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Old 12-11-09, 07:56 PM   #1
ynot7201
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Thumbs down dryer vent heat recovery systems

Any ideas welcome .I have seen several but which is the best way to recover clothes dryer heat from vent ,without all the lint and moister problems All entries welcome

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Old 12-11-09, 11:44 PM   #2
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you need a filter, some people use pantie hose, but a big chunk of window screen would work as well, alot of area is what you need so the lint stays fluffy.
If you have a gas dryer... make sure your house is well vented or that you at least of an o2 sensor installed or you might kill your self.
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Old 12-12-09, 07:43 AM   #3
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Here is my idea. I never got to actually building it, but there is some good discussion in the thread:

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/projec...ry-system.html
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Old 12-12-09, 09:15 PM   #4
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I'm looking for something similar. What I think I'm going to do is a kind of reverse 'pop can solar heater'. I'm going to build tubes out of pop cans and run them through a box. Air from the dryer vent will be pumped into the box on one end and then out the other, heating the air in the pop can tubes. I'll have a fan on the outside of the box blowing air thru the pop can tubes, effectively siphoning off the heated air.

It will require a drain for the condensation that collects, but that can be drained periodically. Sorry, no drawings at the moment!
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Old 02-24-10, 08:08 PM   #5
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exhaust it through an HRV?
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Old 04-22-12, 05:41 PM   #6
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what about a plastic tub then a electrostatic filter put over the lid, cut a hole in the lid, the electrostatic should stop all moisture, everything is plastic so should be able to attach everything together with self tapping screws. dryer vent terminates in tub. not sure if it would work, just a thought. but would get 100% of heat, its wrong season to try where im at. maybe in fall.
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Old 04-30-12, 08:42 PM   #7
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Any heat exchanger system needs to deal with lint and condensate, and lint stuck onto wet surfaces. Easy cleanout is a must.

An easier approach is a home made condensing dryer. Hang the clothes indoors, then put a dehumidifier in the same room. No lint because the clothes are not being tumbled, it uses less electricity than an electric dryer, all of the condensate drains out the dehumidifier, and you get 100% efficient heat recovery.
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Old 05-01-12, 05:20 AM   #8
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Dehumidifiers use a ton of power though and there is a very large amount of humidity in clothes so it would take a long time for a dehumidifier to do the job. In decent weather it would use far less energy to build an appropriate sized closet and use a fan to pass outdoor air through the clothes vent it to the outside. ..or mount the clothes outdoors.

In the winter the added humidity will always be a PITA to deal with. You are adding humidity to a room and then mechanically removing it and dealing with the defrost in a cold environment such as a basement along the way.
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Old 05-01-12, 09:59 AM   #9
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In the other dryer heat recovery thread, the most reasonable reply I saw was to question why anyone would ever use a dryer. Piwoslaw had a photo of how it is done in Poland, in a room (hopefully sunny) where the clothes air dry.

From what I understand, Europeans don't like dryers, partly because of energy costs, but even more because the dryer shortens the life of clothes... that's what all the lint is about... it is damage to the clothes that have been dried.

If you can successfully vent a gas dryer (which is releasing very large amounts of CO2) inside the house, it means that your house has a very serious infiltration problem. Releases of CO2 that large should cause a loss of consciousness in a well-sealed house. Any savings you realize through dryer heat salvage is being off-set 24/7 by massive infiltration. You'd be much better off dumping the heat and focusing on the infiltration leaks.

But if you are a slave to the dryer and really don't care about shortened clothes life, there is still hope... there is a type of dryer that doesn't need a vent at all, it uses the principle of a dehumidifier. It is more power efficient than resistance heat. you get to keep all the heat and lint and water (which you will need to provide a drain for).

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Old 05-01-12, 11:15 AM   #10
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Condensing dryers seem like a great solution. I think the first step should be to use a laundry spinner. From people who I know who have them, you toss in your clothes, it spins them at a super high speed extracting far more water than the clothes washer can in its spin cycle, and then instead of drying them(normal dryer) for 40+ minutes, they are dry and ready to hang wrinkle free with 15-20 minutes of drying.

If someone were to hang their clothes in the house and do the dehumidification thing, or even hang them outside, a laundry spinner would reduce the time it takes to dry significantly.

Outside drying is great as long as it is warm enough for it to work. I've hung slightly damp clothes up in my closet and gone to work and nights where it is cold enough to reach my away from home setback of 40 degrees, the clothes feel just as wet as they were before. Even though the indoor humidity is 40% with the clothes spaced out reasonably well. I'd imagine for good outdoor drying it would take 50 degrees and direct sun.


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