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OT Exhausting dryer vent into house for heat?

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  • 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
    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.

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    • #3
      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.
      Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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      • #4
        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

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        • #5
          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

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          • #6
            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

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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, 11:32 AM.

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                • #9
                  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!

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                  • #10
                    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.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                    • #11
                      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

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                      • #12
                        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
                        Last edited by SteveF; 12-14-2011, 02:51 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bewards
                          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??? 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.

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                          • #14
                            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

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                            • #15
                              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

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