May 9, 2010

Capturing Heat from Clothes Dryer

Clothes dryers cost about $0.36 per load or $85 a year to operate.  Most of that power is used to heat up the clothing.   Your dryer then vents the air outside the home which wastes much of that heat.   Wouldn't it be nice if you could capture the heat from your dryer exhaust and use it to help warm your house in the winter?  

A little web searching turns up a couple devices that will redirect the dryer exhaust into your home.   One option is the Clothes Dryer Heat Saver that costs $9.29.   A little more elaborate option is the Indoor Lint Trap Filter for $32.99.

I don't know how well either of those devices work but the mechanism is very straight forward.   The idea is to just vent the exhaust directly into the home and somehow capture the extra lint.  A simple vent and filter can do that OK.   Its hard to say how well these things work as far as saving energy and I couldn't find any information on how much money they can save you

Of course you want to redirect the heat outside during the warmer months.   Another thing to consider is the moisture.  When you redirect the dryer exhaust into your home you're also getting moisture from the dryer.  That extra moisture will increase humidity in your home with may not be a good thing.

But a warning, according to this source using a vent to redirect the clothes dryer exhaust into your home may not be up to code and you should not do this for gas dryers.

Unfortunately I can't find enough information on this to know if its a really practical solution or not.   Without more information it is hard to know if buying and using one of these devices would be worth the cost.

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