How to Keep Your Condenser Dryer Running Efficiently

Updated on December 7, 2016
Condenser Dryer
Condenser Dryer | Source

Maintaining Your Condenser Dryer for Just a Few Minutes Each Month

I have been using a ventless condenser dryer for over a decade now. For those homes which do not have access to the outside for venting a tumble dryer, a condenser dryer makes perfect sense.

These dryers do take a bit more regular maintenance than vented tumble dryers, but with regular care they can be kept running smoothly and efficiently. Without this care, you will find that your clothes take longer to dry, wasting electricity and time.

I will show you, from practical experience, how to maintain your condenser dryer and keep it running efficiently for years.

What is the difference between a condenser dryer and a vented dryer

Condenser Dryer

When drying clothes, the hot moist air is diverted into a condensing chamber. When this hot, moist air hits the metal condensing unit the steam turns into water. This water is collected in a plastic tank which needs to be emptied manually. Some condensing dryers can be plumbed so that this water goes to a drain.

A condenser dryer can be placed anywhere.


Vented Dryer

A vented tumble dryer blows hot damp air out via a venting pipe, ideally outdoors through an open window or an outside wall using a venting tube. If not properly vented they will cause condensation within a room.

A vented dryer must be situated near an outside wall for venting purposes.

Condenser dry cleaning schedule

After every load

  • Empty the water collection chamber
  • Clear the lint from the lint trap

Once a month

  • Pull the condensation unit out and wash it out thoroughly.
  • Thoroughly clean the slot where the lint trap sits.

Emptying the water collection chamber - Step by step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pull the drawer outFlip it upside down so the holes are inverted and empty the chamberI like to use this to water my plants.
Pull the drawer out
Pull the drawer out
Flip it upside down so the holes are inverted and empty the chamber
Flip it upside down so the holes are inverted and empty the chamber
I like to use this to water my plants.
I like to use this to water my plants.

Cleaning the lint trap in a condenser dryer

The condenser dryers that I have seen have the lint trap situated just inside the door. This is cleared by pulling the trap out and scraping any lint off.

After removing the lint filter and the condensing unit, use a flat dusting brush to push any lint which is sitting in this area out the bottom. The lint can then easily be hoovered up.

Use the hose and a flat attachment on the hoover then to clean the lint trap area and clear any residual lint.

Cleaning the lint filter - step by step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pull out the lint trap filterUse a duster to clean out the lint trap area completelyAfter 1 loadRemove the lintOnce a week, squirt with a bit of dish soaprub it into the filterand rinse
Pull out the lint trap filter
Pull out the lint trap filter
Use a duster to clean out the lint trap area completely
Use a duster to clean out the lint trap area completely
After 1 load
After 1 load
Remove the lint
Remove the lint
Once a week, squirt with a bit of dish soap
Once a week, squirt with a bit of dish soap
rub it into the filter
rub it into the filter
and rinse
and rinse

Helpful Hint

To keep your lint trap working more efficiently, once a week rub a small bit of dish soap into the netting and rinse it off. This will clear away any micro particles of fluff that have gotten stuck in the filter.

Cleaning the Condenser Unit

Over time, lint will build up in the condenser unit, decreasing air flow through the unit and decreasing drying efficiency.

I have found that the best way to clean the condenser unit is to take it outside. I direct a strong flow of water through the unit and wash out any lint which may be sitting inside. Direct the water into the unit via all sides as the lint can get trapped in every little corner.

This cleaning can be done in the kitchen sink, but it's a bit trickier and many times the condensing unit is too large to sit in the sink and get under the tap.

