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vpt
12-14-2011, 10:41 AM
Anyone use the air from the cloths dryer to heat and humidify the house? I can understand this wouldn't be a good idea for the gas dryers but what about for electric dryers? Living in WI any extra cheap or free heat is worth the effort plus my house is always very dry in winter because of the furnaces outside air exchange system.

My though is running the vent to a box with a standard size (16x25") furnace filler on one side that the air from the dryer would run threw.

Works? Done this? Have pics? Already talked about I didn't search good enough?

flylo
12-14-2011, 10:55 AM
I've seen a device that go's inline with a flapper valve made to do this. It has a screen & a way to clean it. They were only a few bucks.

Arcane
12-14-2011, 11:04 AM
They make kits for electric dryers but unfiltered exhaust air will cover everything with a very fine layer of lint which also can create a lot of problems with your furnace if it uses the same air for combustion. Some people have found the extra humidity in the air to be a problem too especially if your dryer is in a damp basement. My house doesn't have any air outlets/intakes in the basement so basement air doesn't really get mixed into the upstairs air; there would be very slight benefit upstairs from any moisture from the dryer exhaust if I were to dump the exhaust air into my basement.

Deja Vu
12-14-2011, 11:06 AM
Here's the basic unit I have installed..or very similar. Modify or construct your own to suit.
http://www.fleetfarm.com/catalog/product_detail/heating-cooling/registers-grilles/deflecto-dryer-vent-deflector

tmc_31
12-14-2011, 11:09 AM
Might be ok. I would be concerned with that much moisture being thrown into the house. The filter you suggest will slow the dryer airflow somewhat increasing the likelihood of premature element burnout. On the other hand, you will have to have a better lint trap than what comes on the dryer. Our dryer vents into the garage and helps keep it a little warmer in winter.

Tiim

bewards
12-14-2011, 11:18 AM
The humidity would be a huge problem. The owner of my house before me had it piped into the crawl space. It was causing mold problems. I have since re-piped it and cured the mold problem.


be

tdmidget
12-14-2011, 11:27 AM
Sounds like a good idea. I like the filter and one that big should not cause too much restriction. You guys that are worried about the humidity are apparently not accustomed to Wisconsin type cold. The air will be so dry that your skin will crack and walking across a carpet can result in a 2 inch spark to a doorknob. I don't think normal home laundry will be problem. You may not like the fabric soften smell but you don't have to use it either.

aboard_epsilon
12-14-2011, 11:30 AM
Dont you have condencing dryers in the USA .

they are very common here ..

they have the filters built on ..and collect the water into a container that slides out or they put it strait down the drain via plumbing.
cheap to buy ..about £150 - £200

all the best.markj

ed_h
12-14-2011, 01:58 PM
I have one of those diverters pictured previously. One outlet is piped to the external vent as normal, while the other goes into a purpose-made sheet metal box that allows a 16 x 20 furnace filter to slide in. This arrangement is in our furnace room, where there is a large cold air return to the furnace. This helps distribute the extra humidity throughout the house, which is a good thing in Nebraska in the winter.

Evan
12-14-2011, 02:12 PM
I built a box that holds a standard 20 x 25 furnace filter. It is about 6 inches deep and mounts on the wall just above the dryer. The filter is simple to change and can be vacuumed several times before it needs replacing. It really helps raise the humidity here which is always low and especially so in winter. Right now the humidity is about 23%. It sure doesn't make any sense to vent all that heat outside.

Even if you have high humidity it isn't difficult to build a heat exchanger to warm incoming air with a flap that can be opened when the dryer is running. Most houses will pull on air through an opening, especially if the opening is in a daylight basement. If not a small fan can be added. You always need air exchange and making it happen in the most favourable way can save a lot of money.

Forrest Addy
12-14-2011, 02:13 PM
Probably won't go well if you use perfumes (stinking. Why does everything have to be be perfumed? The ink used to print slick magazines is perfumed, fer cryin out loud) laundry products.

I can see using a two-way vent contreoller to bypass the nouse or the great out doors. And a good lint trap of course.

In any case you might consider an in-vent humidifier thingy

SteveF
12-14-2011, 02:41 PM
Venting the dryer inside the structure is a violation of Section 504.4 of the Mechanical Code. Putting that amount of humidity inside the structure can cause all kinds of expensive problems. The building code is written with the average homeowner in mind, who is unlikely to switch it back to the outside exhaust when conditions demand it.

So, ASSUMING that the person doing this is bright enough and mindful enough to monitor the home conditions and only have the venting indoors as needed, here's a few thoughts.

Output the dryer into a box with the largest filter you can buy. Buy a very good filter, not those $1.50 ones that only filter out small birds and mice. Do a test run with your dryer as this restriction may very well significantly increase drying time and the increased electrical usage just shot to hell any energy savings. Yes, folks, it is entirely possible to have an "energy saving" idea that uses more energy than it saves.

From the box I'd be tempted to connect into the return duct for the furnace so it works like a house humidifier. Having the fan run when the dryer is running would be ideal to evenly distribute the humid air. At least switch on the fan at the thermostat for 10-15 minutes after the dryer finishes to clear out the ducts.

On the other hand, it would probably just be cheaper and easier to buy a distilled water humidifier.

