Adding a draft blocker to a dryer vent?

pjb999July 5, 2008

I have plans to improve my dryer venting a little (I'm in BC Canada) - the original vinyl ducting was bypassed and sort of closed off (fibreglass insulation stuffed in, I was thinking about expanding foam instead, the gentler window type) and they cleverly ran metal vent through the garage to the outside so it heats the garage a little, joints weren't taped right but I'll clean it all before I tape them...

During some really cold weather I noticed frost around the point where the vent exits the building, and then saw these draft blockers...they do say they're created for that very purpose, I do of course have a self-closing flap on the outside vent but thought about adding one of these on the inside of the wall, so the heat still goes up the pipe to the garage (or should it really be on the inside closer to the dryer?) but it adds a bit more to blocking the cold - the dryer vent as it exits the dryer feels pretty cold in winter when it's not in use - it's the flexible type where it exits dryer, I'm also considering if I can go with rigid there to reduce dust trapping...

Does this sound like a good setup, and would you use one of these draft stoppers? It's pretty light so should operate easily with the dryer air pressure.

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pjb999

Sorry forgot to add the product url:

Here is a link that might be useful: Dundas Jafine draft blocker

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 2:02AM
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drdraft

Fiberglass doesn't work well to stop drafts so you are right in sealing that opening with foam. Air is very lazy. It doesn't like rough surfaces or sharp corners or pushing things out of the way. Metal vent ducting is smoother and air will move through it much more effectively than the vinyl stuff. But long runs make it more difficult for the air to move through the clothes and out of the dryer, and if you add another backdraft damper, the air flow will be further impeded - even if it is "light". The Dundas units are pretty good. Also check out www.heartlandnatural.com/Household/dryervent/index.htm. But if you are considering doing it, you might want to add a booster fan to make sure the air moves all the way through. Check out the booster fans at:

Here is a link that might be useful: Heyoka Solutions

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 12:22PM
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garymunson-2008

Something I did here in Florida...probably not as practical in colder climates...I have a second vent pipe run down from my attic terminating with a grill behind my dryer. The idea is to close the laundry room door when the dryer is in operation, allowing the replacement air for the venting dryer to be pulled from the attic (already warm air) rather than pulling hot air into the whole house through the cracks around the windows and doors. Kind of like outside air intake on fireplace.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 4:48AM
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pjb999

I wondered about flow impedence, I can't remember what the rules are here for distance of run but the flow seems pretty decent and when I get the whole thing cleaned, it'll be better, I don't think the damper will impede it *too* much but a booster may be something to think about, but on the downside, more power consumption, and also more negative pressure, I think eventually I'll need some sort of supplementary air intake to the house to avoid sucking back products of combustion from furnace/HWH, especially if we get a gas cooktop and vent our range hood outside, currently it's just recirculating and fairly useless. Our smoke detector goes off frequently when we're cooking.

My furnace has the air intake that runs from outside to the cold air return (I'm in BC Canada btw) and combustion air is drawn from surrounds via louvred doors, if more "make up" air is required, how is it usually supplied? I don't imaging a heat recovery/fresh air exchanger does this job as I assume it intake/exhausts equal amounts of air?

I love the idea of drawing the warm air from the attic (provided it's not humid) in some climates provided you're not sucking up fibreglass dust from the insulation; in my old house when I lived in Australia this would have worked well, having said that, there is no code to enforce dryers being vented outside, I chose to do so with mine and had to look hard for a ventable model (no gas dryers there, everything's 240v anyway) - and this in a country with usually very high humidity. Not sure what's up with that. In winter, the heat's good but we could certainly have done without any extra humidity

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:18AM
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