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Condenser tumble dryers

By Matt Stevens

Condenser dryers can be installed anywhere in the home - but are they for you? Find out all you need to know about condenser tumble dryers.

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As the name suggests, condenser tumble dryers condense the warm damp air from inside the drum into water, which is then deposited into a container that you have to empty. As this process is contained within the machine, condenser dryers can be installed anywhere in your property.

Unlike vented dryers, they do not have an exhaust hose that needs to be connected to a wall vent, or poked out through a window when the dryer is working.

However, some condenser models do come with a hose that you can attach to a drain, as you would for a washing machine. If you choose this type of condenser tumble dryer, the water will drain away rather than collect in the container, saving you from having to empty it yourself - but it will naturally limit where the dryer can be installed.

Want to know which tumble dryer is best for you? Take a look at all of our tumble dryer reviews.

How much do condenser tumble dryers cost?

Condenser tumble dryers are slightly more expensive to buy than vented dryers. Prices start from just under £200, but a top-of-the-range condenser model can cost over £1,000.

Energy running costs average around £78 per year. To split that down, dryers with a 7kg drum will cost £71 per year to run, while dryers with an 8kg drum will cost £81 per year.

Alternatively, you could buy a condenser tumble dryer with a heat pump. These cost more in the shops, but use half the electricity or less. Of the models we've tested, the average running cost is £34. Find out more about heat pump tumble dryers.

What are the pros and cons of condenser tumble dryers?

Pros: a condenser tumble dryer can be installed anywhere - it doesn't need to be near a window or wall. Because water from the drum is collected, steam isn’t an issue.

Cons: choose a poor condenser dryer and you'll still have to cope with damp air leaking out of the machine and the possibility of mildew. You need to empty the water reservoir regularly and remove fluff from the heat exchanger at least four or five times a year.

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