In-unit laundry systems are a very popular feature. But finding space for them can be difficult in smaller apartments, especially since the necessity of venting traditional dryers limits where they can be installed. Enter ventless dryers; since they don’t require any outside air vent, they don’t need to be near an outdoor wall and can be placed virtually anywhere, such as under a bathroom or kitchen counter or in an interior closet. The new HybridCare clothes dryer from Whirlpool combines this layout convenience with energy efficiency. Rather than venting hot, moist air like a conventional dryer, the unit’s hybrid heat-pump technology employs a refrigeration system to dry and recycle the same air. The heat-pump technology uses less heat than vented dryers and offers energy savings by re-purposing energy during the drying cycle, the company says.
The dryer offers three modes of operation: speed mode, which focuses on managing time; eco mode, which is used to optimize energy; and balanced mode, which blends performance characteristics of the first two.
Ventless dryers are also great for retrofits and upgrades to existing units, since installation is far simpler than putting in vented units, with no ductwork or makeup air requirements to consider. HybridCare offers in-unit laundry in a green package—two desirable characteristics for tenants that will in turn command higher rents and reduce turnover.
Whirlpool will begin shipping units to select U.S. markets in the fourth quarter 2014, with expansion to other U.S. markets and Canada to follow in early 2015.