In an attempt to reduce my heating bills, and at the suggestion of a friend
mine, I very recently have redirected my electric dryer vent hose from
blowing outside the house to inside and positioned it over a small bucket of
water which acts as a lent trap. Now all that "paid for" warm air stays
inside but naturally the humidity level inside the house has increased. This
results in my windows in that part of the house fogging up when the dryer
running for an extended period but it does seem to dissipate fairly quickly.
I wondered if anyone else had tried this and whether or not it had worked
in the long run. I heat with a natural gas forced air furnace. Thanks.
Note the OP wrote " I very recently have redirected my electric dryer
vent" Notice that is electric dryer. I would not say it was stupid or
generally dangerous. Had it been a gas dryer then it would have been
That said I would not do it myself, at least not likely. In fact if I
wanted to save on energy expense I would replace that electric dryer with a
gas dryer. In any case I don't like the idea. Even with one of the "lint
traps" very find lint still is going to find its way into your home. That
excessive moisture (condensation on the windows) can contribute to mold and
structural damage. Finally that lint filter can cause increased back
pressure and less efficiency for the dryer. I just don't think the savings
are worth the risks.
On 2/13/06 4:14 PM, in article dsqsqs$ email@example.com,
The exhaust from a dryer, electric or gas, comes from air blown over the
heating device. If a flame starts from lint blowing over the heating device,
that fire is ejected out the exhaust pipe. If there is anything flammable
anywhere near the exhaust, you've got yourself a homeowners claim at best
and you can guess the worst.
A properly maintained dryer with a thermal fuse that has not been jumpered
over will take care of that.
If it were a significant liability, manufacturers would not and might not be
allowed to sell plastic dryer vent bypass specifically for venting indoors,
their lawyers would put a stop to that. If dryers routinely turned into
blowtorches, I think some news magazine would be all over it.
As soon as ignition temp is reached (actually before) the thermal fuse is
supposed to blow and shut the whole thing down right away. Now if you let
Mickey Mouse fix your dryer, all bets are off.
Why, what mode of potentially dangerous failure presents itself?
As long as the dryer is not in a garage such that the vent passes through
the protective fire wall into the house it should be safe. (such a
configuration could also pump garage fumes into the house)
Sounds like the dryer is already in the house in some sort of laundry
What is the danger with an electric dryer? Too much humidity? Too
much warmth? I give up.
Why is it stupid? Only because you think it is potentially dangerous,
or for some other reason?
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When we first got married, we lived in an apartment. I wanted to get
my wife a washer and dryer, but there was no place for them except in
the kitchen. There was no vent outlet for the electric dryer, and we
had to unplug the cooking range to plug it in. When we ran it, the
windows in the entire apartment looked like you turned hoses on them.
Water ran down the walls and on the floor. It was like we were in a
steam bath. The only way we could run the dryer was to open the door
and all the windows. It can be done, but it's not very smart.
Never vent a gas dryer indoors. Venting your electric dryer will
Add extra humidity to an otherwise wintery-dry house.
Reduce your heating costs.
Will add some lint to your air despite the water trap, so you may have
additional dusting chores.
First problem: using resistive electric heating for drying. Gas
enormously preferable. Much more so: fresh air & sunshine (even below
freezing) then a while near the woodstove.
Your idea of a lint trap sound totally useless. You will be spreading
all manner of that crap in your house.
With all the moisture you trap in the house, and without monitoring the
RH in any way, you should expect to find parts of the house getting
punky before long. You'd be amazed where.
I believe you can buy a box which fits on the end of a vent pipe which
has a filter in. I think these can be bought from somewhere like
Betterware if you know of it. One of these would allow you to vent the
dryer inside reserving the heat you are after.
As you have discovered, it will warm your house but at the expense of excess
humidity. If you run one load a week, no problem but if you are washing
daily, I suspect that the ultimate cost of repairing moisture damage (curled
wallpaper, rotted window sills, discolored paint), the additional time
cleaning mildew and the cost of air freshners will outweigh the heating
savings you get.
Personally, I vent into my garage and use a screen as a lint trap which I
clean after each load just like the one in the dryer.
I"ve been doing this for more than 20 years. No problems.
Physically in my case, it would be very difficult to disconnect and
connect the vent, and I didn't even think of it until I saw a diverter
box for sale that, after an initial installation, made this very easy.
It has a 4x4" louver that directs the air to the outside or to the
inside. No water bucket is involved but it does have a window screen
lint filter that the air passes through before it goes into the
basement. It takes several uses before it needs cleaning, and that's
undoubtedly because there is another lint filter in the dryer itself.
That one whistles when it needs cleaning, or at least when cleaning is
absolutely required (I forget which.). They sell a different model
diverter at Lowe's, I think it was, by the dryer accessories, a part
of store on the other side of the major appliances that I usually
don't walk through..
Generally indoor humdity is insufficient in the winter, especially or
at least iirc if one has forced air heat. Unless your situation is
different, iIt would be better to have a humidifier connected to the
furnace, because that could give adequate humidity all of the time.
The higher humitidy is good for wood furniture (that is, very low
humitidy is bad for it, leads to cracking), good for some people who
have certain respiratory problems iirc, and it also makes one feel
more comfortable, so that the thermostat can be set lower for the same
feeling of comfort.
FTR, I iive alone and don't use the dryer that much When I do use it,
I only use the temperature one notch above unheated air. The air
still seem quite hot to me. Some day I'll have to compare it to the
My impression is that hotter air is likely to remove the permanent
press feature of permanent press clothes, maybe permanently. The
shirts and pants certainly don't look good if they have gotten too
I put all of the permanent press in one load, and only dry one or two
absorbent items, like a towel or an item of underwear, at the same
time in order that the permanent press not dry too quickly. That is,
not dry completely before I have time to take it out.
I have a dryer that can turn off based on how damp the clothes are, so
I set it for a little less then totallly dry.I take the clothes out
then, because I think I get a better result that way. Although they
feel dry when they are warm, when they cool they feel damp a bit, but
p-press dries in just a few minutes.
Then usually I dry the remaining towels, socks, underwear,
sweatshirts, blue jeans, etc. separately, because they dry at the same
speed, and I usually take them out a bit early also and let them dry
from the shower bar. When I had a washer but no dryer, at my
previous apartment, I did all the drying this way, and the towels came
out rather stiff, but by the second use, they felt pretty much the
same as if they had been dried in a dryer.
(BTW, this house has no gas, but I doubt one would save money
switching to gas unless the dryer required replacement anyhow.)
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