Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Easy Being Green

I did a status update on FaceBook and was surprised at the number of responses. What was it about you ask? I noted that right after I vented my dryer into the house, the temp. shot back up into the 90's.

W/i a few minutes, several people had commented on what a good idea that was to save some energy.

The principle and implementation are simple. Let the heat and humidity from the dryer help warm your house during the cold months instead of wasting it.

I have a attachment I bought from the hardware store which connects to the back of the dryer. It contains a switch to change the venting from inside to outside and a screen to catch lint/dust. I don't use the switch due to the placement of my dryer and the outside vent hole so I just remove/replace it depending on the time of year.

Another method is to have a 5 gal. bucked w/ one large hole in the middle for the tubing and a series of smaller holes around the top. Fill the bucket about 1/2 way w/ water and connect to your dryer.

I turn my heat down at night so I put in a load right before bed and/or when I get up in the morning and turn it back up. One or two loads a day keeps the humidity level of my house just about right during the winter. A dryer sheet acts just like an air freshener.

So I cut down on my utility bills and reduce my 'carbon footprint' ( :) ) at the same time while not putting myself out more than the few minutes it takes to switch the tubing twice a year. Win/Win

UPDATE: Yeah, this isn't recommended for gas driers unless you like not waking up w/ a healthy pink glow.

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kaveman said...

If your outside vent goes to a crawl space underneath the house. Ya might want to vent a load there on nights it gets below freezing.

Helps prevent pipes from freezing.

Rhino said...

i sure hope you have a electric dryer or you might not wake up 1 day.good thinking though

Douglas2 said...

When I was a poor student setting my thermostat just high enough to keep the pipes from freezing, it really killed me to run that heating coil in the dryer and then pump all the hot air out through the wall.

So I installed a duct from the bathroom/utility room through to a dining room, and used a nylon stocking as a lint filter. I soon had paint peeling from the walls due to the rise in indoor humidity.

Plan B was using polythene and duct-tape to make a flexiduct to run around the room perimeter, exhausting the humid air to outdoors after extracting some of the heat. The trouble was that that tube condensed gallons of water, which would always find a way to collect in a low spot and block the airflow from the tube.

If you drop a block of ice in your water-trap, then that will help to condense the moisture there.

My current house has a package-unit forced-air heating system that really dries it out, so a humidistat-controlled dryer vent-switch might not be a bad idea. I've come to the conclusion that whoever designed this particular heating installation took it as a challenge to intentionally omit every facility that might make standard installation of an automatic humidifier practical.