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Condensing dryer

NormanWB | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I am finishing a basement and am considering adding a small washer and dryer so this can be a fully autonomous living area (think efficiency apartment, Air BNB).  Unfortunately, the only location precludes easy venting, so I am looking at condensing and heat pump dryers.

My local Sears outlet has an Electrolux condensing dryer for under $600.  Since this area will not be in full time use and the laundry used even less often, I do not need a large unit, this seems like a good fit.

Water, drainage and power are not a problem.  Current HVAC is via a very efficient Mitsubishi ducted heat pump.

Thought on this type unit and/or caveats are greatly appreciated.

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  1. frasca | | #1

    I have been using a Miele TWB120WP T1 for a couple months:
    - It uses about 1 kWh / load.
    - I do 90% of my loads on "Normal, Extra" setting. Less than that and the loads don't come out fully dry. I don't know why I have to choose Extra but I suspect it's mostly a sensors/controls issue; the thing pumps a bloody ton of heat.
    - I have 4 kids and it can keep up with our volume.

  2. Expert Member
    Peter Engle | | #2

    Max makes a good point above. These do dump a lot of heat into the space, and your A/C system will need to be able to handle that. 1 kw equals 3400 Btu. Most A/C systems are oversized enough to handle the extra load, but it is worth checking. If it is marginal, you could encourage your guests to do their laundry at night/morning when the loads are lower.

    1. frasca | | #5

      True, but a vented dryer has HVAC load too in that it is taking air from your house and blowing it into the backyard... drawing outside air into the house that much of the year gets heated or cooled.

      E.G. If it's 80°F outside and you're cooling your house to 72°F, running a vented dryer with a 200CFM exhaust fan is adding 1700 Btu/hr of sensible cooling load. Add latent heat removal and this could pretty quickly get up to the load of my ventless unit.

      In the heating season the the non-venting is obviously a good guy in the other direction, plus the 3400 Btu/load you bought to dry your clothes are *free* space heating.

  3. NormanWB | | #3

    Thanks for the input. Yes, the AC unit is more than adequate to the task, because the basement is so well insulated for my region (3A - Greenville, SC), with R12 on the poured walls, R25 in the stud space, R5 around the pad perimeter, and conditioned crawlspace on two sides. In fact, the system hardly ever runs and is the smallest one Mitsubishi made at the time (1 ton) serving 1100 sq ft. Currently, the system is off to minimize dust in the system while I am hanging sheetrock, and the space is maintaining 60+ degrees no matter what the temp is outside.

  4. mark_be | | #4

    I’m pretty sure the Miele unit referred to above is a heat pump unit, while the Electrolux unit, as you state, is a condensing dryer. We’ve had the Electrolux unit for close to a year. No problems at all. Clothes get dry with no noticeable heat dumped into the laundry room. For $600, i would consider it a great buy.

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