An indoor clothes dryer vent can help with your heating bill and add moisture to your home in the winter. They are really easy for a do-it-yourself person to install and they are very economical. I have one that attaches to my clothes dryer and I can easily change it back and forth from inside to outside venting as the seasons change. I enjoy the extra warmth and the thought that I am saving a bit of money. I especially enjoy that I can do it myself whenever I decide I need to.
An indoor dryer vent is basically a plastic bucket that has a snap on lid. The lid has a place to secure the dryer vent hose to and there are openings in the lid for air flow. You can purchase one for less than $20 at local hardware stores. The indoor vent may be round or it may be rectangle. Decide on the size according to where it needs to sit beside your dryer. I have limited space so a rectangle-shaped one works great for me. I tuck it on the floor between the dryer and a water pipe. Just make sure you can get to it, because you will need to keep it filled with water and clean the lint out of it occasionally.
Switching between indoor venting and outside venting should be done when the weather turns cool.I live in the Midwest, so we have early, cold winters. When the mornings start to turn chilly, I change to my indoor vent. It saves turning the furnace on too early and it is a free source of heat when I have to do laundry. The water in the indoor dryer vent helps to add moisture into the dry air and it also collects the lint so it isn't filtering around your house. If your dryer is in an enclosed area, you may need to leave the laundry room door open so the heat filters out.
All you need is a couple of long wire ties and a plastic bag to cover the outdoor vent hole.To switch to the indoor vent, gently remove the electric dryer hose from the pipe that goes through your wall or floor. The pipe should extend enough so that you can easily wrap a plastic bag around it and secure it with a long wire tie. I stuff a rag inside the pipe for extra insulation before I put the bag on it. You can secure the bag with duct tape, but the tape is hard to remove when you want to change back. The wire tie can be easily cut.
Place the dryer vent onto the top of the indoor venting tub and secure it. It may take you a few attempts to get the plastic vent hose slid over the lip of the indoor vent. Trust me, it will go. Once you have it in place and slid down as far as possible, secure it with a long wire tie. I have even tied a string around it to keep it secure when I couldn't find a wire tie. Just make sure it is tight or the air from the dryer will blow it off and then you will have lint blowing everywhere.
Keep the indoor dryer vent clean and full of water. The water will evaporate, depending on how often you use the dryer, so be sure to check it frequently. Pop the top off and look for lint build-up, too. The lint that clings to the inside of the indoor vent bucket can easily be wiped away with a paper towel.
You'll find that using an indoor dryer vent for your electric clothes dryer will help keep your home warm and add humidity during the cold winter months.
Warning: Indoor clothes dryer vents should never be used on a gas dryer as it will emit fumes into your home that are dangerous. Indoor dryer vents are designed for electric dryers only.
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