryer is not the same as tumble dryer. There are different designs for the individual devices, which can also lead to differences in performance and power consumption. Which types of dryers are common, and where exactly the differences are, you can therefore read in detail in this post.

Basic principle when tumble dryer

The basic principle is the same for all laundry dryers used in Europe. The wet or damp laundry is dried using hot air that is passed through the laundry in the drum. It works the same way as when you blow your hair.

Hot or hot air can absorb more moisture than cold air. Thus, when the air passing over the laundry is heated, it absorbs some of the moisture from the laundry. This process is repeated until the wash has reached the desired degree of dryness.

Treatment of exhaust air

The exhaust air is either dehumidified (condensation dryer) or directed to the outside (exhaust air dryer). This results in the essential structural differences in dryers.

In addition to condensation dryers and exhaust air dryers, there are also heat pump dryers. They additionally "recycle" the heat of the exhaust air.

Advantages and disadvantages of each model

Each design offers its own advantages and disadvantages in operation. Where they lie with the individual dryer models is to be explained here clearly.

vented dryer

Exhaust air dryers direct the moist air that comes from the laundry through a pipe to the outside. However, this means that a corresponding wall breakthrough must be present, or at least a suitable window must be available.

For the exhaust air line, you must then also pay attention to the appropriate pipe length, the appropriate pipe diameter and, in most cases, also to the presence of a slight slope, so that no condensation water stops.

Exhaust air dryers have the shortest drying times of all dryer models, but also the highest energy consumption.


Condenser dryers rapidly cool the hot, humid air on a cold surface. As a result, the moisture contained in it is released and can be collected in a container.

The advantage is that only the container needs to be emptied regularly. A wall opening or a line to the outside are not necessary.

Most condenser dryers take slightly longer than vented dryers to dry the laundry. Their energy consumption is also a bit lower.

heat pump dryer

Heat pump dryers are basically condenser dryers, and work the same way. The only difference to conventional condensate dryers is that they transfer the heat of the air during the condensation process back to the cold supply air.

So it must be used so much less power to make warm air from cold air. This saves a considerable amount of energy (about 50 - 60 percent compared to conventional dryers).

At the same time, however, the drying times are sometimes considerably longer than with conventional dryers. So a drying cycle at the heat pump dryer can also be quite 2 to 3 hours.

The purchase price of heat pump dryers is significantly higher than that of other dryer models.

Tips & Tricks

It can also be an interesting idea in a new building to connect the heat pump dryer to the heating system via a heat pump and obtain the required heat from there. That can mean energy savings of up to 70 percent.

Video Board: Clothes Dryer Buying Guide | The Good Guys