BTW, TMC_31, by having your dryer vent into your garage you are creating the worst possible conditions. Mold is created when moisture is introduced into a space and migrates to an outside wall where surface temp is cold enough to reach 100% relative humidity and the vapor condenses. It may be making your garage a little warmer. It is also likely the water vapor is getting inside the wall through switch and outlet boxes and other leaks and is making mold inside the walls. This isn't just a winter problem. Put in an exterior vent.

Steve

radkins
12-14-2011, 02:52 PM
The humidity would be a huge problem. The owner of my house before me had it piped into the crawl space. It was causing mold problems. I have since re-piped it and cured the mold problem.


be


Problem??? :confused: Dry air is a winter time problem for most houses and dryer exhaust is usually a big help instead of a problem, it sure made a difference in my house.

bewards
12-14-2011, 03:03 PM
I live in the southern US so humidity can be a problem. Having said that, my house runs about 50-55% year round. I don't know how bad it would get without hvac.


be

chriskat
12-14-2011, 04:16 PM
I used to use an adaptor that used water as a filter to catch the lint. Had to clean it out and change the water every time you used it.

Did add a lot of humidity to the house but I didn't like it.

Jeff

8ntsane
12-14-2011, 04:40 PM
Man. Ive thought about doing this many times, but thought nobody does this!
Reading this thread, and some good pionts, and some good Idea,s, I think Ill look into this a little deeper now.

Thanks Guys

chriskat
12-14-2011, 08:07 PM
I had this thing. It worked fine, I don't remember a lot of lint in the house but it did have to be cleaned out regularly.

Indoor Drier Vent (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&gs_upl=543l3902l0l4212l21l17l0l1l1l0l230l2294l4.8. 4l17l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1024&bih=637&wrapid=tlif132391113952810&q=indoor+dryer+vent+kit&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=1158013570032877651&sa=X&ei=5UfpTr2xAtO_gAe21d3cAg&ved=0CIoBEPMCMAA#)

I stopped using it mostly because in MD 30 miles from the ocean and Chesapeake Bay the humidity is already high. It was too much.

Jeff

wierdscience
12-14-2011, 08:20 PM
Why not whip up an air to air heat exchanger?Funky dryer smell and humidity go outside as normal,but heat transfers into the house HVAC ducting.

bborr01
12-14-2011, 08:33 PM
I had one of those in line diverters in my dryer vent duct several years ago. I still have it on the shelf. There was way too much moisture coming from the dryer. I do wonder how much better it would be with the new high efficiency front load washers. They spin so much more water out of the clothes that there is not so much moisture to enter the house. Might be worth a try.

Brian

lakeside53
12-14-2011, 08:40 PM
It works fine in cold areas... humidity is not an issue. There is a secondary energy benefit - in addition to not wasting dryer heat, you are also not pumping house air outside (lowers house pressure) which is made up by COLD outside air...

macona
12-14-2011, 08:43 PM
I tried it and I regretted it. Cold shop, bare metal, water condensing on metal... You know what comes next.

DONT DO IT!

RancherBill
12-15-2011, 12:57 AM
Dont you have condencing dryers in the USA .

they are very common here ..

they have the filters built on ..and collect the water into a container that slides out or they put it strait down the drain via plumbing.
cheap to buy ..about £150 - £200

all the best.markj

Thanks for the post. I have never heard of them.

The government is sort of cold on the idea (http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/equipment/appliance/10517)versus conventional dryers.

Bill736
12-15-2011, 01:16 AM
Whatever your approach , remember that many house fires start with overheated dryers. I believe the problem is usually overheated lint in the dryer exhaust. Playing around too much with the exhaust flow from the dryer may get you into problems.

Paul Alciatore
12-15-2011, 03:09 AM
I rented a two story apartment once that had the dryer exhaust dumped into the second floor. Summer and winter it went into the second floor. For some strange reason the landlord didn't understand my problem with all that hot, damp air being dumped into the apartment in the summer time. If you do this, do make an arrangement to dump it outside in the summer and have it inside only in the cold weather.

Same apartment: the bed room window on the first floor fell out into the snow in the middle of the winter. Same landlord didn't understand my distress. Their attempts to repair it only made it worse. I had fun breaking the lease after carefully reading it. It actually specified the exact and legal way to render it void. I bet they don't use that standard form lease any more. Or that lawyer.

SteveF
12-15-2011, 06:41 AM
I think we have some folks that don't quite understand the mechanics of how humidity in the home and its condensation on cold surfaces works. Just because the humidity inside doesn't seem bad, doesn't mean a large problem with mold isn't being created inside the wall cavities or other cold surfaces.

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/reports/rr-0203-relative-humidity

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-012-moisture-control-for-new-residential-buildings/files/bsd-012_moisture_control_new_bldgs.pdf

Steve

vpt
12-15-2011, 07:41 AM
I see two sides here but mostly with the moister problem. We have a big lack of moister in our house. We have to boil water on the stove or run more than one humidifier to keep the house bearable. We wake up with dry mouths and throats and all that unfun stuff.

I will give the dryer vent into the house a try with some of the ideas here. I will make sure the vent is gated so it can be switched between outside and inside to control the humidity. Sounds like it is gonna be a win win for me.

rws
12-15-2011, 08:10 AM
I built a box that holds a standard 20 x 25 furnace filter. It is about 6 inches deep and mounts on the wall just above the dryer. The filter is simple to change and can be vacuumed several times before it needs replacing. It really helps raise the humidity here which is always low and especially so in winter. Right now the humidity is about 23%. It sure doesn't make any sense to vent all that heat outside.

