Posted on: 19.04.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Clothes dryers can be found in almost every household, providing a quick and efficient way to dry clothes. However, all the hot air they produce has to go somewhere, and its effects are probably something you’ve never really thought about. If you’re venting your dryer indoors, you need to stop.

Indoor dryer vents are not safe. They can cause health problems due to mold growth and structural damage from increased humidity. They can also pose a fire hazard, as the lint they spit into the air is highly flammable. Outdoor dryer vents are the safe choice.

Continue reading this article to learn more about indoor dryer vents and why people use them, whether they are legal or not, and why they pose such a risk to your health and home. Let’s dive right in.

What is an Indoor Dryer Vent?

When operating, a dryer produces excess heat that needs to be vented. There are two types of dryer vents: indoor and outdoor.

An indoor dryer vent does not go through a wall or window like an outdoor vent. Instead, it vents into a room in your house, such as the laundry room or an attic. This type of dryer vent is typical for spaces where the ventilation system needs to be contained within the house, such as in an apartment or condominium.

Why Do People Vent Dryers Inside Their Homes?

There are a variety of reasons why people have indoor dryer vents. Some have no other choice but to have a closed system due to the way their house is built. Others choose to install them, which is a mistake.

Some people vent their electric dryer indoors in cooler months to save on heating costs. This also serves as a humidifier, which can be pleasant in winter when the air is dry and many people find their skin and hair drying out.

Are Indoor Dryer Vents Legal?

Many homeowners wonder if indoor dryer vents are legal. The answer is no for many places. According to Section M1502 of the International Residential Code, dryer vents must be “exhausted to the outside of the building.” In many places, indoor dryer vents are essentially taboo, and homeowners risk a fine if they vent their dryer indoors illegally.

Dryer vents are subject to home inspection in the United States. The IRC governs most home inspectors, but there may be codes with different guidelines in some states. The guidelines apply to one- and two-family dwellings up to three stories.

The regulations for dryer vents aim to prevent damage or adverse effects that can result from improper dryer venting, such as fires or damage to the house structure due to moisture.

Check the regulations for your residence if you have an indoor dryer vent and wish to keep it – but after reading the rest of this article, you will likely change your mind.

Is it Safe to Vent Your Dryer Indoors?

If you have a gas dryer, you should never vent it indoors. This is because gas dryers emit carbon monoxide, which is incredibly dangerous.

If you have an electric dryer, you may be wondering if it is safe to vent it indoors, especially if you live in an apartment or condominium where there is no other option. Unfortunately, venting a dryer indoors is not a good choice, even if it is electric.

Serious Mold Issues

An article from North Dakota State University in 2008 warns against venting your clothes dryer inside your home due to the high risk of mold.

This is because wet washed clothes can contain up to two gallons of water. When the dryer removes this water, it can add too much moisture to the atmosphere of the house. So, as the humidity in a house rises, it becomes much more moist, creating perfect living conditions for mold.

Mold is certainly not something to ignore. It can cause extremely dangerous health problems, including allergic reactions. Mold also tends to grow in inconspicuous places, so many mold allergy sufferers may not even know what is triggering their symptoms, giving them a bad feeling.

Increased Humidity

Another major issue that can result from venting a dryer indoors is increased humidity in the house. While some people intentionally vent their dryers indoors during winter because they want that extra moisture, it actually does more harm than good.

Excessive moisture can wreak havoc on the structure of your home. Most common building materials such as wood and drywall absorb the extra moisture and begin to rot. This can cost thousands of dollars in repairs. Moisture can also damage your roof, insulation, structural support, and even your attic if you let air in.

Condensation is another big problem. When it builds up on areas like your windows, it can damage their structure.

One final reason is that your clothes will likely take longer to dry, defeating the whole purpose of having the dryer in the first place!

Fire Hazard

While dryers can catch most lint with their lint traps, they won’t catch it all. Some lint that escapes through the dryer’s exhaust is inevitable.

Lint is highly flammable and quickly accumulates when vented indoors. Anywhere you vent your dryer indoors, there is immediately a much higher risk of fire, but mainly if you vent your dryer in places like the attic.

Lint is also an allergen and can cause similar problems as discussed above with mold issues.

Air Pollutants

Another significant risk caused by venting a dryer indoors is the increase in air pollutants. Venting your dryer indoors pollutes the air in your home with the chemicals found in detergents. These can be harmful to your health in many ways and can cause allergic reactions in many people.

What Can You Do Instead of Venting Your Dryer Indoors?

If you have been venting your dryer indoors, even if it vents into a bucket of water, you need to stop immediately and switch to an outdoor vent. However, do not use corrugated plastic pipe as it easily traps lint. It can also start to sag due to the accumulation of lint, making it difficult for air to pass through. Always use a smooth metal pipe for dryer venting.

It is possible to have a dryer vent that goes around corners, but make sure the bend is gradual; otherwise, you run the risk of lint getting trapped in the pipe, causing a fire hazard. It is best to adhere to the recommendations of your dryer’s manufacturer.

If your dryer vent pipe travels a long distance, it may be a good idea to install an exhaust fan in it to push the air more effectively. This will prevent large amounts of lint from getting trapped in the vent pipe and potentially starting a fire. However, this should only be done with professional guidance, and you cannot use an exhaust fan to “boost” the “performance” of your dryer.

Do not attempt to install a dryer vent pipe without proper guidance. If something goes wrong, there may be a significant fire hazard.

If you have a dryer but have no way to vent it outside, consider alternative methods of drying your clothes, such as a clothesline or a laundromat.

If that is not an option, try running a temporary vent pipe out of a window or open windows and doors to increase airflow in your home when using your dryer. Always make sure to also clean your dryer’s lint trap regularly to prevent potentially flammable buildup.

You should not vent your dryer into a bucket of water. Some people think it is a good way to contain the lint that would otherwise be blown throughout the house, but it will cause the same problems that would occur if you vented it indoors in another way and deem it ineffective. It can lead to increased humidity in your home – in fact, it can actually cause even more moisture in the air than if you did not vent it into the bucket!

Final Words

It is important to understand the potential risks associated with venting a dryer indoors, such as fire hazards and air pollutants. In many places, it is illegal, and you risk a fine. Venting a dryer indoors can also have serious adverse effects on your health and the structural integrity of your home.

Always vent your dryer outdoors if possible or switch to another method of drying your clothes. It is easy to find a new solution to your dryer venting problem. Making a change not only protects you from a fine but also protects your health and home.

Leave a Comment