How Do Ventless Drying Systems on Dishwashers Work?

Lucy Friend

The ventless drying system on dishwashers was introduced in the early 1990s and improved upon thereafter. Dishwashers that use the ventless drying system dry dishes by condensation. The system effectively air-dries the dishwasher’s contents by changing condensation back to water. The dishwasher then drains the water.


A ventless dishwasher effectively dries dishes with no ventilation system.

The original concept of the ventless drying system on dishwashers utilizes the heating element during the wash and rinse cycle and a fan. The heating element is used to effectively clean and sanitize the dishes. After the rinse cycle, the heating element causes the water to evaporate. The fan cools and circulates the evaporated water changing it back to liquid.


A ventless drying system doesn’t release heat or moisture from the dishwasher while it’s running. The heat released from a dishwasher with a vent can make the room warmer and increase cooling bills. The moisture released from a vent can cause damage to the surrounding environment. Frequent use of a dishwasher with a venting system can cause mold to accumulate because the moisture increases the humidity levels. A ventless drying system stays sealed and contains the heat and moisture the entire time the dishwasher is operating.

Energy Efficiency

Dishwashers are rated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star rating system. Because of technological advances, the standards for dishwashers to become qualified based on the Energy Star test criteria will increase in January 2012. Check the brand and model of a ventless drying dishwashers to ensure it’s energy efficient in accordance to Energy Star’s testing standards.

Vented or Ventless?

Like many appliances, opinions regarding technologies used differ, even among industry experts. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the dishwasher and the environment it’s going in, including costs, installation and size of the area it’ll be used in. Energy Star-qualified dishwashers save more time and money than hand-washing dishes, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Even if a dishwasher is costly, it saves money over time.