Blomberg DHP24412W 24-Inch Compact Ventless Heat Pump Dryer Review
If you need a compact dryer and want to save energy, consider this unique model
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By the Numbers
The Blomberg DHP24412W (MSRP $1,599) is unlike any other dryer on the market. It combines innovative heat pump technology—which recirculates hot air inside a dryer while removing moisture, similar to an air conditioner—with a compact footprint. Energy savings can be as much as 25 percent over a conventional, vented dryer.
We expected the DHP24412W's cycles to run for a while, but we were surprised by how gently it heated laundry. As long as you don’t need something dried in a rush, this compact model will take good care of your clothes.
Note: This product is currently unscored. Our scores are based on comparisons of similar products using industry standard tests. We have not yet tested enough compact dryers to make a statistically significant analysis of the category.
April 28, 2015
It's rare to find a home appliance that's so perfectly tailored to the needs of those living in small spaces. But if you only have room for a 24-inch compact dryer and don't have a dryer vent, the Blomberg DHP24412W (MSRP $1,599) might be just what you're looking for. It's the first compact dryer on sale in the U.S. to use an innovative method of drying clothes that's gentler and more energy efficient than anything else out there, and we were very excited to get it into our labs to test.
We weren't disappointed.
Yes, it's sale price is high, but the unique heat pump drying system—which recirculates hot air while removing moisture—is far more effective at drying clothes than the condenser that's found in similarly-sized dryers. An impressive cycle list and familiar design might also help alleviate some of that sticker shock.
The DHP24412W's cycles took longer than those on full-size machines, but it was fairly quick for a compact and had no problems getting clothes dry. It even got a bulky comforter ready to be put back on the bed. That's no small feat—even for a larger dryer.
This energy efficient mini-model is definitely proof that heat pump dryers can carve out a niche in the U.S.—especially where energy prices are high and laundry rooms are small. If you’re in the market for a compact laundry set and have the cash to invest in more eco-friendly, energy efficient technology, then this—along with its competent washer counterpart—could very well be your go-to option.
Design & Usability
Straightforward and easy to read
The DHP24412W isn't the first ventless heat pump dryer we’ve tested, but it is the first compact model sporting the technology to sell in the U.S. That means you can fit it in an apartment or condo—and it's even low enough to be installed under a kitchen counter.
In terms of aesthetics, however, the Blomberg isn’t exactly breaking new ground. In many respects, it looks just like a typical dryer that’s been squashed down into a smaller package.
The seal on the door is quite good, but that means you need to use a little extra force when opening or shutting it. Inside, the stainless drum is a common element in higher-end dryers like this one. As is often the case with compact models, the lint trap takes the shape of a small cage as opposed to a screen.
Perhaps the biggest positive aspect is the size of the font on the controls. The cycle list is quite lengthy, but it doesn’t look as cluttered as it could. Everything is easy to read, and both the cycle dial and control buttons are highly responsive.
Normal & Delicate
This Blomberg doesn’t allow you to adjust temperature or dryness levels directly, but in the case of Cottons and Permanent Press cycles, you’re given multiple variations to fit how dry you want clothes to get.
For our Normal test, we followed the owner's manual and used Cottons Regular Dry. It did an all-around excellent job. True, it only removed 98% of excess moisture after about 2 hours, but that’s with temperatures peaking at just 123.6°F.
None of our laundry felt wet to the touch, and a little moisture can actually be a good thing, preventing over drying and prepping clothes to finish under an iron or as they're hanging.
That’s especially true for the type of garment typically dried on the Delicates cycle. This mode took only 1 hour and 34 minutes, peaking at 125.4°F and removing 95% of excess moisture.
Quick Dry & Bulky
Fast drying isn’t an easy goal to achieve for any compact dryer, heat pump or otherwise. The Blomberg’s Quick 30 Min. cycle proved to be the only real disappointment in our test. After half an hour, or 4-lb test load was only 76% dry. With gentle temperatures that peaked at just 110.7°F, we’re not entirely surprised. It might be best to save this cycle for one or two items only.
We were surprised, however, by just how well this compact dryer handled our feather comforter. Most dryers regardless of size do poorly here, but compacts have a particularly difficult time due to their inability to circulate a large item in such a small drum. Nevertheless, the 4.1-cu.-ft. Blomberg removed 82% excess moisture. True, it took almost three hours with temperatures peaking at 141.4°F, but still—that’s really quite good for a dryer of this size.
