Tumble Dryers – What’s The Difference?

Condenser vs. Vented vs. Heat Pump

As Winter sets in with days getting shorter, cooler and wetter, you might be thinking how much easier the laundry would be with a tumble dryer. But what to go for? Condenser, Vented or Heat Pump? They all dry clothes, but the differences are around how they dispose of the damp air created in the drying process. With so many options, Miele’s product training manager, Rosie Clarke explains how each type works and why at Miele, we think Heat Pump models are best.

3 Miele TEL785 Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

What is a Condenser Tumble Dryer?

Condenser tumble dryers collect water vapour in a container, which means they don’t need to be installed near a vent or a window. They tend to be a fairly inexpensive option to buy, but they are not very energy efficient and so will cost more in the long run. They work by moving the hot air created in the drying process into a unit and condense it into water. The water is collected and stored in a water tank. This needs manually emptying regularly but you can choose to plumb in your dryer and pump the water out through a hose – just like a washing machine. Condenser dryers need to be located in a well-ventilated space with an ambient temperature to work effectively. They need regular maintenance and the condensing process uses a lot of energy.

What is a Vented Tumble Dryer?

A vented tumble dryer uses a hose to vent away the damp air created during the drying process. Vented tumble dryers are usually the cheapest type of dryer, but they can be inconvenient to install as they need to be placed by a window (so you can vent the hose through it) or an exterior wall, (so you can drill a hole to vent outside). You might want to organise professional installation and be prepared for very high running costs.

What is a Heat Pump Tumble Dryer?

Heat pump tumble dryers have a condenser that separates water from the warm air that passes over the wet clothes and puts it in a water tank. The remaining dry warm air is then pumped back through the drum, reusing it to help the clothes dry faster. Heat pump tumble dryers cost more to buy initially but are by far the most energy-efficient of all the tumble dryer options available. The running cost savings can more than pay for the machine over time.

So, which is the Best Type to go for?

At Miele, we look to produce the most sustainable machines possible, and so we made the decision to make only heat pump tumble dryers. Not only are they better for the environment, but they are also much cheaper to run, and they offer the convenience of being able to be installed anywhere.

Not all Heat Pump Tumble Dryers are Made Equal

Miele always likes to offer solutions that go above the norm, and so all of our heat pump dryers feature our unique EcoDry system. This filtration system protects the workings of the machine and allows our heat pump dryers to maintain their energy efficiency and deliver consistent drying times for the lifetime of owning them, two key areas in which tumble dryers can deteriorate over time. This means that Miele heat pump dryers will save you even more money in the long run. Infact, consumer champion Which? recently shared results from its research into the running costs of appliances and found that the Miele TEB145 WP heat pump tumble dryer was the most energy-efficient. They discovered it costs just £29 per year to run, which is significantly less than the competitive models it tested. Miele tumble dryers are tested for the equivalent of 20 years of use and are designed to be repaired rather than replaced. Which? found that the Miele appliance will save you up to £1,580 on energy costs over the course of its lifetime, more than paying for itself.

2 Miele DryCare

More Gentle for your Clothes

Heat Pump Tumble Dryers run at a lower temperature than other types of tumble dryers, which means they put much less thermal strain on the fabric whilst drying, thus helping your items to last longer and maintain their shape better. Miele’s EcoSpeed feature can offer faster drying durations, knocking about 20 minutes off the standard heat pump cycle when compared to the standard Miele Heat Pump TEB145 WP, whilst at the same time reducing long-term environmental impact even further thanks to the use of eco- friendly R290 gas. Our DryCare 40 programme runs at lower temperatures and allows you to confidently dry any fabrics which can be washed at 40 degrees, even those garments that say not to tumble dry on the label (except woollens and silks). This offers greater flexibility and convenience without compromising garment care.

Install Anywhere

In addition, they are the most versatile in terms of where you can install them. Vented dryers must sit against an external wall and require venting to be installed, while standard condenser dryers require a constant supply of cool air and so need a well-ventilated room. Heat pump dryers can go anywhere, even into smaller spaces such as under-stairs cupboards if need be. The water tank will still need to be emptied from time to time, although having it plumbed in is an option

4 Miele Silence Drum

Super Quiet

With Miele’s latest range of heat pump tumble dryers there are some great added features to further enhance the user experience. With the new SilenceDrum the noise from zips and buttons hitting the drum can be brought down by approx. 3 dB, which is a significant reduction and means drying is quieter than ever, which is particularly useful for open plan living. Most Miele appliances have been awarded the Quiet Mark.

5 Miele PowerFresh

Super Fresh

Miele has also introduced a new PowerFresh function which allows dry clothes to be freshened up in the tumble dryer. This uses steam at the start of the drying cycle to release odours and smooth the fabric. PowerFresh adds extra freshness when used in combination with the DryFresh flacon in our FragranceDos system, which infuses the laundry with fragrance, deodorising and leaving them fresher than ever.

Super Hygienic

Of course, freshness and hygiene are two sides of the same coin, and for those who are especially conscious of hygiene, the new HygieneDry setting will eliminate 99.99% of all bacteria* thanks to longer temperature holding times. This feature has been independently certified by the Rhein-Waal technical university in Germany and offers peace of mind that you can achieve a truly hygienic result when drying items such as bedding, towels and wash-cloths.

If you’re thinking about buying a new tumble dryer, a heat pump model is the most energy efficient and convenient option. Discover the new range of Miele heat pump tumble dryers here

(*) Half-load tested using Staphylococcus aureus and E coli in the Cottons programme.

About the Author

Every member of the Miele Team is a passionate home economist and an expert in their field, striving to provide cooking inspiration and knowledgeable product advice.

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