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Dryer vent lint trap

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Ehouse, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I'm in the process of moving the washer/ dryer upstairs and dreaded cutting a new vent opening in the side of the house. My neighbor suggested using a bucket of water to catch the lint till I cut the hole (gas dryer). Come to find out, they make these (6 bucks or so on Amazon). saves all the heat from the dryer and no hole in the house! Also adds humidity in winter. Anyone know of possible drawbacks?

    Ehouse

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  2. DickRussell

    DickRussell Burning Hunk

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    You really shouldn't let a gas dryer vent into the house. That may be a code violation as well. Also, the discharge from any dryer should not be dumped into the house, as it adds a lot of moisture to the inside air, which ultimately passes through the walls via air leakage, creating the real possibility of mold and rot on the sheathing and framing. The need for added humidity inside the house in winter is a sure sign that the house leaks a lot of air, especially when the weather is cold and windy. Besides relocating the dryer, don't put off venting it to the outside, and invest some time in sealing up the leaks in the house, with can foam and caulk.
  3. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    My bad, I meant to type electric dryer (old timer's). I hear you on the moisture. Think I'll try it temporarily to see what it does. It is indeed an old and drafty house.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Some claim that the fumes from the dryer sheets (if you use them), is not a good thing to be vented into the home. Just hear-say to me but thought I would pass it on.
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I vent mine out in the summer but in in the winter. My house gets down to 25% humidity in winter and i need all the moisture i can get.Plus the heat is not wasted as well. I just use a panty hose to catch the lint,i guess thats what the bucket of water is for. Would not attempt to do this in summer as the house humidity is too high already not to mention you dont want that heat inside in the summer.
  6. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I'd vote against....you are not catching all the lint, and there may be smaller fibers that are getting by. Why mess with it??

    When I crunched the numbers, I did not find that I expected to save a huge amount. First of all, the BTU/$$ is low b/c it is electric strip, so depending on what your main source of BTUs is, you may not be saving much (by offsetting your priamry heat). I came up with something like $10-20 in reduced energy bills, and didn't think dumping a bunch of crp into the air for my kids to breath was worth that. YMMV

    That said, I airseled my leaky old house, and went from running a big humidifier 24/7 and getting no noticable increase in humidity before, to running a mid size unit on low after to maintain a comfortable humidity. IOW, it is almost impossible to humidify a leaky house, dryer or no, and is trivial to humidify the same house after airsealing.
  7. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

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    I beleive i saw a kit at lowes that actually allows you to vent inside the house in winter to use the venting for heat.
  8. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

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    I tried this once and I did not like the result I had to constantly fill the water and I had to constantly clean the lint. It did add extra humidity to the air and that was nice with our dry winters. But it also added lots of lint to the air and that was not nice.
  9. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    I have to do this in my house as there is no way to get a vent to the outside from where the dryer is located. For the termination of the dryer venting, there is a bucket that needs to be filled with water and it supposedly gets the lint and keeps it from the air. This doesn't work well at all. Luckily, we have a good clothesline for the summer and a woodstove for the winter to dry next to, and a cooperative wife who doesn't mind either.

    If you can avoid this setup, you will be better off.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We tried it one winter and found the dust level in the house went up quite a bit. That was the end of it.
  11. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    A good old fashioned drying rack next to the stove: saves electricity (= money), serves as humidifier, and the clothes last longer (ever thought about where all that lint is coming from?). When we hang up the clothes in the evening they are almost dry in the morning. Fall is about the only season where we run the dryer more than once a week because it is too cold outside but the stove is not running full time.

    What I would not be sure about the water bucket is the added pressure that you put on the system. If the dryer can not vent properly it will be less efficient and run longer. Plus, if your wife likes to use those dryer sheets, they contain wax and other stuff which a lint trap may not catch. In fact, I just read that the lint filter in the dryer should be cleaned occasionally with soap and warm water because those sheets can deposit a transparent film over it that you will not see but still keeps the warm air from venting.
  12. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    We dont use the dryer sheets plus the warm moist air is welcome in a dry cold hallway. The panty hose takes care of the lint that gets by the internal filter screen.
  13. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Thanx all. I'll avoid it if I can. New dryer location and post and beam const. complicate the issue.

    Ehouse
  14. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    ON a related note....My dryer was originally vented into my attached garage....and pre-airsealing, all that moist air just flowed back into the rest of the house, where I assume it condensed inside the exterior wall cavities. All the drywall in the rooms over the garage is full of nail-pops and popped drywall seams (which are prob only noticable to me) due, as far as I can tell, to the moisture from that dryer.

    Long story short: you don't know where that moisture will end up after you dump it into your house, and it might do stuff you don't want.

    I had to get a coring company to punch a 4" hole through my foundation wall, but once I found them they were in and out in less than hour (for $300).
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Agreed:Never vent a dryer into and already high humidity environment. Anything over 65% can cause problems. I never vent inside during the spring ,summer or fall. In winter however the humidity can get so low(In central PA) the furniture starts to crack,people get cracked lips,dry throat ,colds and flu. Its in these times when i disconnect my dryer hose from its outside vent. Dec thru March.
  16. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    We vent ours inside in the winter with just a panty hose filter -- have been doing this for several years.
    It appears to work fine, but we do have very low humidity here (MT).

    I think the savings is pretty good when you figure that you are recovering the heat that the dryer vents and also keeping the dryer from pulling new outside air into the house that has to be conditioned (heated). http://www.builditsolar.com/References/Half/ProjectsConservation.htm#Dryer

    I plan to do a fancier filter this year, but the panty hose appear to work well.

    Gary
  17. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    The biggest problem with not venting the dryer outdoors comes from the humid exhaust. This creates problems in whatever part of the house that it is located in because as we all know, moisture causes damage to many materials, including the framing on a house. And over time, that is exactly what an unvented dryer will do.
  18. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    What if you vented it into the basement and had a heat pump water heater down there to dehumidify, or tied the vent (after a filter) directly into the HPWH?

    Ehouse
  19. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    As a HPWH owner, I would say the problem with this plan is the timing....the WH runs when it wants, the dryer when you want. And the dehumidification factor varies.

    If this interests you, you can get closed cycle dryers that work with a built in dehumidifier. Slow but very eff. And rare in the US.
  20. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Given that most homes, in the winter, need more heat & humidity, it seems kind of silly to pump all that heat & humidity out the wall to the outdoors and pump in cold dry replacement air from the outdoors with your dryer. I think it makes perfect sense to vent a dryer inside in the heating season, as long as there is a well functioning lint trap in place. The non-heating season, switch to outside venting - or use a clothesline.
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  21. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    A quick look at Wiki reveals some interesting options including heat pump driers and microwave driers.

    Ehouse
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Exactly!
  23. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    We also get damage from too low humidity,we have a nice antique mahogany table that shrank and cracked in our living room because of the 25% winter humidity.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I haven't found a good lint trap yet. What are you using?
  25. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Every house is different....a well-airsealed one doesn't need that much humidity. I'd rather airseal and dump the moisture and lint outside, and save energy that way over dumping the dryer outlet into my leaky house, and bathing in humidity for a short while until it all leaks out again.

    I guess I'm crabby today!

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