Cycles & Features
Custom—but not customizable—cycles.
Unlike many compact dryers, this Blomberg definitely doesn’t shirk when it comes to cycle variety. This is partly in response to the lack of customization: Instead of letting you change the temperature or dryness level of a typical Normal cycle, you can choose between Cottons Damp, Cottons Regular, or Cottons Extra Dry.
Out of the 16 different cycles, though, only five are iterative, with three drying levels for Cottons and two for Permanent Press. The other 11 are all different modes, ranging from Jeans and Mixed Fabrics to Wool Refresh and Jogging Wear.
The purpose of some cycles, like BabyProtect or Xpress, may not be obvious at first glance. We encourage you to read through your user manual and familiarize yourself with what the Blomberg has to offer before you start using it.
Since so much of the dryer’s versatility has been designated to the cycle list, we weren’t too surprised at the lack of extra features. Other than turning the cycle chime on or off, or adjusting the length of the Timed Dry cycle, the secondary control console is really only used to display the estimated drying time and turn the machine on.
Takes a while, but it’s worth the wait
Blomberg dryers are made by Arçelik, a Turkish conglomerate that is one of the leading appliance manufacturers in Europe—where heat pump dryers have gained a foothold. The DHP24412W is based on designs already popular in the rest of the world.
You can learn more about how a heat pump dryer works here, but suffice it to say that the technology allows for low-heat drying that's both energy-efficient, gentle on clothes, and effective at drying.
In our tests, this Blomberg proved far more effective than any other compact ventless dryer we've tested. The DHP24412W never quite got out 100% of the excess moisture we added to our test laundry, but it came darn close. A little moisture left behind can actually be good for clothes, as it helps to reduce wrinkles and makes ironing easier.
Perhaps most impressive was the Blomberg’s ability to tackle our Queen size down-alternative comforter. It removed 82% excess moisture without any help from us; that’s impressive for any dryer, let alone a compact model.
Of course, it goes without saying that a compact dryer—especially one that doesn’t rely on conventionally high heats—will take a long time. Cottons Regular Dry averaged about two hours, while Bulky took almost three. That's about the same as a condenser dryer, and twice as long as most vented dryers.
The Quick 30 Min. cycle was the only one we tested that didn’t rely on sensors, and was easily the least effective. When push comes to shove, this dryer does a great job—as long as you’re not in a hurry.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Installation & Maintenance
Trade the vent for a drain
Unlike Electrolux’s new condenser dryer, which has a built-in water tank that you can empty between cycles, the Blomberg heat pump requires a direct-to-drain set up. If you install it next to a washer, that shouldn't be a problem.
Instead of a traditional vent that sends hot air outside, the DHP24412W comes with a small hose that attaches in the back. The other end of the hose can hook onto a regular sink, or onto the same designated drain spout you use for your washer.
Maintaining a heat pump dryer is actually very easy. The only difference between the Blomberg and a traditional model is that it has two lint traps. A normal lint trap is found in the usual place, right at the front of the drum.
To access the second lint trap, you push a button on the front of the dryer that unlocks a hidden door. Bright red arrows guide you in removing the secondary trap, but we’d recommend having the manual handy the first few times you clean it.
Red indicator lights on the control console will remind you to clean the secondary lint trap every few cycles, so as long as you’re paying attention to the dryer’s display, everything should be fine.
The Future of Drying
The right choice for a small space
While heat pump dryers are still a long way from going mainstream in the U.S., the Blomberg DHP24412W proves that the technology is a great fit for small spaces where venting isn't possible.
As with any compact dryers, the DHP24412W has some drawbacks—but they're all offset by just how much it outperforms anything that can fit in the same space. Cycles may take a long time, but they remain relatively cool and are extremely gentle on clothes. Plus, an impressively versatile cycle list gives consumers a wide range of options to accommodate any type of wardrobe. It's designed to pair with the Blomberg WM98400SX compact washer, which also did very well in our tests.
This machine is still fairly new, so tracking one down for less than its full $1,599 MSRP may prove a bit of a challenge. But if you’re looking for an energy-efficient, ventless, compact dryer, you won’t find anything better.