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How to Properly Vent a Dryer

A heat diverter attached to an electric dryer captures waste heat, but can also create moisture and air-quality problems. Get better results by managing the loads and keeping dryer lint under control.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Vent dryers outside

Venting the dryer outside in cold weather wastes a lot of heat. To make the dyer more efficient, you can buy an inexpensive heat diverter and install it in the exhaust duct of electric dryers only (not gas dryers).You'll save about 50¢ worth of heat per load in the winter.

But we don't recommend it for two reasons. First, you'll be pumping a heavy dose of moisture into your home with each load. In cold weather, that moisture can condense where you don't want it—on windows, inside walls, in the attic—and can cause mold and rot. And second, you'll blow fine particles of lint through the filter into your household air. Here are better ways to save energy when you're drying clothes:

  • Dry similar types of fabrics together because some dry much more quickly than others.
  • Dry full loads, and one load right after another to conserve heat.
  • Clean the lint filter regularly.
  • Check the vent flapper outside to make sure it isn't clogged with lint.
  • When you buy a new dryer, buy one that automatically shuts off the heat when the clothes are dry, even if it hasn’t finished its timed cycle. No more “cooked” clothes!
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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Cordless drill
    • Tape measure
    • Tin snips

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

You'll need a duct diverter kit, available at hardware stores.

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August 07, 1:06 PM [GMT -5]

COULD NOT GET A THUMBS DOWN ON FIRST POST.....................................................


August 07, 12:53 PM [GMT -5]

This article confuses me.......

I have been a subscriber for almost 30 years and a appliance service/installer longer than that.

Owned a Launderette for 20 years.

If T.F.H. doesn't recommend a diverted dryer exhaust vent Then why print it .

Not a fan of this add on so called energy saving device.

Are they UL or E.P.A. approved?

One problem I have come across is Homeowner #.1 Installs this moisture & fine dust distributor on the vent of a Electric Drier

Then moved out did not take this money saving devise with.

Now new Homeowner has a Gas Drier.

That he ends up spending time and money on getting a gas connection.

Then hooks up to the fancy money savings vent to room divert-er.

That was only distributing fine dust and moisture with the electric drier.

Has now added unburned natural or liquid propane gas.

So I will say it!!!!!

DO NOT USE THIS Vent Room heaters/warmers.

If the air is being vented OUT OF THE HOUSE....


Don't let it in.....

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