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Exploring a Heat Pump Clothes Dryer

Ask This Old House plumbing and HVAC expert Richard Trethewey tests out a new dryer that uses a heat pump to dry the clothes.


  1. Standard electric dryers use electricity to power an element that heats the dryer to dry the clothes inside. The water, lint, and excess heat is then vented outside.
  2. A heat pump dryer, on the other hand, uses refrigerant to catch the hot air from the dryer and that element is then pushed through a compressor to make it even hotter. That new hot air is then pushed back into the dryer and the cycle repeats itself.
  3. Heat pump dryers don’t require vents, but they do need to drain. There’s a hose that can be run to a drain or there’s a built-in catch that collects water for up to two cycles before it needs to be dumped.
  4. Heat pump dryers need 40-50% less energy than a standard electric dryer, though the operating time required for the heat pump dryer is slightly longer.


Richard tested out the Stackable Electric Ventless Heat Pump Dryer by Samsung.