How Do 110-Volt Electric Dryers Work?


Quick Answer

Electric dryers that use 110 volts work similarly to 220-volt dryers, but they tend to be significantly smaller. Electrical resistance is used to generate heat, and air blows this heat onto the clothing in the dryer.

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Full Answer

Most dryers use 220-volt connections to generate sufficient heat and spin the large drum. While 110-volt outlets can supply enough power, the dryers need to draw far more amperage than a 110-volt outlet can provide. Consequently, most 110-volt dryers are significantly smaller than their higher-voltage counterparts. Because of their smaller size, 110-volt dryers are often used in apartments and other small spaces, and many are part of combination washer-and-dryer units designed to save space.

Smaller 110-volt dryers sometimes use ventless technology. Dryers evaporate water trapped in clothing, but they must remove this moisture from the system. Traditional 220-volt dryers simply vent air outside, while ventless models create a cool area that converts water vapor into a liquid form, so it can be drained out of the system. These models don't vent away hot air, so less electricity is needed to create a sufficiently warm environment. Other systems even use heat pump technology to provide better efficiency, although these models typically cost significantly more, as of 2015.

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