Even if you have high humidity it isn't difficult to build a heat exchanger to warm incoming air with a flap that can be opened when the dryer is running. Most houses will pull on air through an opening, especially if the opening is in a daylight basement. If not a small fan can be added. You always need air exchange and making it happen in the most favourable way can save a lot of money.


Oh no! Exchange air? How can this be? With all the greeny tree hugger environmentalists, outside air is not an efficient way to heat or cool.

My basement door (walkout) doesn't have weatherstripping and doesn't lock up real tight, and my wife complains. My wood stove has to have make-up air from somewhere....and so does a dryer.

lost_cause
12-15-2011, 08:14 AM
it can't be illegal to do it - virtually every hardware store and big box home improvement store have these for sale. i used one for a short time in my old house. if i remember correctly the vent pipe went into a box that contained water. the water was to trap the lint so it didn't all fly through the air. maybe there are more elegant versions now.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=202449697&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_sku=202449697&ci_src=14110944&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googlebase-_-D29X-_-202449697&locStoreNum=2404

dwentz
12-15-2011, 08:27 AM
I tried this for a while with an electric dryer. Purchased a unit with a diverter that went in the dryer vent. It has a small filter on it, (That had to be cleaned all the time) We had hot water heat (Radiators) at the time, and the air in the house was usually very dry. As the dryer was in the basement it did not really make much difference in the house as far as heat goes, but the moisture level in the basement did go up, and I noticed mold on somethings and more rust on the shop tools. Shop is in the basement. It also let more cold air in from out side when the dryer was not running.

If you are going to do this I would build something that uses replacement furnace filters, and then get something that could monitor the amount of humidity in the air, as well as the temperature. When the humidity was not as high (I would guess about 1/2 way through the dryer cycle) You could have the device switch the vent to the inside direction. This would control the humidity and you would still get the advantage of dumping some of the heat into the house. You can only do this with an electric dryer. To me its not worth the effort, but would be a neat project.

Dale

J Tiers
12-15-2011, 08:34 AM
You guys that are worried about the humidity are apparently not accustomed to Wisconsin type cold. The air will be so dry that your skin will crack and walking across a carpet can result in a 2 inch spark to a doorknob. I don't think normal home laundry will be problem. You may not like the fabric soften smell but you don't have to use it either.

Lived in MN for many years.... There is a REASON there is so low humidity....... actually more than one..... the main is of course that heating 100% saturated air at -40 to a livable temp will drastically lower the relative humidity of the air..... But another is that humid air will simply condense out water on colder areas, wherever the air is under the dew point.

Where it is THAT dry, you can just hang up the laundry inside and it will dry out quickly, "eliminating the middle-man" (dryer). That is what we did. You get the humidity without the stack gas and so forth.

Dryer air, even with no perfumed softener etc, smells bad to me. And it is asking a lot of the dryer combustion-wise, if you have a gas dryer.... you are venting the stack gas into the house, essentially, including whatever the CO content is.

BIGBALDGUY
12-15-2011, 09:03 AM
I live on Long Island in NY. I've had one of these on my electric dryer for 30+ years. It helps heat the cold basement, eliminate static zaps and I have no problem with rust or mold.

philbur
12-15-2011, 09:21 AM
There are many things that are illegal to use but not illegal to sell. It depends on the context of their use.

Phil:)


it can't be illegal to do it - virtually every hardware store and big box home improvement store have these for sale.

lost_cause
12-15-2011, 09:32 AM
There are many things that are illegal to use but not illegal to sell. It depends on the context of their use.

Phil:)
very true. but, since i live in the land of frivolous lawsuits, i kind of figured that if there were any margin for error, some enterprising greedy soul would have already set their sights on one of the big sellers with deep pockets. hot coffee on your legs is worth millions, so breathing mold must be worth something.

aboard_epsilon
12-15-2011, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the post. I have never heard of them.

The government is sort of cold on the idea (http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/equipment/appliance/10517)versus conventional dryers.

Had a look, yes they do use a lot of electricity .

I use mine in the evening only ..all heat they give off whilst drying the clothes is not wasted ..it heats the house .

better than chucking it outside me thinks.

As for them using water ..they dont..

They have a finned aluminium condenser ,....it goes through cycles of blowing cold air from the room over this ..then blowing hot moist air over it from the wet clothes .

As for the combined washer dryer condensers ..they are too complicated for their own good ..they are unreliable after a couple of years and can bite you in fees to be fixed

Before the condensing dryers people used these things ...see below link

You fill them with ice from the freezer...and the vent hose is directed through it ...i reckon this works, but it is even more in-efficient to make ice to use in this way..they were mainly for people who live in flats, that they cant vent to outside.

having said that about efficiency ..the freezer will also heat your house with the energy it chucks out the back whist making the ice .,.so i suppose its the same in the end.

see here :-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Indoor-Tumble-Dryer-Condenser-/190609273623?pt=UK_Home_Garden_Washing_Machines_Dr yers_Parts_Accessories_ET&hash=item2c6132b317

all the best.markj

bruto
12-15-2011, 05:41 PM
I ran an inside dryer vent for a while, and it does help a bit with the heat, but because the walls of my laundry room were not very well insulated, and it had two outside doors, the condensation caused the walls and door panels to mildew. A fair amount of lint got through as well, even though the filter was very fine.

