I couldn't figure out why our dryer was so cold in the winter, until I started to investigate the flapper on the outside of the house. It wasn't able to close because of lint caught around were the flapper should have sealed. Also the cheap metal flapper (you know the kind with the little hood and flap) was bent a bit, so even after cleaning the lint the flap never closed right.
To make matters worse the vent was on the windy side of the house. So cold winter air was coming in the vent, thought the dryer vent piping, into the dryer and making it like a big cold ice block right in our mudroom closet.
Sealed dryer vent, installed. It's kinda big, but you don't see it where I have it.
So I went to HD in hopes of finding what certainly would be an upgraded design and found nothing more there than the same old crappy tin ones, and most of them were already bent. The other choice was some miserable looking louvered thing made of plastic.
So I searched the internet and believe I've found the only product that really addresses air coming in the dryer vent. It is of course shown in the photo above. My father in-law installed the vent, when I was at work, so I don't have the step by step installation photos, but he says installation was a breeze (no pun intended). Thanks Bill.
This is my rendering of the product, actual design may vary. Note: Click on diagram to enlarge.
Here's How it Works
Inside that top cylinder part is a upside down plastic cup shaped thing (with straight walls). When the hot air comes out the dryer vent, the cup rises up and the air escapes out around the bottom of the cylinder part. When the hot air stops coming out, the cup floats back down and creates a nice seal.
As for energy savings. This site has a energy audit that shows a $14.00 per year savings. Not bad for a product that costs only a little more.
I never had this problem with the old flapper, but this new design also keeps out birds, rodents, bugs and other critters.
Buy on Amazon
My Standard Disclaimer: This is what I did. This does not mean this is the best way, the right way, to building code, or even safe for your needs. So you are on your own with your project. I make no promises about the information presented here. I'm just a do-it-yourselfer, not a professional at all, sharing my story. So if something goes wrong with your project, you are on your own. Good luck, and have fun!
All content and photos, copyright 2009, Dover Projects.
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