How to Borrow Heat from Your Clothes Dryer
If you've ever walked past the dryer vent while the clothes dryer is on, you know how hot that air can get. If your washer and dryer are located in your freezing garage, you know how cold the floor gets in winter. You have to dress up just to do the laundry. Sometimes, the only place the kids can play, or the husband to tinker, is in the garage with your washer and dryer. Since most people don't heat their garage, it can be as miserable as outdoors. Wouldn't it be nice to tap into free heat? (Free because you'r using the clothes dryer anyway).Wouldn't it be nice to give your husband an incentive to do the laundry?
There are now indoor dryers vents available that can direct that hot air from your dryer back into the garage or house. How they work is that there is a tray made of durable, heat resistant plastic, with a vented cover that attaches to your wall. Most people place them around ground level. You place water in the bottom of the tray to catch the lint from your dryer and the hot air, now free from lint, blows into your home or garage through the air holes at the top.
Take the vent hose from your dryer out of the wall and place it on the top of the indoor dryer vent and clamp it down. Wella! You now have moisture rich warm air circulating in your house for some added free heat. And who couldn't use some free heat?
These indoor dryer vents are available in many catalogs for about $7.50. They are easy to install and require no tools. Quite worth it. Those who use them love them!
Just be sure to stick the dryer vent back outside during the summer months....
My husband set up a system where he hooks the dyer vent directly into the air return of the furnace. We love how it humidifies the house in this extremely dry time of the year and how it helps to supplement the heating bill. We are able to do this because our dryer is not gas powered and we live in an old house that is not as air tight as a new house. If you have a gas dryer or live in an extremely air tight, efficient house you should not consider this as you need to be careful of the carbon monoxide and too moist of an environment. But otherwise, harness that heat and humidity!
My MIL had one in her basement without incident...
Thank you for these health related tips.
Hi...Just wanted to let you know that according to the Massachusetts State Building Code 780 CMR....Dryer vents are required to be vented directly to the outside. These special little collection kits are illegal in massachusetts unless your dryer is a very special dryer that has some sort of condensing mechanisms and is rated for this type of venting. So.....don't install these little kits in habitable spaces if your dryer is not rated for them. Most are not..... If you want to read about it go to www.mass.gov/bbrs and click on the inspectors page on the left hand side and go to the building code...7th edition for one and two families....go to the index an search dryer vents.....it clearly states the specifications. Be careful of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Just for the record...I am a Building Inspector...
The one thing you have to consider, though, is the potential for creating a hospitable environment for mold in your home. These were popular in the 1970s (during the last energy crisis that we didn't learn from) and were the source of problems with indoor air quality and excessive humidity for many. see: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/787995/dryer_vents_ruin_homes_and_make_people_sick_by_marko_vovk/
I was wondering about these! Really great tip to harness the heat of your dryer and save energy at the same time.