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Old 01-25-15, 09:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SW VA
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Default Experience with condensing clothes dryer

In response to another post:

I very much wanted to stop pulling unconditioned air into our house through myriad shell leaks only to heat it, add some water, and then exhaust it outside (a typical clothes dryer scenario).

I ended up focusing on condensing (ventless) dryers. I found a used Bosch Axxis on CG for $100, brought it home and cleaned it up. I also did one mod that I feel addresses one of the unit's major shortcomings.

We've been using it for about 3 months now and this is what I've found.
- It works well if you are willing to tolerate longer drying cycles and increased maintenance.
- With this increased maintenance, however, comes a heightened sense of fire safety since we have no duct work to clog and catch fire.
- The dry cycles seem roughly 1.5 to 2 times as long as those of our previous Maytag electrical resistance vented unit.
- The capacity is less but it seems to work well for us as we mix heavy and light clothes in the wash for better spin extraction and then hang the heavy items on a line in the basement to dry.
- I'm not sure how total cycle energy usage compares but I do know that I now heat my basement/house with hot dry air when using the dryer.
- You have to remove and clean the heat exchanger regularly, about monthly for us, a family of 4. This takes only about 10 minutes and is very easily done in a kitchen sink.
- You have to have a place for discharge of condensed water. Not a big deal, a pump in the dryer sends it out through a small hose to the clothes washer drain.
- You have to clean the air coming into the unit. The Axxis I bought was full of lint and dog hair. I'm pretty sure it wasn't working well and probably why it was sold. The air enters at the bottom right front and enters the heat exchanger after passing through a felt sound dampener channel. The heated air exits through louvers in the rear of the unit. Only problem is that there is no sort of filtering of the inlet air and detritus on floors nearby gets sucked into the unit. I did two things to address this. I elevated the unit above our washer, also for convenience and space. And, I installed a washable air filter inside the louver front inlet, a pretty simple task.
- Another issue we've experienced is that lint and hair accumulate around the front door during a cycle. We have dogs and wash their beds and really see some buildup. We usually open the front door mid-cycle and remove this stuff when drying something with lots of lint or hair. There is an easily accessed lint filter inside the door but it doesn't catch all the lint. Even with this issue I feel better with this unit knowing that at least we're catching all the lint somehow rather than it accumulating inside a vent and becoming a fire hazard.
- This dryer is located in a room shared by our Geospring HP water heater and I'm sure that at least some of the dryer heat is "recycled" to heat our water. The cool dry air exiting the HPWH and the hot dry air exiting the dryer make a very nice environment for drying clothes on a line. We used to put some clothes on a line outside but find they dry very quickly in this room.

Last edited by Semipro; 01-25-15 at 09:49 AM..
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