Friday, January 23, 2009

Dryer Vent Sealed from Cold Air

Replace Your Old Useless Dryer Flapper!
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.

Products
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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9 comments:

  1. NEW!!! DOVER PROJECTS ON FACEBOOK! Join in with your DIY spirit! Click on the BIG blue box for "Facebook, Dover Projects" in the right column above! See you there!--Peter

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  2. I bought one of these 4 years ago and it even keeps the cold out in Canada! Great product...easy to clean the lint out of too..

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  3. Anonymous, So far so good here too. Thanks for sharing your experience with it.--Peter

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  4. Works so good that the link to the purveyor is dead!

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  5. Thanks Anonymous for the heads up on the dead link. I fixed the link to now go to Amazon, Read the reviews on Amazon... 4 outta 5 stars with 60 reviews.

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  6. I just ordered one. Can't wait to put a stop to the cold laundry room!

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  7. I'll be installing this next week. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm also installing a wet lint filter in the house that keeps the heat in the home in the winter. And a Y fitting to be able to switch the discharge to outside during the summer.

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  8. 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. dryer repair 

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  9. OK, so I've got the vent installed and let me tell you, WHAT A DIFFERENCE.

    We had an old vent that was clogged...so clogged that whatever was clogging it bonded to the lid...wide open.

    With this installed, it immediately stopped the drafts. My plumber was impressed and said he'd start using it on engagements where there was washer/dryer work.

    Also, I installed a wet lint indoor filter:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008RNPOIU/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00

    This thing is great! Keeps heat in the house and really steams up the laundry room....I've since kept the door open and put in a utility fan to keep the air circulating. This little puppy was making the windows and mirror sweat. Works great and my hygrometer showed a 10% increase in humidity in the house.

    When people talk green, they should be talking about little items like this that really make a difference in the home especially in the winter. In the summer, I'll be connecting the hose back to the outside device I spoke about above.

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