If you do this you must be very careful that the filter doesn't clog up. Most of the kits I've seen for this have far too little surface area, and they'll clog up pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, the moisture was a problem even when the ambient air was very dry and we were trying to gain humidity in the rest of the house. You might have better luck if your dryer vents into a larger space with better circulation, and if it is not too near to cold walls.

Evan
12-15-2011, 06:04 PM
It helps a lot with the heat if it's an electric dryer. Dryers suck a lot of power and keeping it inside makes a lot of sense if you use it much and are paying to heat anyway. Up here in BC we use it at least 6 months of the year so that is a lot of heat that doesn't get blown outside.

Here is my setup. It's dead simple and cheap. I used window screen latches to provide a good seal with weather stripping behind the filter. It doesn't leak hardly any lint and as I mentioned we can use all the moisture it puts out. Rust is a non issue here.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/dryerfilter.jpg

http://ixian.ca/pics9/dryerfilter2.jpg

vpt
12-15-2011, 08:33 PM
It helps a lot with the heat if it's an electric dryer. Dryers suck a lot of power and keeping it inside makes a lot of sense if you use it much and are paying to heat anyway. Up here in BC we use it at least 6 months of the year so that is a lot of heat that doesn't get blown outside.

Here is my setup. It's dead simple and cheap. I used window screen latches to provide a good seal with weather stripping behind the filter. It doesn't leak hardly any lint and as I mentioned we can use all the moisture it puts out. Rust is a non issue here.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/dryerfilter.jpg

http://ixian.ca/pics9/dryerfilter2.jpg


Thats pretty much exactly what I envisioned. As soon as I get caught up with the trucks I am gonna get on this!

ed_h
12-16-2011, 12:04 AM
Here's mine:

http://bullfire.net/Temp/SDC10651aa.JPG

philbur
12-16-2011, 04:37 AM
The best soluton is don't use a tumble dryer, that way you don't destroy your cloths, you don't use any energy and you don't suffer from moisture issues.:cool:

Phil:)

Lew Hartswick
12-16-2011, 08:54 AM
The best soluton is don't use a tumble dryer, that way you don't destroy your cloths, you don't use any energy and you don't suffer from moisture issues.:cool:

Phil:)
The only problem is how STIFF the clothes get in the winter time on
our "solar" clothes dryer. :-)
...lew...

J Tiers
12-16-2011, 09:01 AM
The only problem is how STIFF the clothes get in the winter time on
our "solar" clothes dryer. :-)
...lew...

Hang them up INSIDE. Then you get quick drying (due to low humidity*), a boost in the indoor humidity, and NO waste of energy from the dryer.

As mentioned above.... "eliminate the middleman".

* if indoor humidity is not low, why are we having this conversation? ;)

vpt
12-16-2011, 09:02 AM
They soften up after wearing them for awhile though.

vpt
12-16-2011, 09:03 AM
Hang them up INSIDE. Then you get quick drying (low humidity) a boost in the indoor humidity, and NO waste of energy from the dryer.

As mentioned above.... "eliminate the middleman".


You must live alone. We have 3 kids, 5 sets of cloths every day plus towels, bed sheets, blankets, etc.

bborr01
12-16-2011, 09:09 AM
I think it may make a difference with what your laundry habits are.

If you do a load or two every day, you probably wont have the same problems as someone who does laundry once a week and does ten loads in one day.

Spreading things out would likely give the moisture a chance to filter throught the house and not raise the humidity level to extremes.

Brian

vpt
12-16-2011, 09:14 AM
Yeah we do around 1 load a day, sometimes two. Our laundry room is upstairs (main living area) and located centrally in the hallway so like taking a shower and opening the door the moister should dissipate threwout the house evenly and quickly.

I am pretty excited about this! Can't wait to try it out.

SteveF
12-16-2011, 11:33 AM
If your house is as dry as you say, the problem may also be related to a lack of good air sealing. Something else you might try is a DIY sort of blower door test. Put a box fan in your door or a window, blowing out. Seal up around it very well so there are no leaks. Turn it on and let it suck the air out of the house. Now go around and feel for cold air coming in around doors, windows, electrical outlets, attic openings, ceiling lights, etc. Make it a family project and get the kids involved with finding leaks. Once when I was replacing some carpet on a cold and very windy day I felt a draft on my feet and discovered I could lay on the floor and see daylight :eek: for about 18" under the outside wall. Tube of caulk and the room is much warmer.

Warning - if you have fuel burning appliances you probably want to turn those off because if they turn on while the fan is running the exhaust will be pulled into the house.

Steve

Rex
12-16-2011, 10:28 PM
I'm in N Texas, not real cold and a bit humid, but it's pretty dry in the winter, most days. Every fall when it get cold I pull the dryer vent hose out of the wall and point it away from the wall. I've been doing that for many years, several houses, no problem.
I tried the water trap, but it was more trouble than it's worth. I use no filter and I don't see any lint problems.
Sure makes the house feel warmer, and save the heat that normally goes out the roof.

JRouche
12-16-2011, 11:18 PM
Anyone use the air from the cloths dryer to heat and humidify the house?

You know what Andy? At first I thought it was crazy. Why? Because I live in So Cal and we use nat gas. Its a fraction of the cost for electricity here. Our driers, water heaters and central heating are Nat Gas fired units. Id hate to see my electric bill if they were electric appliances.

