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Don’t Vent Dryer Into Home

Venting your clothes dryer into the house can cause mold and condensation problems.

In the winter, many homes could use a little extra heat and even some more moisture in the air.

The low relative humidity in homes creates problems of dry skin and nasal passages. Some manufacturers advertise kits to vent the home’s clothes dryer into the house as a remedy.

However, venting a clothes dryer into a home is not a good idea, and it may violate local building codes, according to Carl Pedersen, North Dakota State University Extension Service energy educator.

The average load of clothes may contain at least a gallon of water, and it can contain as much as 2 gallons, that a dryer will remove.

“Adding this amount of moisture to a home can create unhealthy living conditions,” Pedersen says. “If the humidity causes damp surfaces, it can create perfect living conditions for molds. Mold is a serious health concern since many people are allergic to mold. If the mold is not visible, the cause of the allergies may not be known.”

Excess humidity in the air also can:

  • Increase clothes drying times, which causes increased energy usage
  • Damage parts of the home by causing deterioration in timber and building products
  • Lower the effectiveness of insulation
  • Cause window condensation, which can damage the window structure

“With the tighter construction of modern homes, indoor air quality is becoming a serious concern,” Pedersen says. “The air in many homes contains more pollutants than the outside air. Activities like smoking, cooking and daily grooming add pollutants to the home that need to be removed through ventilation. Venting a dryer into the living space in a home adds additional pollutants, such as chemicals from the detergents, as well as lint that escapes from the lint trap.”

He adds that a gas clothes dryer never should be vented to the indoors under any circumstances.

“The chance of carbon monoxide poisoning is too great,” he says.

For more information on this or any other energy-related topic, contact Pedersen at (701) 231-5833 or carl.pedersen@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Carl Pedersen, (701) 231-5833, carl.pedersen@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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