Getting Two for One. My Accidental Home Heating Discovery.

Our dryer vent tubing from the wash room to the outside “broke”. Actually, I detached it from the exit outside by trying to run a large battle brush through it. It’s a long story….  I eventually ran a new length of tubing via a different and more sensible route. The thing I wanted to share is what we did between my numbskull and genius episodes.

With a broken vent tube, a family still needs to dry the wash!  We weren’t going to do it on the line, since it was winter, so I went to OSH and looked around for work-arounds. They had this neat little kit for me. (Really. Just for me…) It consisted of a length of flexible hose, and a plastic canister.  By attaching the hose to the dryer at one end, and the canister at the other, a family can vent the dryer heat into the home. I think it was really meant for the garage, but hey… four walls and a roof…) The hose connects to the top of the canister, allowing the venting to occur inside the canister. As the hot air moves into the device, it hit water placed in the bottom half, and the lint catches in the liquid. Holes in the side allow the “clean” air to exit into the room.

It worked very well!

It also did something completely unexpected….

In the winter, humidity can actually drop. Inside my home, this causes us some sore throats. With the internal vent device in place, we dried our clothes, added dryer humidity to the air and WARMED THE HOUSE. All that wasted vent heat was recovered, which allowed us to use the home heater less!  The dryer worked double duty.

I would like to have my next place include a couple things.

The first is a valve that gives me the option to vent outside or inside. With a humidity meter, one could really route the damp stuff to where it does the most good.

The second would be alternate central air source. I would like to have the home fan draw air from outside and blow it inside through all the ducts. Of course it would be filtered very well. This would let us pull fresh cool air into the home when needed, and to reduce the heavy concentration of pollutants that studies show accumulate over time. Beats pulling it in through window fans!

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