Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Recycle the Heat From Your Dryer

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I finally did it! I finally ordered the Dundas Jafine Heat Keeper to recycle the heat from my dryer thats usually funneled outside. I've been looking at it for a few weeks now and finally took the plunge.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Heat Keeper, check out this article:"Make Clothes Dryer More Efficient by Recycling the Heat". It will introduce you to the concept and recycling your dryer's hot air. Be aware, however, this is only recommended for electric dryers. Exhaust from gas dryers may contain small amounts of unwanted pollutants that you do not want recycling through the air in your home.
The Heat Keeper is an inexpensive item. If you can find it at your local home improvement store, buy it there. If not, you can order it from Amazon. If you have to order it through Amazon, order a few of them. Give one to your neighbor, friends, and/or family. The item costs less than $6. The shipping costs will exceed the cost of the Heat Keeper. I foolishly ordered only one and spent around $13 in total. Oh well, I'll make up the cost in heat recycling.
The installation process is a breeze. The only additional item not included in the packaging that you'll need is a wire cutter. You will have to cut the exhaust tubing leading from the dryer to insert the Heat keeper. The process took about 5 minutes. It has a little switch so that you can vent the air outside during the summer and inside during the winter.
Expect your windows to fog as the heat also comes with some humidity. The amount of fogging will depend on the outside temperature and the size of the laundry area. I find it a small price to pay for heat recycling.
The Heat Keeper not only warms the area, it serves as an air freshener. The aroma of the fabric softener is dispersed around the room (my daughter loves this feature). All in all, I give thee Heat Keeper a thumbs up!


MaMa D said...

I also did this this last winter. We like to sleep in cold bedrooms so the heat goes off at night. One morning I was standing in my cold kitchen, waiting for the furnace to warm the house, and saw the heat billowing outside from the electric dryer. There must be a way to recapture that heat! So I went to the hardware store and bought a flexable dryer hose and connected to the back of my dryer where the outside hose fit. I left the outside attached to the wall and will reconnect it to the dryer when the weather warms.
Now my kitchen is warm and cozy on those chilly mornings and we don't have to wait til the whole house heats up.

MaMa D said...

I also want to add. I stove-piped the flex tube up between the dryer and washer and put a knee-high nylon over the opening to collect any lint that may come from the dryer. I move the nylon each time I turn on the dryer and then remove it after about 10 times and take it outside to remove the collected lint. Reposition the nylon back over the flex tube before you turn it back on.

Felicia said...

You are very resourceful! Way to go!

I'd love to hear any more great money saving and energy saving tips you have.

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

There is a reason that the air is vented OUTSIDE ! Besides the heat, the air contains alot of lint dust & moisture. The lint dust is unhealthy to breathe and will make the inside of your house dirty like the filter in your dryer. I've seen people do this and their house became dirty inside and VERY humid which will cause mold in your walls, floors, and furniture which is also unhealthy to breathe. None of the so called filters that are made to allow dryer venting inside are good enough and none of them filter out the moisture! Ask any doctor what they think about doing this and they will tell you it is unsafe !
see the below link for problems that too much moisture/humidity can cause. It's from the EPA about indoor air quality.
or do a google search for
epa air quality moisture

Anonymous said...

If someone has a device that filters out the dust and moisture then this would be a good idea for electric dryers ONLY. But NONE of the devices filter out enough dust and none of them filter out ANY moisture. A nylon stocking isn't enough, you need a HEPA or better( .1 micron filter ) to filter out the dust. You are filtering out a portion of what you see but NOT the more dangerous smaller particles you can't see. It's the same problem with cigerette smoke. Most furnace filters don't filter ANY practical amount of the smoke that harms you lungs. The furnas filter will also become clogged much faster due to all the dust in the air.

Felicia said...

Thank you for your informative comments ‘anonymous.’ While your points are good and something to take into consideration, I find that recycling the heat from my electric dryer is something I’ll continue to do.

In the wintertime, I am looking for both heat and moisture in my house. It becomes very cold and dry. Rather than running a humidifier in my house to reduce the affects of having the air too dry, I enjoy the moisture produced from my dryer.

In the summer, I flip the switch and allow all of the heat and the moisture from the dryer to go outside. At that time I run the dehumidifier in my basement in an attempt to reduce the natural moisture that accumulates downstairs.

I thank you for pointing this out and I encourage my readers to do the research before making a decision. As for me, recycling the heat is the way to go.

mama d said...

Thank you Anonymous for your input.
I have an electric dryer. I do understand what you are saying about the dust.
Most of our clothing is dark so the dust from that would show up.
I am checking for dust build up on furniture and filters. I do not see any excess build up out of the norm on the furniture. The furnace is right next to the dryer and I do not see any build up on it's filter. I also sleep with a sleep apnea machine and do not see a build up on it's filter. Will check for build up on things that are more obvious such as TV and Computer monitors where dust is attracted.
Also, I suffered from Asthma 2000-2005 at which time I was on 12 medications. I am not showing any asthma symptoms from doing this and I consider myself "the canary in the mine shaft".
A woman told me about Cordyceps. I take 3 Nature's Way Cordyceps capsules in the morning and have been off all 12 medications for 2 years. http://www.vitacost.com/Natures-Way-Cordyceps#IngredientFacts

Thank you for your input.
Mama D

Retired Rewired said...

Just thinking...route the dryer vent to the intake, before the furnace filter, and let the blower circulate the humid heated air through the house. This is for those cold days, of course. Perhaps have a switchable vent that can be vented to furnace blower or to the outside opening? It seems obvious that this would require frequent filter replacement and raises questions about the efficiency of the furnace filter. Can we build on this idea?