Dryer woes: booster fan or new dryer?

NewEnglandSaraApril 23, 2012

Hi All,

We are experiencing some major dryer issues! We bought our Kenmore electric dryer about four years ago, and it never did a great job with drying. I sometimes needed to do a follow-up dry cycle. We moved to a new house a few months ago, and the laundry room is in the center of the house. We knew that this would be tough on dryer venting since the vent has such a long run. As it turns out, I now need to ALWAYS run the dryer a second time through. My husband has cleared the vent, but it makes no difference.

We are trying to figure out if we should invest in a dryer booster fan or in a new dryer with more power. A booster fan in our small laundry room would take up space and would require some installation into the wall. Then again, a new dryer would be pricey; and we are not sure if they make dryers with powerful enough fans to deal with our situation. We are feeling in over our heads, and I welcome suggestions from others who have been in this situation and/or who know a lot about dryer venting. :-)

Thanks so much!


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All the dryer can do is heat air and move it though the clothes to carry the moisture outside. A new dryer won't help if the root cause of long drying cycles is the lack of airflow to the outside.

Airflow gets restricted based on the length of the exit path, the diameter of the path, the number of bends in the path, and the "smoothness" of the path.

Since you can't change the length, you may be able to affect the other parameters. Is it possible to find a straighter path that doesn't significantly increase the length even more? Can the exit pipe be replaced by a larger diameter pipe? Are you using the least possible amount of accordion flex pipe to make the connection? Never use plastic flexible vent tube. Use smooth elbow joints and the shortest flexible accordion metal connection pipe you can tolerate.

If those changes aren't possible or don't help, you're last option is the booster fan.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:18PM
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By larger diameter exit pipe, I mean a larger diameter pipe all of the way to the outside of the house.

It won't do any good to put a large pipe behind the dryer and connect it to the smaller pipe that's already there to the outside of the house.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:21PM
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What is present run length, diameter, number of turns?

Since you've had two bad experiences and you've said your vent-run is verified clear, I think consideration of booster fan is appropriate. Not too expensive. Can be easy or a pain to install depending. Can be in-line or exterior mount configuration likely dependent on your particular situation. Suggest looking into it. Google works.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:23PM
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A few dryers on the market have higher-speed blowers to allow for longer exhaust ducting (some Maytag Bravos models, GE Harmony or whatever it's currently called) but even they have restrictions on length and number of turns.

There are booster fans available that are installed inline to the ducting, not behind the machine at the wall opening. Is your ducting accessible in your attic?

Dryer Booster Fans


    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Sorry, a typo on the first link.

It should be Dryer Booster Fans.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 5:23PM
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I'm seriously considering installing one of these with my new Asko set that will be delivered Wednesday, hoping to avoid the problems we had with our previous Asko set.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:34PM
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A couple years back I was experiencing similar problems due to a too-long dryer duct. I thought about a duct booster fan but the dryer also started eating clothes, and just needed to be replaced.

I don't remember the brand, but I bought a "long-vent" dryer that instead of being able to use a 60 foot long vent (with each 90 deg turn counting as 10 additional feet) the dryer can handle a 150 foot long vent (again with each 90 deg turn counting as 10 additional feet)

It has made all of the difference in the world. You put the clothes in, set it to "optimum dry" come back and the clothes are dry, what an amazing concept.

Two minor complaints about the new dryer are: it doesn't match the front-loading washer next to it, and the controls are on a panel at the back of the machine instead of along the front edge, so they are harder to reach.

One less minor complaint is you have to make sure that the ducting is securely attached to the back of the dryer or the greater force of its internal fan will blow the duct off and then proceed to fill your house with lint.

Another issue is that most appliance salesmen will have no idea what you are talking about if you ask for a "long vent" dryer. You basically have to research the exact model number and make sure they order that exact model.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Question: My laundry room is also in the center of the house and goes up through the roof. I'm not sure if the exit cap vent at the top was checked all the way. I say this because I clean mine once or twice per year, and the exit cap can get lint stuck inside it. I can't get on my roof so I have to actually stand on top of a ladder at the edge of the roof and use a long pole with a brush on the end of it (while dryer is running) and lint will come pouring out. It makes a huge difference. The actual RUN of the vent is clean but the exit cap will get lint build up constricting air flow. I can always tell when this needs to be done based on drying times. It makes a huge difference. I think the run is possibly 20 feet max but the run is properly built with proper materials. Not the cheap plastic flex venting. There are 2 small bends along the run

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:58PM
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