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Thread: OT Exhausting dryer vent into house for heat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
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    4,753

    Default OT Exhausting dryer vent into house for heat?

    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?
    Andy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SW Michigan
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    3,851

    Default

    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.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich theory of life." Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
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    1,633

    Default

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sturgeon Bay, WISCONSIN (near Green Bay)
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    1,110

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    Here's the basic unit I have installed..or very similar. Modify or construct your own to suit.
    http://www.fleetfarm.com/catalog/pro...vent-deflector
    John M...your (un)usual basement dweller

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Merkel, Tx
    Posts
    719

    Default

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    101

    Default

    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    1,530

    Default

    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Prestatyn, North-Wales
    Posts
    6,006

    Default

    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
    Last edited by aboard_epsilon; 12-14-2011 at 11:32 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    259

    Default

    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.
    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    52N 122W Western Kanuckistan
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    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.
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