Archive for Monday, December 7, 2009


Keep laundry room heat indoors

December 7, 2009


Covert your clothes dryer into an extra source of heat by installing a dryer vent heat economizer. Once installed, the simple flip of a switch will save energy by redirecting the dryer’s warm, moist exhaust air inside during the winter months.

Step 1: Choose a spot to install the heat economizer where the dryer’s flexible exhaust duct runs straight along a wall.

Step 2: With the dryer off, use scissors and a wire cutter to cut the dryer’s flexible duct along the straightest part of its run.

Step 3: Install the heat economizer mounting bracket on the wall where the flexible duct has been cut.

Step 4: Slide the heat economizer onto the mounting bracket. Make sure the economizer is securely fastened to the wall before proceeding.

Step 5: Slip the flexible duct over the top and bottom of the heat economizer. Secure each portion of duct in place with the plastic clamps supplied by the manufacturer.

Step 6: Slip the nylon filter over the open portion of the economizer.

Step 7: Turn your dryer on and flip the economizer switch to confirm everything is working properly.

If all is well, the sweet smell of moist, warm air should be wafting through the laundry room in no time — heating your home instead of the great outdoors.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

A good idea, but make sure that the moisture in the air isn't condensing in such a way as to cause mold or other problems.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

And clean out the nylon filter often.

gphawk89 8 years ago

Great idea. My mom did this for years when I was a kid. The laundry room was by far the warmest room in the house in the winter.

Yes, the filter has to be cleaned out quite often or it will clog and your clothes will not dry.

And for goodness sakes DON'T do this if you have a GAS dryer. Or at least ensure you have a working CO detector in the room.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

Here's an even better idea, although it's not as easy to accomplish (probably impossible for many.)

Put clotheslines inside one room, and vent as much return air to the furnace as possible through that room. As the moisture evaporates from the clothes, it's picked up by the air handling system, and distributed through the entire house, increasing relative humidity. You save money by not using the dryer, and you don't have the risks that come with the concentrated condensation of moisture.

wysiwyg69 8 years ago

I had bought a house that had this done in the garage. all of the sheetrock tape had fallen from the ceiling do to the moisture. I sure wouldn't do this in my house or garage again. The people that came to repair the ceiling said never do this . So who are you going to beleive? I am going with experience.

Blessed4x 8 years ago

We tried this one time. Note that I said ONE time. No matter what we did, that room was like a sauna. The moisture was so heavy it would condensate on the walls and windows and run down in little streams. This is an enormously bad idea. Please, please, please, do not do this unless you really enjoy mold and sheetrocking!

Caroline Bennett 8 years ago

I am going to chime in with the others who have tried this - do this only if you enjoy having tons of condensate dripping on you from the ceiling. NOT a cool idea.

gphawk89 8 years ago

Strange. I wonder why this isn't a problem at my mother's house? She's been doing this every winter for probably three decades. Never any condensation (other than fogging on the windows). Never a problem with mold. No sheetrock problems. Just nice, warm, humid air flowing into an otherwise very dry house. I guess I'm outnumbered by naysayers, but it does work well in some cases. It might have something to do with how "tight" the house is. Hers, built in 1916, isn't.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

The key is getting proper circulation into the rest of the house where the dry winter air can easily absorb the additional humidity. If the moist air stays in the laundry room, especially if it has lots of windows and/or poorly insulated walls, then all the moisture will condense there, and create the disasters described above.

alm77 8 years ago

My laundry "room" (more of a closet, really) is in the garage. We let it vent into the garage because the exhaust pipe to the outdoors is too long, so the moisture began to condense in the pipe which started dripping in my kitchen!! Our garage stays nice and warm and is never damp. Again, I think this illustrates that this venting works best in a large room.

infidel 8 years ago

I have been doing this for some years with no problems in my 1950's house. I open the basement door so the warm mosit air can get to the upstairs of my house. smells good and keeps me from using the humidifer.

bearded_gnome 8 years ago

"sweet" scent of drying clothes? half the time when I'm walking past other people's homes when they're apparently doing laundry, the terribly sickly sweet artificial bleck smell of pseudofresh smelling fabric softner, scent from the soap, or the 'scented bleach' is just nauseating! no, not in my house!

for once, I agree with the Boozo on the short bus, don't do this. mold can be very serious. not mentioned above: mold does have the potential to cause severe illness, or death.

just vent it outside, its not worth the savings. Boozo, you did better on this than on the subject of blood splatter!

and GPHawk, sounds like mummie's house needs some serious weatherizing!

Kirk Larson 8 years ago

First off, don't do this in a closed room or a cold room (like an unheated garage). I have been doing it for years, but I put a six foot piece of duct tube on the outlet to divert the flow further into the house. I get some condensate on the windows throughout the house, but that's it. And once the dryer is done, the dry air evaporates it all away. It's a great idea!

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