Which Is Better – Vented or Condenser Tumble Dryer?

Tumble dryerTumble dryers are super handy if you have space in the kitchen or in your laundry room. It’s not always suitable to dry your washing on the line outside and it’s not great drying your clothes on radiators or hanging them indoors. This is where tumble dryers come in; they take your washing from wet to dry, fluff towels and warm your clothes so you can pop cosy clean clothes on straight away!

Once you’ve decided you’d like a tumble dryer in your life, then you have to decide which type works best for your home: vented or condenser? If you’re wondering what those two words mean, then read on and we’ll help you out.

Vented Tumble Dryers

A vented tumble dryer is the original design of this helpful appliance, with a hose which needs to be placed out of a window, door or purpose built vent. The hose removes hot, damp air out of the machine and out of the house. Without the hose there would just be a hole, which would mean a lot of condensation in the home.


  • Tend to use less electricity
  • Usually a little cheaper to purchase
  • More reliable than condenser dryers
  • Easier to fix as parts are readily available and simpler to fit etc.
  • Simple to use
  • Available to buy in multiple drum capacities


  • Can be difficult to find a suitable place for easy venting
  • May require putting a vent hole into the wall
  • If using an open window or door for venting, would be cold in the winter
  • Hose can be prone to wearing or splitting
  • Filter needs to be cleaned regularly or built up fluff/dust can become a fire hazard


Condenser Tumble Dryers

A condenser tumble dryer doesn’t need a hose to remove condensation. Instead, it condenses the liquid into a removable container which can be emptied relatively easily. Some dryers can be plumbed in so that the water is removed automatically without the need to empty the chamber.


  • The collected water can be used to water plants so it isn’t wasted
  • Can be placed anywhere
  • More features than a vented dryer
  • Some machines stop when the sensor picks up that the load is dry; saving energy
  • Great if you end up moving to a house which could not have a vented model
  • Available to buy in multiple drum capacities


  • The condenser chamber is heavy when full of water
  • Should be emptied after each load
  • Costs more than vented
  • Costly to fix
  • Replacement parts aren’t as readily available (for repairs)
  • Multiple filters to clean regularly, with some harder to find than others
  • Cheaper models may still let moisture out into the air, causing damp or mould in your home


Energy Efficiency

If energy efficiency is something that is important to you, then there are some very energy-efficient tumble dryers which are in fact condensers. They recycle any heat that might normally get lost during a drying cycle making it more efficient and cheaper to run than normal condensers. They can save you up to £40 per year off your energy bills with typical condensers (of 7 kg capacity) on average cost £71 per year to run whereas an energy efficient model only sets you back around £34 per year.


Making the Decision

Now you know the pros and cons of vented and condenser tumble dryers, you should be able to choose which will suit your lifestyle, home layout and budget the best. Even though vented tumble dryers show no signs of being phased out any time soon, if you can invest in a condenser dryer it may be a good option if you plan to keep it longer term.

Of course, an energy-efficient condenser tumble dryer would be the best option to save money in the long run, but they are definitely investment appliances. There are no hard and fast rules really about which type is best, as there are reasons for different people to prefer vented over condenser or vice-versa, so the choice is yours!


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