But I forget the pipe lines for gas dont go all through the country. My Nat gas bill never goes above 35 bucks, even in the winter.

Running the exhaust from essentially an air heater makes ALL the sense. Why would someone NOT want to use the heat to act as a secondary furnace. I think its a GREAT use of energy.

Specially when the humidity is low during the winter months anyway.

So its a matter of HOW you introduce the warm damp air into the house. I dont think it is wise to trap all the moisture in an area that doesn't have much air flow like a basement.

It should be vented into the largest common area where there is movement and people there to take advantage of the additional heat and humidity.

It seems like the humidity would only be a problem if it was dumped into a normally cold area of the house, like a basement or garage. Then the additional water will condensate on the cold items in that room (walls, machines and floor).

If its piped into the common living area the additional moisture should be evaporated instead of going to condensation..

Ideally for me would to pipe the exhaust into a room that has a wood burning stove. Cause we all know its good to set a cast iron pot full of water on the pot belly stove. Yeah, so we can make some stew, but more so because it adds some humidity back into the air that a stove will draw out.

I really like Evan's set up for filtering the debris from the drier.

I say do it. If you dont its just shooting the heat outside. What a waste right?? JR

JRouche
12-16-2011, 11:32 PM
If your house is as dry as you say, the problem may also be related to a lack of good air sealing.

Hmmm, not sure North Carolina really gets dry, not really known for the dry summers or winters.

Steve, it gets SO dry that you cant keep a cup of water on the counter too long if you plan to drink it :) Yeah!! It gets that dry in the winter up north.

Not really a sealing thing. The house will get dried out from the outside in. EVERYTHING is super dry even with mounds of snow on everything. The air is so dry and cold it will suck the words out of yer mouth before you even speak them. It an entirely diff world... JR

J Tiers
12-17-2011, 12:20 AM
You must live alone. We have 3 kids, 5 sets of cloths every day plus towels, bed sheets, blankets, etc.

Nope...... we run the dryer...... and don't exhaust it inside, it's gas, and I don't like the chimney smell of the output.

With a front loader washer, most stuff dries quite fast anyway

When I was a kid, laundry was dried on the line outside in summer, inside in winter. We tended not to wear everything just once and then wash.... although us kids got clothes dirty fast.

darryl
12-17-2011, 02:03 AM
I remember the days- I could get a week or more out of a pair of jeans, four or five days out of a shirt, at least three days out of underwear- but I couldn't get a date- it was so dry :)

SteveF
12-17-2011, 07:16 AM
Not really a sealing thing. The house will get dried out from the outside in....

Actually it is a sealing thing. Inside the house, water is constantly being introduced into the air through evaporation from toilets, sink traps, kitchen activities, bathroom activities, people breathing, cups of water on the counter, etc. all of which increase the relative humidity. When outside air of say 32 degrees at 50% RH enters the house and is heated to 70 degrees, its RH is now around 20%. When the house is poorly sealed, all that inside air with added moisture is getting replaced with dry air. Put two houses side by side in Wisconsin, one well sealed and one poorly sealed and the well sealed one will be much more comfortable (and the energy bills will be lower).

BTW, I've lived in upstate New York and am very familiar with winters there. Which is why I don't live there anymore. ;)

Steve

vpt
12-17-2011, 08:43 AM
The house is sealed fairly well. I went threw it a few years ago and did pretty much like mentioned with feeling for cold air and fixing the problems. I had a big leak at the main garage door with a broken down threshold and a loose door that didn't close tight and seal up good. The rest was minor tightening loose screws, adjusting tracks, and other simple fixes. We have about 18" of blown in insulation in the attic. Unused doors and windows are taped up or plastic sealed. I can tell when leaving the house and closing the door if a window is open because the door will close easier.

Just for kicks here is a pic of the threshold I built. I didn't want the seal on the threshold because walking on it and dragging stuff over it tears up the seal. I have had much better luck when the seal is on the bottom of the doors.

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/6397/fab001ha8.jpg

http://img383.imageshack.us/img383/2172/fab002wv1.jpg

lakeside53
12-17-2011, 12:25 PM
Actually it is a sealing thing. Inside the house, water is constantly being introduced into the air through evaporation from toilets, sink traps, kitchen activities, bathroom activities, people breathing, cups of water on the counter, etc. all of which increase the relative humidity. When outside air of say 32 degrees at 50% RH enters the house and is heated to 70 degrees, its RH is now around 20%. When the house is poorly sealed, all that inside air with added moisture is getting replaced with dry air. Put two houses side by side in Wisconsin, one well sealed and one poorly sealed and the well sealed one will be much more comfortable (and the energy bills will be lower).

BTW, I've lived in upstate New York and am very familiar with winters there. Which is why I don't live there anymore. ;)

Steve



But.... you can't seal it all up like a bottle - you still need multiple outside air exchanges per hour for heathly living.


I lived in Montana in both a 1908 and a late 20th century "tight" house with 6 mil vapor barrier beneath the drywall, and every outlet and pentration foamed/sealed. There wasn't much humidity in either in the winter (but the gas bills were very diffrent ;) ). In fact, at -10 outside most of it just froze to the inside of the windows - and the house air was at 70F! We'd run 2 gallons a day out of a humidifier just in the bedroom.


Back to the drier venting - just how much water is left in clothes after they have been spun "dry"? Not a lot if you have a decent spin cycle. I threw a load into the drier yesterday - I bet it didn't lweight 10lb total.

