What are ventless dryers? (Pros and Cons!)

Pros and Cons of Ventless Dryers

Ventless dryers are great for small apartments. That’s one thing I wish I had known about sooner, which would’ve made such a huge difference in our tiny apartment in this big city. 

If you dread laundry days, just like us, a ventless dryer might just make this tedious chore a lot less tedious.

We understand how overwhelming it is to decide which appliances work best for your home or lifestyle. To make it easier for you, we will go over all the pros and cons of ventless dryers.

What are ventless dryers?

Ventless dryers require no ventilation to the outdoors, making them ideal for apartments without vent or duct systems.

Compared to vented dryers, ventless dryers are easier to install, more energy-efficient, and less tedious to maintain. They are also more compact.

Pros of Ventless Dryers

Space is such a luxury, especially in a big city. With a ventless dryer, which is compact and easy to install, you don’t have to miss out on the modern conveniences you deserve, even in your quaint city apartment.

Let’s delve into the pros of ventless dryers.


Typically, ventless dryers are smaller in size compared to vented units, making them ideal for tiny apartment units, especially in big cities. 

Without a need for outdoor ventilation, you can install your ventless dryer anywhere in the apartment—not just the laundry room. 

Take note that some dryers have to be connected to a drain. Depending on the unit, you can place it next to the washer or stack the two together to save space.

Easy to Install

Compared to traditional dryers, ventless dryers don’t require a tedious installation process. Since they don’t need a vent to expel air, you don’t have to go through all the trouble of setting up a vent system.

Due to their size, they are ideal for small homes and apartment units. They can fit anywhere with limited space. 


Ventless dryers reuse heated air to warm your clothes while they are in the drum. For this reason, they are roughly 14% more energy-efficient than their vented counterparts.

Of the two types of ventless dryers, heat pumps and condenser dryers, the former is said to be more energy-efficient. Depending on the make and model, you can save up to 40% to 60% of energy with a heat pump ventless dryer. 

Since ventless dryers are energy-efficient, they are also more eco-friendly. More importantly, they won’t hike up your electricity bill, unlike other dryers.

Low Maintenance

Like other household appliances, your ventless dryers require routine cleaning and maintenance. This keeps your dryer at peak performance and prevents the risk of malfunctions. 

However, maintenance doesn’t require special services. Since these dryers aren’t connected to vent systems, there are no vents to clean.

To keep ventless dryers in optimal condition, you have to clean them regularly and empty the lint traps. Although monthly maintenance is necessary, it is far less cumbersome than cleaning a dryer vent.

Easy on Clothes

The operating temperatures of ventless dryers can range from 120°F to 158°F, while vented dryers can range from 125°F to 170°F. Due to its lower temperature range, the former is easier on your clothes.

High heat and overdrying can damage and distort the fabric of your clothes. With a ventless dryer, you can minimize fabric damage and prevent shrinkage. 

Cons of Ventless Dryers

Although ventless dryers provide a number of benefits, they also have a few disadvantages—size, load capacity, and upfront costs. You should take all these into consideration before you decide to purchase a unit for your home.

Let’s go into the cons of ventless dryers.

Long Dry Times

The biggest disadvantage of using a ventless dryer is that it takes forever to dry your clothes. It takes about 2 to 3 times longer than ventless dryers to complete the drying process.

Drying times will depend on several factors, aside from the dryer itself. Generally, a vented dryer might take 45 minutes to finish a normal load, but a ventless dryer might take an hour and a half or more.

For bulky items like comforters and blankets, you can expect longer drying times. It might take up to 3 hours for a single load.

High Upfront Costs

Ventless dryers have higher upfront costs. In general, they require a larger initial investment compared to vented dryers, almost double the price of the latter. 

Condenser dryers cost around $600 to $2,000, while heat pump dryers cost at least $1,300. Vented dryers, on the other hand, range from $300 to $1,500.

However, if you consider the installation and routine maintenance costs, vented dryers will cost more in the long run. Since ventless dryers don’t have to be connected to vents, maintenance is easy and won’t require professionals.

Small Load Capacity

Due to the compact size of ventless dryers, they tend to fit smaller loads compared to vented models. 

On average, a vented dryer with 7 cubic feet of capacity can fit about 25 to 30 pounds of laundry. Ventless dryers, which have an average of 4 cubic feet of capacity, can fit around 12 to 15 pounds of laundry.

For some context, 15 pounds of laundry may be equivalent to 5 pairs of sweatpants, 4 sweatshirts, 3 shirts, 10 pairs of undies, and 5 pairs of socks.

That’s something you have to consider if you have a larger household, especially since each load takes longer to dry. If you don’t have space to air dry some clothes, you will have to run multiple loads in the dryer during laundry day.

Heat Pump vs. Condenser Dryers: What’s the difference?

Heat pump and condenser dryers are two types of ventless dryers. They use the same process of extracting moisture from the clothes, but they use different technologies.

Generally, heat pumps are more expensive and energy-efficient than condenser dryers. But they take longer to dry your clothes.

Heat Pump DryersCondenser Dryers
CapacityLimited capacityLarger capacity
PerformanceGentle on clothesGentle on clothes
Drying Time105 minutes or longer per load75 minutes or longer per load
Energy EfficiencyMore energy-efficient(1.5kWh per load)Not as energy-efficient(3kWh per load)
PriceMore expensiveMore affordable

Condenser Dryers

A condenser dryer starts the drying process by drawing in cool, dry ambient air. The air passes through the condenser for initial heating, then it is pushed into the drum to heat up the wet laundry.

Instead of being vented outdoors, the air recirculates and moves to the heat exchanger, where it will be cooled. This causes the humid air to condense and flow to a containment chamber.

A secondary heat exchanger reheats the air and recirculates it through the clothes until they are fully dry.

Heat Pump Dryers

Instead of using a condenser, some ventless dryers use a heat pump to dry your clothes. They keep the air warm throughout the process, recycling it until your clothes are dry.

Heat pump dryers tend to be a little noisy. If you live in an apartment, you should consider the noise level of the appliance before making a purchase.

Quick Note:
Ventless dryers will vary significantly per model. Some even have washer and dryer functions built into one compact appliance, enabling you to save a lot of space and time during laundry day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vented vs. Ventless Dryers: What’s the difference?

Vented dryers must be connected to a vent system so hot air can be expelled during drying cycles. Thus, they are best placed in a laundry room or an alternative location with good ventilation.
Instead of expelling hot air, ventless dryers recirculate the air to dry your clothes, then they condense the air through a heat exchanger.
If you are living in an apartment without an exterior wall for a vent system, ventless dryers are a great choice because they don’t require any ventilation to the outdoors.

What is a ventless washer-dryer combo?

A ventless washer-dryer combo is exactly what its name suggests: a washer and a dryer in one appliance. You can simply pop your dirty laundry in the drum, then choose your preferred settings for washing and drying.
After running a wash cycle, the appliance will transition to a drying cycle using ventless technology. Since the appliance is two in one, it is an ideal choice for families living in smaller apartments or homes. 

Is a ventless dryer safe?

Ventless dryers are as safe as, if not more than, their vented counterparts. In some parts of Europe, where vented dryers aren’t required to operate, these ventless models are the go-to choice.
As long as you meet the electrical and installation requirements of the ventless dryer, you can run operations smoothly and safely.

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