Dryer Vent Inline Diverter Energy Saver - Advice wanted

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There's a product out there that you can put inline on your dryer exhaust vent. It's a simple device that let's you divert air flow into your home through a vent instead of it going outside the house. I thought this would be a good way to cut down on heating costs this winter but I've heard it sometimes creates too much dust and moisture inside the home. In winter, I don't have humidity problems, but I don't want a lot of dust.
Is this kind of product good and safe to use? What are the pros and cons?
Thanks for you advice.
http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/html/subcategorylist470-6_1.htm
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Haven't any experience with this, but it sounds, on the surface, like a free lunch. My gut says adding this much moisture and fine dust to the inside of a house sounds like a mold/mildew nightmare waiting to happen.
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"Haven't any experience with this, but it sounds, on the surface, like a free lunch. My gut says adding this much moisture and fine dust to the inside of a house sounds like a mold/mildew nightmare waiting to happen. "
Hard to imagine that occasional use of the typical home dryer is going to lead to mold and mildew problems. The average load of wash doesn't have a huge amount of water in it. Certainly not much compared to the amount that a furnace mounted humidifier or even a regular humidifier can generate. If those don't cause problems, surely a dryer won't. Dust might be an issue.
Two other questions. Is this safe with a gas dryer, or only electric? I would think a gas dryer needs to be vented outside. The other question would be if any codes address this.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net says...

It has a fair bit, and in many households the dryer is run at least every other day, for around 45 minutes at a time.

The furnace-mounted humidifier will TURN OFF when humidity levels are where you want them to be - that's what a humidistat is for. A dryer re-direct vent will keep pumping moisture into a small area of the house, regardless of how high the humidity might be.
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Regarding heavy dryer use, that's all the more reason I'd like to make use of all that extra heat being pumped out and wasted.
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No fee lunch.
I has a similar device years ago. My oil burner service man showed me why it was not a good idea when he pulled out all the accumulated lint in the intake. The burner was running rich and wasting oil.
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"It has a fair bit, and in many households the dryer is run at least every other day, for around 45 minutes at a time. "
If it's run every other day for a load of wash, that's not very much water at all.
"The furnace-mounted humidifier will TURN OFF when humidity levels are where you want them to be - that's what a humidistat is for. A dryer re-direct vent will keep pumping moisture into a small area of the house, regardless of how high the humidity might be. "
Yeah, we know that. But the amount of water from a dryer every few days isn't going to amount to much in a typical home in winter. My furnace mount one runs frequently during the winter. The diverter gizmo he's talking about can be switched. If it starts to get too humid, all you have to do is set it to go outside instead. I don't see the humidity thing being a real problem. He could certainly try it and see what happens.
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You may be right, but not necessarily. People who buy high end dryers may not care about saving money on gas or electricity. They want convience and performance. Afterall there are a lot of high end automobiles that don't pay close attention to gas mileage.
That said, you might be right about the moisture/mildew and that isn't something I'd want to gamble.
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Hi,

Will help direct heat into the room, can be used on electric dryers only! Will also add lint, water vapour and any chemicals left from the soap and fabric softners used.
Your choice.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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I usually run a humidifier in my home 24/7 during the winter anyway, so I don't think the moisture will be that critical, but it's something to keep an eye on.
I'm wearing the clothes that hold the chemicals from the sap and fabric softeners so I'm not sure how much worse off I'll be if they are in the air.
That kind of heat I expect will heat more than just the room. It's a shame there isn't a way to take advantage of all this extra heat which is literally being thrown out the window. We do a lot of laundry here and with heating costs going up this could have a huge impact on our bill.
On the link provided there were too products. Maybe if I used them both in conjunction. There must be some way to properly filter the vent and use that heat!
(thanks for your post)
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On 17 Oct 2005 14:30:07 -0700, "Mak Wilson"

Wearing something and breathing it are different threats, and most of the dryer vent/bypass rigs I've seen just have a shutter and a screen, so dust is a noticable problem. If you could find a filtering system that would take out the dust, and still handle the airflow, that would be helpful.
But an air-to-air heat exchanger will do nearly as well, and not have the contaminant issue.
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I remember as a kid I read an article in Popular Mechanics (Or maybe it was Popular Science) magazine about building your own dryer vent kit to blow the hot air into the house for heating. I built it. It was nothing more than a wooden box with a four inch duct collar on it and a fiberglass furnace filter.
It slowed the drying time down considerably because of the air restriction and the floor was wet from the dampness. It didn't stay connected to the dryer too long.
If you want to utilize the lost heat you will need to get a heat exchanger. It will allow the air to pass freely to the outside and at the same time absorb the heat. I don't know where you can get one, but you might want to try a supply house that caters to the HVAC trade.
My personal experience has shown that keeping the dryer vent pipe clean reduces the drying time. I have my dryer vent duct insulated to prevent condensation as my duct passes through the attic.

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John Grabowski wrote:

I made my own also. Still using it.

With a 16 X 20 furnace filter, I don't have much air restriction, if any. I vacuum the filter weekly and replace it when lint impregnation begins (~monthly). I've never had wetness on floor or condensating anywhere.
My main forced air return duct is in the utility room (basement) with the dryer. I added a closable vent to the duct to draw the heated/humidified air into the forced air system during the winter months when the furnace runs and the dryer is vented to the filter box. I check the furnace filter often and have found no extra lint build up due to the dryer.
Steve 41N
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Skin contact is different than inhaling the fine particulates. If you can smell somethig, yo are breathing it.

Yes, it can cause you to spend money in other areas and not have enough to buy fuel.
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you can not use the exhaust from a gas dryer.
you can use the exhaust from an electric dryer.
also, here's a better vent closing device: http://www.energyfederation.org/consumer/default.php/cPath/86_742_110
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On 17 Oct 2005 12:33:39 -0700, "Mak Wilson"

One house I lived in had the washer and dryer in the garage with no vent for the dryer. I never had any humidity problems as far as it didn't create mold or anything but you could tell it was more humid when it was running. It didn't make any dust clouds in the air but dust bunnies built up behind the dryer and workbench after a while.
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Basic physics at work here.... Medium to lukewarm exhaust air with lots of humidity and particulate pollution (dust) is a waste product. You want to get rid of it. There is a bit of heat value available for recovery but the quantity is low and un-economical to extract.
In most cases, a dryer only runs for 1 - 1 1/2 hours each day (if that much) and by the time you add the inefficiencies of an air-to-air heat exchanger, there is just not that much energy to extract.
The humidity that is potentially worth something is offset by the expense of maintaining a filtration system that can clog very easily with all the dust. (Look at your dryer filter... You are supposed to manually clean this before every load). Dusty, moist air is not very healthy in a sealed house.
When all is said and done, the most economical solution is to vent the dryer exhaust to the outside, and this is why its been done that way for years.
Beachcomber
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Mak Wilson wrote:

Frankly I suggest you forget the idea. If it was a great trouble free idea the dryer would have come with one or the manufacturer would include it in their high end models as a selling point.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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I tried it a few years ago. I had a problem with condensate on water pipes, so I quit.
Keeping the filter clean (IIRC I used pantyhose) was bothersome also, though I would have continued doing it except for the condensation.
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We have one of these "Extra Heat" dryer vent diverters and they do work, however, despite the screen included, we do get a fine dust from the lint, settling all over the basement. But the BTUs of heat brought in is significant. For the $10 we spent on it, I'd say it's worth it.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION . FILM SCANNING . DVD MASTERING . AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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