SteveF
12-17-2011, 12:44 PM
But.... you can't seal it all up like a bottle - you still need multiple outside air exchanges per hour for heathly living.



Sure you can. You just need to install a heat recovery ventilation system to maintain an adequate number of air changes per hour.

Steve

lakeside53
12-17-2011, 01:08 PM
Yes, but that is different - just for heat retention, not humidity - you still need either the dedicated system or enough "leakage" to exchange the air. Exchanging the air is what drops the humidity. Houses and office buildings that that are "too tight" have become a problem. I forget the recommendations... but something like 3-7 time per hour? Someone will goggle that ;)


And.. adding a recovery unit is a bit more involved than plugging leaks :)


I do the opposite. In my somewhat leaky Western WA house.... I run a 75,000 btu (max) wood buring fireplace all winter 24x7. The air is taken from the outside at 100-300cfm, passed over the fireplace and into the house. It's dry, but usually not too bad (it is WA...). It's also fresh and the house is slightly pressurised, so all the leaking is "inside to outside". Not as energy efficient as a closed loop, but the wood is free and this way the entire 4000 sq. ft house stays heated from a single point (exfiltrates out of every room) and I don't need to run my main furnace fan for distribution. The woodstove has a separate combustion air pipe from the outside, so no makeup air required. Similarly, my furnace and gas water heater are in the open crawl space and doesn't affect house air.


For one of my day jobs I do data center design and buildout. I'm always amazed how much water we need to introduce into the humidifiers just to make up for the room losses to the rest of the building (and we were are "sealed" - even the floor and ceiling), most of which is traced to the small outside fresh air source required for human occupation. We had a humidifier water source "failure" sometime in the late summer. Never noticed it until the weather turned cold, and the low humidity alarms started (less then 30%).

Evan
12-17-2011, 04:00 PM
Here code requires an outside makeup air vent for any room with an oxygen consuming appliance except for a kitchen gas stove. Any natural gas heater or wood burning device needs makeup air with a minimum size of 3 inch diameter. Each device also requires a separate flue. I have a three flue chimney which serves my 60 kbtu gas heater, my wood burning stove and a living room fireplace.

We also have backup electric baseboard heat which we never use. This time of year we use the gas and the wood with the wood primarily when the temperature is less than -10C. Both the wood and gas heater are in the same room centrally located in the basement. The chimney is a massive all brick unit about 3 feet by 8 feet with 20 feet of that in the heated zone. The basement is a daylight basement with about 4 feet in ground and has 6" framing and insulation.

Both the wood and gas stove have heat recovery units that heat a 55 gallon tank of water that is used to preheat our well water. This time of year the preheater tank runs at about 85 to 100 degrees F. Well water circulates via a sealed loop of 100ft of PEX in the tank before it goes into the electric water heater. Our well water is a constant 43F all year so that makes a HUGE difference in electricity consumption. I installed this system along with a new water heater over the last four years. For summer the water preheat system captures about 2 kilowatts per sunny day via a small solar heater made from an old 4 ft satellite dish and a coil of PVC tubing. The preheat system water is circulated by a small pond fountain pump.

Combined with the savings produced by using LED lighting installed over the last couple of years I have cut our electric bill in HALF. Along with other power saving measures such as my new computer that has CPU frequency fallback we are saving a lot of money. I have some ideas for even more savings and the nice thing about all this is that it requires zero reduction in standard of living. I just received the electric bill for the last two months and it is $106.23 including all taxes and fixed costs. That just 53 dollars per month.

This is what our consumption looks like the last 4 years.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/electricity.gif


The payback time for all the changes is no more than a couple of years. That includes the LED lighting and the cost of the new water heater plus the heat recovery and preheat system.

aboard_epsilon
12-17-2011, 04:27 PM
Would like to see a whole list of what you have that saves you money in heating and electricity Evan

you dismissed solar pv panels in the past .

do you have a wind turbine.

i know you have mirrors in places to bounce sunshine into you house ..and light tubes

and i bet you have some devices that you wont tell us about .

those are the ones i would like to hear about.

:D

i bet all your bath/sewer water goes into a septic tank ..because you are remote ...do you recover heat from that .?

would love to live out in the wilds ..i could do a lot then ..no neighbours to report you for experimenting with waste oil etc

all the best.markj

The Artful Bodger
12-17-2011, 04:54 PM
It seems the dryer should be drawing cold dry air from outdoors and exhausting into the house.

lakeside53
12-17-2011, 07:15 PM
Another "source" of outside air is the stove-top vent and bathroom fans. When these are on, outside air has to come in somewhere. My stove top vent is 1000cfm. I don't have a dedicated make-up air, but need it when the stove vent is running - opening the woodstove fireplace results in backflow down the chimney :eek: One day I'll get around to it.;)

Evan
12-17-2011, 07:55 PM
Well, I won't talk about the RTG in the basement. :D There is also the zero point energy generator but I don't want to make a fuss about that either.

Solar isn't cost effective because we don't have enough solar days to make it worth while at today's installed cost. That may change in the future but it will have to come down a lot or the electric pricing will have to go up a lot. Both will happen, it is just a matter of time. Unfortunately our climate is changing toward more cloud in summer and winter during the daytime. Geothermal isn't very effective because of the low ground temps. It's too cold in winter to make heat pumps efficient. A few people have geothermal systems here but they require a very long underground loop and it needs to be about 20 feet down. Vertical geothermal wells are also not efficient because of the very deep average water table in most areas and the cold water temperature. Our well is 350 feet deep and only produces a few gallons per minute.

