Heat Pump Clothes Dryer Operating Principle

In 1997, Electrolux developed the first clothes dryer to use heat pump technology which resulted in a significant energy savings. The technology has been widely used in Europe and is finally available in the USA. In these units, the heat for drying is produced by a refrigerant system that uses a compressor. When the refrigerant is compressed it gets hotter and the heat from the refrigerant is then transferred to the air that is circulated through the drum to dry the clothes. This air picks up the moisture from the clothes and then is sent through a condenser where it is cooled and the water is removed. This water can either be collected in a reservoir or sent to a drain that is connected to the home's plumbing system. This cooled air is then sent back to be heated by the compressor and the cycle is repeated. 

Advantages & Disadvantages...

The result of using this technology was a significant savings in energy use (normally 50-60%). The disadvantage is the cost as the units are typically twice as expensive as traditional electric dryers. The cost can be easily recouped in homes with large families and high dryer usage or in homes with moderate usage but high electric rates.

Before investing in a heat pump clothes dryer, you can check out our brand ratings. We give you unbiased reviews of the brands and it is like taking a repairman with you while you shop.