Using dryer vent heat?

topic posted Sun, August 31, 2008 - 3:25 PM by  Zubaydah
I remember seeing an item that was suppose to take the moisture out of the dryer vent so that the vent air could be used to heat instead of sending all that heat outside... but was I imagining this? I am sure it was something that was right behind the dryer that filtered out any moisture, and then that heat was dispursed in the room, with out any worry of mold or mildew? Is there such a thing, or have I just been sniffing too much lint?
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    Re: Using dryer vent heat?

    Mon, September 1, 2008 - 4:22 AM
    Ya gotta take care to deal with the condensate or it'll either build up or find a way into your structure.
    • Re: Using dryer vent heat?

      Mon, September 1, 2008 - 6:52 AM
      As Cliff points out you're dumping a lot of moisture into your house. Depending upon how much washing you do, your heat source, and season you're going to want to condense and drain some or all of the moisture. You also need to control the lint.

      If you google terms <"dryer vent" "heat exchange"> you will find useful discussion. You will also find patent references. Here's a couple of the more useful discussions I found:
      I have actually used the panty hose over the end of pipe design some years ago when I dumped dryer vent into an unheated, under-the-house garage. It didn't come as a surprise, but moisture levels were less than ideal.

      My overall sense is that there are enough design challenges associated with dryer heat recovery to render it a low priority project unless you're focussed on something larger scale (like a laundromat), or unless you're actually benefiting from the humidification involved.
      • Re: Using dryer vent heat?

        Tue, September 2, 2008 - 10:24 AM
        I live in NV so the extra moisture is welcome, but routing the vent right into your house makes your house smell like a laundromat, thats the part that bugged me.
  • Re: Using dryer vent heat?

    Fri, September 12, 2008 - 1:51 PM
    I vent mine outdoors. I recover a lot of the heat though as I send it into a pallet that has the dog house on it and a bunch of bricks to hold in some of the heat. The dogs seem to like it a lot in the winter... In the summer I disconnect it.
  • Re: Using dryer vent heat?

    Fri, September 12, 2008 - 2:49 PM
    I vented one into a greenhouse in a house i built. I stacked some plastic pots in front of it, and that seemed to catch most of the lint. This arrangement worked pretty good.
  • Re: Using dryer vent heat?

    Sat, September 13, 2008 - 8:57 AM
    A co-worker talked about doing this last winter, will ask what he used
    Being in the Pacific Northwest, moisture is a big issue, I have to run a dehumidifier
    • Re: Using dryer vent heat?

      Mon, September 15, 2008 - 12:39 PM
      Something occurred to me... If you are in the Pac NW and you have a place to vent to a southern exposure this may be a great way to add supplementary heat to a greenhouse for winter cropping. Well for that matter anywhere with a climate mild enough to Justify the use of a greenhouse.

  • Poor man's air filter and dryer

    Sat, September 13, 2008 - 10:40 PM
    Living in a warehouse loft directly above our dryer which has to vent into the main space due to the layout and its being a rental, we have rigged this solution to limit lint and the humidity:

    Run dryer exhaust duct nto a leg of pantyhose to catch the lint. This duct is run through a tidy,4'' dia. hole sealed at the tub sidewall and then into a medium rubbermaid tub with the filter hose tube (about 24" long) running into the middle 4 to 6 inches of the tub. Above and below this this are two 11/2" thick picture style frames tightly spanning spanning the tub side to side. I made these out of old silkscreening stretchers and then sandwiched them with .030 aluminum hardware cloth (window screen style stuff) after loosely filling the middle with small grain vermiculite from the garden supply yard. The exhaust exits the tub through 12 - 1" holes I cut in a even, dispersed pattern across the tub lid. The exhaust passes through the upper screen with the vermiculite acting as an absorbent. The lower rack/screen helps grab some moisture out of the air as well even though the exhaust isn't directly forced through it. When the vermiculite gets soggy after a few loads, I pull out the screened vermiculite panels and press/wring them out at the sink.

    It mitigates rather than eliminates the humidity but it really helps. Much of the heat you seek to harvest though is carried by the mass of vapor you are shortstopping though.

    Still, our improvised gizmo tub sure boosts our space's livability.

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