There is a possibility of recapturing heat from hot water used in the kitchen. That drains via a pipe that is open to access in my downstairs shop so it wouldn't be difficult to add a small radiator in line. I already have the cold makeup air for the gas heat plumbed via 3" pipe directly to the back of the furnace where it takes in fresh air for the burner. I could gain some heat by adding a makeup air pipe that would be plumbed directly into the front of the wood stove. That would also reduce the tendency of the stove to produce negative pressure in the house. By bringing the makeup air in and below the stove it would eliminate the chance of it acting as a chimney. The makeup air pipe is galvanized steel anyway.

Another small efficiency project is to add a small computer fan to blow room air over the condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator. That can greatly increase the efficiency of the system since they normally rely on only convection.

aboard_epsilon
12-17-2011, 08:18 PM
Another small efficiency project is to add a small computer fan to blow room air over the condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator. That can greatly increase the efficiency of the system since they normally rely on only convection.

Now that's a good thought

i wonder why the manufacturers don't do that ..since it would be a selling advantage....perhaps they have already worked out that the whole back of the fridge covered in pipes is good enough.

i know they have fans on commercial upright coke /.fizzy drink cooler cabinets,but thats because they are usually bunched together in groups

i will give that one a try when i get the chance ..i can monitor it with one of those plug in energy monitor thingies

Powerpooche
12-17-2011, 10:04 PM
I just put a pair of old Panty hose on the exhaust pipe and let it lay on the basement floor!

P.O.

bruto
12-18-2011, 11:09 AM
I just put a pair of old Panty hose on the exhaust pipe and let it lay on the basement floor!

P.O.When we were doing this on ours, that's what we ended up with as a filter, because it has enough surface area not to clog up right away.

As I say, in my case it didn't work well because of the cold walls in our upstairs laundry room. The extra humidity made the walls damp, and all the very fine lint in the air ended up on the walls, along with the mildew. I'd definitely try this again if the laundry were in the basement.

vpt
12-18-2011, 04:11 PM
Under testing!

http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/3776/dryervent001.jpg

Evan
12-18-2011, 05:42 PM
Looks good. What you need is a humidity meter if you don't already have one.

vpt
12-18-2011, 06:26 PM
Looks good. What you need is a humidity meter if you don't already have one.


When we were at the store picking up the filters and wood today I was looking for a humidity meter but didn't see one. I will check other stores tomorrow and get one.

Since I last posted we dried one load of cloths and are on our second and last load for today. The thermometer on the furnace control went up 2f degrees already and the second load isn't done yet. The humidity went up noticeably already as well. Last night was rough, I woke up twice in the night with a dry mouth and throat which sparked this project today. It doesn't seem overly humid but we'll see what the meter says.

I will also look at valves/gates tomorrow for inside/outside vent control.

vpt
12-18-2011, 07:46 PM
Another degree up! House is at 71 degrees now, thermostat is set at 68f. 3 degrees out of two loads of laundry. I can't believe I was just wasting all this before. I hope the humidity part of it works out to be alright as well.

aboard_epsilon
12-18-2011, 08:04 PM
on the subject of heat have a look at this
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2075606/Europe-wants-make-supermarkets-colder--store-bosses-say-shivering-shoppers-stay-away.html

Ive already added my comments ..well tied and i don't see it yet

but written this ...and was hard todo as my curser keeps vanishing and Ive no spell checker .

but do you agree with what Ive written or have i got it wrong.

as they say the shops will get colder.



If you lower the temperature of the chillers ..the store temperature will go up !
To cool, they chuck out the heat ,either out the back of the cabinets or from underneath...the cooler you set them, the harder the motors work..making heat,and the more heat that is drawn from the cabinets and released into the store..unless it has a plumbed system that chucks the heat out in another area other than inside the shop.
so the increased energy use, will actually warm the shop and cool the chillers.
Just another pile of crap from the EEC
remember the fishermen chucking fish back in the sea to die.
Farmers pouring away milk
or farmers hanging themselves ..all due to the EEC

all the best.markj

Evan
12-19-2011, 02:43 AM
It depends on how you lower the temperature of the cooler cabinets. If you reduce store temperature by reducing store heating in winter then you can drop the temperature in the cabinets by turning down the thermostat on the coolers and they will run the same or even less. What happens depends on the temperature differential that must be maintained. Transfer of heat isn't linear with temperature difference. As per Stefan–Boltzmann law it changes by the 4th power of the absolute temperature difference referred to absolute zero. That means lowering the store temperature even a little will produce a big difference in the amount of radiation and convection from the condensers.

The best plan for a store that has refrigeration equipment is to cool the condensers with outside air during winter. That will greatly improve efficiency. That can also be done at home if your fridge is on an outside wall. Bring in outside air at the top of the condenser so that it will fall over the condenser and warm up. You need air exchange anyway and as I said earlier it is best to arrange it for best efficiency. A freezer should be kept in the coolest part of the house if possible. We keep ours in the mud room near the back door which is the most used entrance. Just opening the door at -30 lets in a large blast of very cold air. It also happens to be very close to the kitchen which is a bonus.

Summer is a different matter. It will cost more to keep the coolers colder, period.

derekm
12-19-2011, 04:40 AM
Under testing!
...


