Hooking dryer vent into ductwork

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Countrybumpkin, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Since we use an indoor wood furnace, at times the air gets way to dry in the house, and was wondering if anyone had any ideas on hooking the dryer vent into the household ductwork? The ductwork runs right above the dryer in the attic, and could hook on easy, then unhook it in the summer. Good idea, or bad?
     
  2. Highground

    Highground Well-Known Member

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    I think you'd end up with moldy, lint filled ductwork.
     

  3. arbutus

    arbutus Well-Known Member

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    I would not do it for two reasons.

    1) If the metal ductwork is ever cool and you send warm moist air into it you will have condensation, and eventually mold. This will be blown all over your house when the furnace kicks on.
    2) There is still a fair amount of lint in the dryer exhaust - again, not something I would want to send into the ductwork so I can breathe it in.


    However, there are heat and humidity reclaimation kits out there. These kits have a section of hose on each end of an outlet box. The sections of hose get connected to your existing dryer vent line. There is a louvered opening in the box and a lint filter so you can close off the humid air in the summer and open it in the winter. It would just blow out into the living area where you hooked it up.
     
  4. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Never thought of the lint, and the possibility of condense! thank you! That saves me the time and trpouble of putting it in, and later taking it out!
     
  5. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    You'd be ahead to simply make a box to run the dryer exaust into with furnace filters . that will filter the lint and still provide warm humod air for the house .
    is the blower for the furnace near the dryer??
     
  6. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is-that is an idea! Our laundry room is in the back of the house, in its own room, and it gets real humid in there, but the moisture doesn't travel throughout the house-something we need!
     
  7. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    can you put a vent in the door or possibly a fan
     
  8. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    how about some sort of heat exchange box with a fan? allow the moist, dusty air to pass through to the vent and use a fan to force air through the heat exchanger.
     
  9. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    ...The old lint filter that works .....
    ...a leg of panty hose over the outlet hose..............LOL

    Can't you just see yourself standing at the back door shaking the lint out of your pantyhose........LOL
     
  10. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

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    When I was a teenager,I worked for a cheap bastard-he decided to use all the heat generated by his diner to heat store in other part of building.Needless to say after 2 days we were cleaning fryolater grease off EVERYTHING in store..
     
  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Far too much moisture you'll rot out the firebox and heat exchanger!! Clothes driers just drop too much moisture into a house at once you'll have mold and bacteria (legionaires disease etc.) in your ductwork. It's just too uncontroled. You really want a humidifier with a humidistat to add moisture when needed. They're cheap and they work......... well most of the time.
     
  12. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    We're talking about an electric dryer right? It would be unsafe to vent a gas dryer to the ductwork because of combustion gasses from the gas dryer
     
  13. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    We had the dryer just venting in the house through a pair of nylons. One night while in bed I had water drop on my face. Turned the light on and noticed water (condensation) all over the ceiling. Seems the DW did 3 loads of laundry that evening and it was more than the house could handle. Wyoming is a very dry climate. If you are going to do more than 1 load a day I'd look into a heat exchanger for it if you want to recover the heat.
     
  14. carly

    carly on winged flight...

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    Since I have a pellet stove as main heat and it gets very dry inside in the winter, I decided to not vent the dryer to the outside, but instead, I took a large tupperware type container, about 12" or 14' tall, with a seal on lid. I made sure the container was bigger around then the vent hose. I then put the end of the hose on top of the lid and drew a circle around it, in the center of the lid. Next I cut out that circle from the lid. I then put water about a quarter of the way high in the container, put the lid on and made sure it was sealed tight, then inserted the hose into the cut out hole on the lid. Fit perfectly. I put the container on the floor behind the dyer, but you could put it anywhere it would reach. I used the dryer this way yesterday for the first time, and my house got enough moisture to render it not dry, but the majority went into the container, along with the lint, which is trapped by the water.
    Works great, no mold, and some moisture.
     
  15. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    I am another who has done the leg of the panty hose thing , just attached it whit a rubber band. Now, our dryer was very close to the living area, which is small, so it helped with both adding moisture to the air, and with keeping the temp. up a few degrees to save on gas. Don't know if that would be helpful at all if the dryer was in a different room. Wonder how long a pair of panty hose you can get. :D
     
  16. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    I used one of these. I like it a lot. We get lots of heat, and humidity in the winter from our clothes dryer.

    Lots of good home made ideas posted here
     
  17. Windy_jem

    Windy_jem Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They make those kits that you put right onto the dryer exhaust pipe itself with filters and all and it lets the heat and moisture run into your home. Not all of it, but most of it, so that you don't over moistureize your house either.
    Saved me a bundle last year.
     
  18. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    We started venting our electric dryer to the inside of the house toward the end of the last heating season, and it worked fine. We live in a very dry climate, and the added moisture is fine. I tracked the humidity level for a few loads, and it goes up for a few minutes, and then drops back down -- I have never seen any sign of condensation or mold.

    We just used panty hose as the lint filter -- this seems to work fine.

    For this heating season, I plan to add a small floor register in the room right above the laundry room, and run the vented air up to this floor vent (after it goes through a lint filter). This will distribute the heat and water vapor throughout the house better.

    I had a go at calculating the energy and cost saving for inside venting of the dryer, and got:

    Energy Saving = 630 KWH per year
    Cost Saving = $63 per year
    Green House Gas reduction = 290 lb/year

    The details on the calcuations are here:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/References/Half/ProjectsConservation.htm
    (its the last project on the page).

    Part of the savings come from recovering the heat from the air the the dryer vents out, and the other part comes from the fact that you are not pulling cold air makeup air in from outside as you do if you vent to the outside. Dryers vented to the outside exhaust about 170 cfm while running -- this air has to be made up by cold air pulled in from outside, which your furnace must heat.

    I think its a good way to go as long as 1) you have an electric (not gas) dryer, and 2) you live in a dry enough area to not have moisture problems.

    Gary