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Venting Dryer Inside

 
Posts: 39
Location: NH
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I have a theory, and I'd love feedback.

I'm going to take a 5-gallon bucket with a lid, and I'm going to make a hole in the lid large enough to fit a piece of pvc that's about 2 feet long, and about 3" in diameter (or whatever fits the dryer vent hose).

I'm going to put some holes within 1" of the end of the pvc all around it. I'm going to fit the pvc through the hole of the tightly fitting lid, then submerge it into may 4- or 5" of water.

Then I'm hooking the vent from the dryer to the top of the pvc.

The theory is that the steam should push into the water and cool, while the air should bubble out from the bottom of the pvc into the bucket. Some small holes in the lid of the bucket should allow the warmer air to escape ambiently, and I would hope that the humidity is reduced significantly by the water in the bucket. I figure that by the time the water warms to the point of equilibrium, the clothes should be about dry, and there should be little worry of re-steaming the area with the bucket water.

But I just don't know yet.
 
Posts: 129
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Consider a heat exchanger. The air you get out of the dryer is very damp. The hose fell off my drier the other day and there was condensation running down the walls before I caught it.

The other advantage of a heat exchanger is that you avoid blowing bits of lint around. Breathing in that sort of things isn't good for your lungs' health.

For the heat exchanger, I suggest you ask the Google Machine for design advice.
 
Jeff Rychwa
Posts: 39
Location: NH
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Apparently, after looking it up, that's pretty much what I'm making.
 
K Nelfson
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Think twice about plastic parts in your heat exchanger. Depending on various factors, it can be effective. But plastic isn't a great conductor of heat, so it may not be best.
 
Posts: 3375
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Be careful about back pressure. Dryers don't have big enough fans to push the air through much water. Shame because that would deal with the humidity and clean the leftover lint.

 
Jeff Rychwa
Posts: 39
Location: NH
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Really good points, folks. Thank you.

I would like to see about finding a metal, 5-gallon bucket instead. Maybe that would assist with the heat transfer better, thus allowing the water to continue to stay cooler on the basement floor and remove the steam. I'm hoping the warmer air bubbles out of the water and escapes the bucket through either vent holes in the top, or through an exhaust line.

I'll have to play with the water depth to compensate for the dryer's air pressure. Burning it out would obviously be counterproductive.
 
Posts: 65
Location: Big Bay, U.P. of Michigan
chicken wood heat homestead
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One thing I find interesting about these forums is the often times complicated solutions to some problem (real or perceived). This violates one of the basic rules of design ... the most elegant solution to a problem is usually the simplest.





-Tom
 
Posts: 724
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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we have experimented with something similar to this, but with an off the shelf product.

we used something similar to this:

if you google: indoor dryer lint trap you will find similar products.

we did find that is adds a ton of humidity to the house. so much so, that we set a fan on top of the dryer to help move the air out of the laundry room and throughout the rest of the house. we live in a desert, so added humidity isnt a bad thing, especially in the [dry] winter, which is the only time we use this (solar dryer 75% of the year)
we did notice a lot more lint in the laundry room also. likely because the contraption above doesnt catch it all.


edit: we only use this device in the winter when it is below ~35* as the clothes seem to freeze on our clothesline then
 
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Clothes lines ! another simple solution, probably the best, In many Parts of the Country people have to fight for the right to hang their clothes on the line ! This is not a joke !
there is no punchline ! In lots of places with shared services, a homeowners committee tells you what you can and can't do !

Including the right to Dry ! BIG AL !
 
K Nelfson
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Tom Gauthier wrote:One thing I find interesting about these forums is the often times complicated solutions to some problem (real or perceived). This violates one of the basic rules of design ... the most elegant solution to a problem is usually the simplest.



Sometimes the simplest solution is simple because it requires labor. I'm personally very short on time these days and drying laundry outside would be a challenge.

Also, if you're paying to heat your living space anyhow, it doesn't hurt to dry some clothes first.
 
Jeff Rychwa
Posts: 39
Location: NH
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Keeping with the simplicity of things, there's a very simple reason that I'm looking to reroute my dryer's venting inside:



In the winter, it seems logical to use the heat from the dryer to help warm the house rather than the outside. Hanging clothes out makes them too cold to don.
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 724
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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i think a lot of it will depends on local conditions.

in the winter, we have low enough humidity and brisk enough winds, that clothes dry on the line, so long as they dont freeze. ~35* and above seems fine to hang clothes here.
i can imagine in the midwest or northeast, you may get frozen clothes if they are left outside with the humidity there.

we have also seen people who hang clothes inside, along south facing windows during the winter. less power usage, but you still get the humidity inside. helps if you have a wood stove going also.

we thought "if im gonna run the dryer [in the winter] the last thing i want to do is dump that heat outside"

good luck
 
Jeff Rychwa
Posts: 39
Location: NH
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We're in NH. The winters are crazy humid and heavy. No outdoor clothes drying here during the cold season.

Our basement is also subject to mold due to the humidity. The Rocket Stove is helping with that, and now I have the heat exchange on the dryer, and it's working better than I expected. The cold water in the bucket is handling a good 95% of the humidity from the steam. I'm psyched.
 
Posts: 554
Location: Asheville NC
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Jeff, curious how you came to the conclusion that 95% of humidity is being handled? Call me a skeptic.

This practice could compound the problems of humid air exfiltration through the envelope leading to hidden condensation (and m word) problems.

Another way to add heat and humidity for better or worse is to not run bath vent fans during hot showers. I do this in my small house only after the furnace has had time to dry out the air.
 
Jeff Rychwa
Posts: 39
Location: NH
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The rocket heater in the basement is running full-burn throughout the day, which cuts the humidity considerably (my dehumidifier is only being emptied every 3 or 4 days now, rather than every day). The vapor from the dryer is hitting the cooler barrel and the cool water within, so the warm vapor condenses quite nicely. Little- to no vapor is visible coming from the small gaps around the lid of the barrel, and anything that does escape into the basement air is negligible, especially considering how much vapor was down there prior to the heater running and the dehumidifier running. A shower puts out way more steam than the attachment on the dryer does, so I'm pretty confident that the moister problem has actually been reduced, and the added warmth to the basement as my "thermal battery" is helpful.

I have to add that I did not have the heat-exchange system set up on the dryer prior to the heater and dehumidifier running. The natural moisture in this basement is pretty intense. I was very worried about the dryer's added moisture, but it is proving to be a non-issue.
 
Posts: 100
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big plus of indoor venting not often mentioned is that now replacement air is being drawn in. good filters are out there, DIY versions too. humidity dependent on locale. Colorado we welcome it.
 
We've gotta get close enough to that helmet to pull the choke on it's engine and flood his mind! Or, we could just read this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater is the most sustainable way to heat a conventional home
http://woodheat.net
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