My thoughts on this....
From the clothes dryer pass the air first through a heat exchanger so that it warms the house air and converges the dew point of clothes dryer air with the dew point of to the house air without causing condensation in the house. Then mix or either actively or passively(diffuser) house air with the clothes dryer air.
The metal duct in the picture is a heat exchanger, the filter a diffuser, this looks good. However perhaps an increase in the efficiency of the heat exchanger and provision for condensate might help.

If this a basement use long metal duct run at low level, sloped to allow condensate to run to a drain . At the dryer end a coarse filter, a the far end fit a large area fine filter as diffuser

Evan
12-19-2011, 05:58 AM
Any dryer I have seen already has a lint trap built in that should be cleaned about every load. They are only designed to catch the coarse lint. You don't want a long run of vent pipe or it will cause too much back pressure. That will cause the dryer to run hot and could be dangerous as well as damaging the clothing and the blower bearings.

When using an inside vent such as the one I use and the one VPT has built it is essential that you check the filter regularly. It isn't difficult to do but it must be done or it WILL cause problems with overheating. Dryers all have overheat safety switches but damage can still happen over the long term if it regularly becomes hot enough to trip the safety switch.

If you must run the air outside because of humidity concerns then the clothes dryer is the ideal place to use an air to air heat exchanger. A dryer needs a LOT of makeup air so this is another example of making the exchange work for you. The exchanger can easily be designed to feed any condensate outside where it shouldn't be a problem.

Regardless of how it is done, capturing electric dryer heat is by far the easiest and most worthwhile energy saving project you can do.

Gas dryers are another story since the combustion exhaust is vented along with the hot air. They must not be vented inside. While it is possible to use an air to air heat exchanger it would need to be code approved. I am not sure if such a device exists.

This area is a real opportunity for an appliance manufacturer to make some money. It wouldn't be difficult to build in a heat exchanger with an air valve for summer/winter use.

derekm
12-19-2011, 06:52 AM
Evan,
I agree Back pressure constraints need to be met. But then All Heat exchangers have resistance. Larger duct sizes and booster fans are potential solutions

Evan
12-19-2011, 07:56 AM
One problem that needs to be addressed for a dryer vent heat exchanger is that if you slow down the airflow too much lint will deposit in the slow zone. Unfortunately, to obtain good heat transfer you want to slow down the airflow as much as possible. Whirlpool recommends that the airflow should always be over 1100 fpm which is 96 cfm in a 4" pipe.

To deal with that an exchanger will have to filter air before it passes through the exchanger so the air can be slowed by at least a factor of 10. I already have a simple and relatively cheap design in mind.

aboard_epsilon
12-19-2011, 08:30 AM
thanks Evan for your reply ...regarding the daily mail article.

As regards the main subject of the thread ...i dont understand, why on the American continent they dont have condensing / vent-inside-the-room tumble dryers.

all the best.markj

vpt
12-19-2011, 09:28 AM
Every dryer I have ever seen has a built in screen to catch the coarse lint like Evan mentioned. On our outside vent there is a 1/2" cage to keep birds and animals out of the vent tube. Every month or so I had to clean this cage as well because lint would build up. Once a year I would have to run the dryer and shake or tap on the vent pipe to get the stuck lint out of it as well. About a week ago I had the dryer apart to check on a noise and I was amazed at how much lint was built up inside the dryer itself in corners, nooks, and low pressure zones in the plumbing. I have now determined a tear down of the dryer for cleaning will be needed every 5 years or so. It is simple easy and fairly fast to do since most dryers and washing machines can be opened up with only taking out a couple screws.

I slept good last night and woke up without a dry mouth and throat! The furnace finally kicked on at around 5AM. I'd say I saved about 3 furnace cycles last night with just 2 loads of laundry.

I have some condensation build up on the laundry room window but ti doesn't seem to be so much that it is running down the window. Does look like any more than when we ran a humidifier in the house. The wall isn't moist at all, just on the window. I'll see how much the house drys up all day with the furnace exchange before we run another load tonight. So far its looking good but its only been half a day.

ahidley
12-19-2011, 07:23 PM
I only read the first few posts. But heres my answer. I live in the north where we get snow 4 months a year. Its dry in the winter with the heat on. I vent mine in the family room where the dryer is located. The floor is lineolium, it does get wet and slippery but dries in about an hour. I went to Lowes and they sell a setup for this. Its a little bucket about 2 quarts that the dryer hose can clip onto the top and the dryer air blows into the bucket and turns around and exits out holes on the top edge. The bucket takes about 2 cups of water. This keeps the dust in the bucket. Clean it out at the end of the year and put it away until next year. It cost about $7 and came witht the hose for the dryer. My dryer is electric. Bottom line: WORKS GREAT.

vpt
12-20-2011, 08:49 AM
Has been working great so far! The house dried up over the day and the windows cleared up. Humidity seems to be just right, still have to pick up a meter.

derekm
12-20-2011, 07:03 PM
Has been working great so far! The house dried up over the day and the windows cleared up. Humidity seems to be just right, still have to pick up a meter.

glad to hear it works... it may need a bit of "tuning" if atmospheric conditions change, but then again perhaps not.

Evan
12-20-2011, 08:49 PM
I am just about finished with my design for a cheap and easy to build air to air heat exchanger for dryers where humidity is a problem. I will post it in a separate thread later.