How to clean the condensing unit - step by step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
front panel of dryerremove the front panelunlock the condensing unitpull the condensing unit outI prefer to clean mine outside because it's easier. Run water through all sides of the unit until no more lint comes outGet it from the back as wellAnd the sidesReplace the cleaned unit and lock.
front panel of dryer
front panel of dryer
remove the front panel
remove the front panel
unlock the condensing unit
unlock the condensing unit
pull the condensing unit out
pull the condensing unit out
I prefer to clean mine outside because it's easier. Run water through all sides of the unit until no more lint comes out
I prefer to clean mine outside because it's easier. Run water through all sides of the unit until no more lint comes out
Get it from the back as well
Get it from the back as well
And the sides
And the sides
Replace the cleaned unit and lock.
Replace the cleaned unit and lock.

Questions & Answers

    Do you have any helpful hints for doing laundry?

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      • profile image

        Georgina 

        4 months ago

        Hi, my clothes seem to have a funny smell after drying them. What do you think it could be please? And also how would I clean the collection tank please? X

      • profile image

        Mona 

        10 months ago

        Lately my dryer has been leaving the cloths smelling a bit weird. And I've been cleaning it but nth changed. I discovered today that the water collection tank has a greasy film linning it ( similar to the one that happens in the washing machines softener drawer ) since it has a very tiny opening I cldnt clean it very well. Any suggestions to what can be used to get that film off?

      • profile image

        carol. 

        3 years ago

        Thank you for your information.my tumble drier is hot but seems like forever to dry the clothes. I will try what you have suggested and let you know how I get on.

      • NanLT profile imageAUTHOR

        Nan 

        3 years ago from London, UK

        I would suggest following the steps outlined here.

        Make sure the condenser unit is clean. My experience has been that more often than not if this is clogged with lint, the dryer will not dry efficiently.

        Make sure the lint trap has been thoroughly cleaned.

        Make sure the water reservoir has been emptied.

      • profile image

        DCRF 

        3 years ago

        I have an LG washer/dryer combo.

        It is washing (and spinning) fine but the dryer cycle (condensor dryer) is filling with water leaving the clothes dripping wet.

        I am now hang drying until I can diagnose and fix the problem.

        Any ideas?

      • SusanDeppner profile image

        Susan Deppner 

        5 years ago from Arkansas USA

        I've found in the past that using fabric softener sheets creates a film on the lint filter, too, so for that reason (among others) I don't use those anymore. Your explanations and step-by-steps are excellent! I'm not sure I even knew there was such a thing as a condenser dryer, but now I even understand how they work. Perfect!

      • NanLT profile imageAUTHOR

        Nan 

        5 years ago from London, UK

        @anonymous: I'm very glad I could be of help to you here.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        5 years ago

        Dear NanLT,

        I thought I was losing my mind when my condenser dryer stopped working properly and could not work out what was wrong; my husband told me I had overfilled it. I was trying to think of a final solution when I did a Google search and came across your article. I grabbed a screw driver and pried open the bottom compartment to discover the condensing unit was clogged up with gunk. I washed it out, as per your advice, and it is now working better than the day we got it.

        Thank you and Blessed Be.

      • NanLT profile imageAUTHOR

        Nan 

        7 years ago from London, UK

        @anonymous: Excellent! I am so glad you were able to find this useful.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        WOW!! that information was brill, i have just bought a condenser dryer for £27 off the car boot tried it but it was smelly and not very hot, i did what u told me with the condenser and it smells nice and is at its hottest now when set!! wot a bargain and thank you. helen mansfield,u.k x

      • NanLT profile imageAUTHOR

        Nan 

        8 years ago from London, UK

        [in reply to Svein Medhus] Interesting. Still, I have found that my clothes dry faster and come out of the dryer softer than using nothing at all. And it's certainly more ecologically friendly than using dryer sheets.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        Dryer balls save no energy. I have out them to the test.

        http://urge4lessenergy.blogspot.com/2009/03/dryer-...

      • groovyfind profile image

        Samantha Devereux 

        9 years ago from Columbia Mo

        I didn't even know these existed!

      • profile image

        bdkz 

        9 years ago

        Excellent information!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        9 years ago

        Very interesting!

      • aka-rms profile image

        Robin S 

        9 years ago from USA

        Interesting. I've never seen these.

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