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Trying To Save Heat From Clothes Dryer
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Greg F.    Posted 12-10-2003 at 20:17:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am looking for a way to recover the heat from our electric clothes dryer during the winter months. It just seems a waste to send it outside. We also live in a very dry climate and the moist air would be good, but I donít know how to get all the dust and lint out of it before letting it go in the house.

Any Ideaas?


Greg F.

RayP(MI)    Posted 12-11-2003 at 18:00:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
If your dryer is gas or propane fired, I would be extremely careful about dumping exhaust air back in your house, for fear of the possibility of carbon monoxide gas build up. There is a heat exchanger sold to fit into the stove pipe on wood stoves - kind of a metal box the size of a bread-box, with a series of metal tubes through it and a blower fan behind it. Wonder if it could be easily adapted to the dryer vent pipe? If you're really creative, the blower motor could probably be wired to run with the dryer motor switch!

M.R.    Posted 12-11-2003 at 14:57:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
We built a MIL apartment in the corner of the shop. When the electrial inspector was signing off on the wireing, we got to talking on the dryer vent. I was going to vent it directly into the shop and he recomended not to do so for the fire danger. Well to do other wise I'm looking at 24' plus of ducting underneath the floor joists, which to me is a greater fire danger if not properly maintained and a PITA to do so.

ken in maine    Posted 12-11-2003 at 13:20:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
They sell in Lowes or Home Depot for less than $20. a system like the others are talking about It is simply a small bucket about a gallon size with a inlet for the hose and a water bath system to catch the lint etc. I have used them and put them in some apt. and always been happy with the result just make sure that you keep the water level up. Ken

buck    Posted 12-11-2003 at 09:48:38       [Reply]  [No Email]

Take a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and provide on hole in for your vent hose and one hole out for the exhaust in the lid. Fill the bucket about half full of water to condence the incoming warm moist air to control outgoing moisture and attach the stocking to the exhaust hole to control the lint. You can actually buy this already made at places Lowes. I found that the top of the store bought gismo worked well to attack to the 5 gallon bucket lid.

Case4me    Posted 12-11-2003 at 09:41:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't know if this would work but couldn't you set a water bath,kind of like oil bath air cleaner for tractor. Maybe run the hose into a 5 gal bucket with water. Just a thought or question?

screaminghollow    Posted 12-10-2003 at 22:23:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
There can easily be too much humidity in the house, but just put one leg of the Mrs' discarded pantyhose over the dryer outlet hose, fasten with wire, rubber bands etc. and point to the center of the room. It works best when you leave the whole leg hanging out there to fill up and catch the lint.

Ron,Ar    Posted 12-11-2003 at 10:10:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Everytime I ask my wife for one of her old pantyhose for some project she gives me that look with one raised eyebrow.

calypso    Posted 12-11-2003 at 15:31:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hey Ron - Have you tried asking any other ladies for their panty hose (is this one word?). Maybe your wife would be more apt to fork over a pair ;-)

deadcarp    Posted 12-11-2003 at 08:59:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
yup - i used a discarded pantyhose and duct-taped it onto the end of the vent but same thing - leave alot extending beyond the pipe and let it flutter. it filters as well as the factory dryer screen. rolled up some pipe foam to plug the old "summer" hole in the wall. :)

Linda in UT    Posted 12-10-2003 at 20:32:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
They sell diverter extensions that send the air from the dryer back into the house instead of outside. I've done this in a couple of houses with mixed results. To filter the lint out, I've always put a nylon stocking over the extension and that worked fairly well, but not perfectly.

I have done this both in Montana and in Utah. Both places have extremely low humidity, but I ran into a problem of too much moisture in the air. In my new house in MT the hinges got rusty on the laundry room door. In this older house, things swelled up, like the old back door, etc. It would have been nice if I could have had an easy way to switch back and forth.

Friends in Salt Lake City vent their basement dryer directly into the large open basement space, using a long piece of dryer vent hose & a stocking as a filter, and the humidity doesn't bother anything. Possibly I was trying to do it in too small of a space?

Be sure to rodent proof your outside vent if you decide to disconnect the hose from that vent and change the setup to vent to the inside.

I'd be interested to hear ideas from some of these good folks.

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