Condenser dryers are currently the most popular type of tumble dryer on the market in the UK. Their crown, however, could be set to be stolen by the newer heat pump tumble dryer since they are just as convenient but have much lower running costs.
If you’re wondering whether a heat pump dryer is worth the investment, this article is for you.
Running costs is a necessary consideration when purchasing any new appliance. When it comes to tumble dryers, the difference between types of dryers can be quite extreme.
Before we start comparing costs, it’s important to note that exact running costs for you will vary a lot depending on how often you use your tumble dryer, and what you dry in it.
If you frequently dry large loads of heavy materials such as cotton, running costs will be much higher than if you only use your dryer occasionally and tend to dry smaller loads of synthetic clothes.
Heat Pump vs. Condenser Dryer Running Costs Compared
Here’s a quick glance at how heat pump dryer running costs compare to those of condenser dryers:
Full-load cotton cycle:
- The average condenser dryer would use 4.8 kWh for a full-load cotton cycle, costing £1.30 at current electricity prices of 27p per kWh.
- The average heat pump dryer would use 1.87 kWh for a full-load cotton cycle, costing £0.50 at current electricity prices.
- The average condenser dryer uses 1.95 kWh per hour, costing £0.53 at current electricity prices.
- The average heat pump dryer uses 0.6 kWh per hour, £0.16 at current electricity prices.
- If you use a condenser dryer 120 times a year with an average cycle time of one hour, it will cost £63.18 in total on average.
- If you use a heat pump dryer 120 times a year with an average cycle time of one hour 15 minutes, it will cost £24.30 in total on average. Therefore, a heat pump dryer could save you roughly £40 a year compared to running a condenser dryer.
Heat pump dryers have longer cycle times, so it’s worth bearing this in mind when comparing the per-hour figures. The average condenser dryer will complete a full-load cotton cycle in 149 minutes, while it would take a heat pump dryer 187 minutes.
For more info on energy costs and to see the data we used to compile these averages, check out our article on how much it costs to run a tumble dryer in the UK.
Are Heat Pump Tumble Dryers Worth the Money?
When it comes to the up-front cost, heat pump tumble dryers certainly are more expensive. So, will the money you save in bills pay for the extra up-front investment?
The most popular condenser dryers cost around £250 to buy, while the top-selling heat pump models cost around £490 on average.
If you save £40 a year by owning a heat pump tumble dryer, it would take six years for the investment to pay off with current energy prices.
However, if you use your tumble dryer more than the 120 times a year we used to calculate annual costs, you would start seeing the benefits of the investment much sooner.
Also, if you have an old condenser or vented dryer, it may be even less energy efficient than the average models quoted here, so you would save more money on bills by upgrading to something more state of the art.
Overall, we think it is worth choosing a heat pump dryer due to the lower running costs. However, don’t expect it to pay for itself quickly!
Heat pump dryers have longer cycle times, so you can’t afford to wait an extra 15 minutes to half an hour, it might be better to choose a condenser dryer.
See our guide to the best heat pump dryers in the UK if you’re interested in investing in one.
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