Did you know that, during the winter months, many people vent their electric dryers inside their home to save on heating costs? We are heating air to dry our clothes and then sending it outside, so by redirecting that hot air into the home, it makes total sense that it could save money on heating costs…I had just never heard of it before last winter, so I decided that I wanted to give it a try this year to see if it could ease my financial burdens a bit. Guess, what? I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are even more savings than there are for just heating.
*Please note: DO NOT VENT A GAS DRYER INTO YOUR HOME, YOU MAY KILL YOUR FAMILY IF YOU DO. This post is talking about using an electric dryer only.*
How much money, venting your electric dryer into your home, is going to save you of course, is going to depend on several factors…how big your house is, how energy efficient your home is, how many loads of laundry you do and how often…
So, I am going to break dryer venting into some categories for you so that if you only want to know the pro’s or con’s or whatever, you can skip ahead. I am basically just giving you the full scope of my experience with this method of money saving that I have been doing for the last couple of months. It should help you decide whether or not venting an electric dryer into your home is the right fit for you.
Save money on heating…I haven’t lived in Noor Cottage long enough to give you guys a side by side price comparison from last year for how much money I have saved by venting the dryer into the house, but I will tell you this, my very old house has a heat pump and last winter it seemed to struggle to keep up. This year, after I refinished the room off of the kitchen and removed a door so there is even more square footage for the heat pump to keep up with, the heat pump rarely comes on during the day now that I am venting the dryer into the house. The area of the house where the dryer is, which before was the coldest area in the house, stays toasty warm (when I’m keeping up on the laundry anyway) even our cat has made herself a little warm bed in this area because it feels so good.
Venting the dryer indoors actually also works as an indoor humidifier so my skin is nice and soft. Normally by this time, in the colder months, my skin has already been splitting/cracking and bleeding even if I use lotion five to ten times per day because I live in a desert. My skin stays splitting or cracking all winter long until it’s time to turn the heater off. But now, my hands are just naturally more moisturized and the savings alone in lotion, and the headache to apply it, is at least ten bucks a month in the winter.
I really only apply lotion on my hands now if I am going to go somewhere in public and want my hands to look as nice as possible…but that’s it. So, since it acts as an indoor humidifier (whole home humidifiers are pricey btw, if you’re not familiar with them.) Guess what guys? Indoor humidifiers also extend the life of leather furniture because it doesn’t dry out and crack… so indoor venting your electric dryer should do the very same thing.
I have also noticed that my hair is less straw-like than it normally gets by this time of year. Which is great because I want my hair to be as healthy as possible so indoor venting will also help me save money in less deep conditioning treatments, leave in conditioner, hair oil, and even help stretch the time between trims.
There is mold build up in the shower that is connected to the laundry room if I’m not careful. I have found that running a little fan in the room, when I’m not using the dryer, solves this problem as well as any windows dripping if I do too many loads and there is condensation. So, if you run into this problem just run a fan to keep good air flow and you’ll be fine.
More moisture in the home means that it makes my hair a little more wavy, which results in me really full on flat ironing my hair anymore…which is just fine with me because I prefer beach waves anyway. Just thought I’d mention that in case any of you just have to have stick straight hair… maybe just don’t do laundry on those days.
If you are used to a dry climate, you will need to worry about humidity in your kitchen so that you don’t have things getting moldy. Luckily it is simple to use oxygen absorbers so that you are not trapping the moist air into things when you are cooking. Or just plan around when you are running the dryer so that you aren’t opening a big bag of flour when there is the most moisture in the air. I haven’t had anything get moldy in the kitchen because I have been being careful, but I knew that it could happen so am being mindful and just thought that I should mention that possibility to all of you.
If I do too many loads in a day the air is so moist that my mascara will clump together when trying to apply it.
Those are really the only con’s that I have noticed…which to me aren’t enough to deter me from the other awesome benefits of indoor dryer venting to save money!
Doing two loads of laundry per day seems to keep my 1600 Square foot cottage nice and humidified enough that I don’t need lotion, but also it’s not so humid that the windows are dripping with condensation. If I do three loads or more in the same day, that is when I feel like there is just too much moisture in the air and it’s uncomfortable.
There are a few products that you can buy to filter the lint going into your home, such as BetterVent (which has a 4.5 star amazon rating) or there is a cheaper option of one called Dundas Jafine Indoor Dryer Vent Kit. Both are simple to install and use, but I personally recommend going the very cheapest route and just using a nylon stocking to cover the exhaust hose and after every couple of loads just move the hose to a clean section of the nylon (because lint builds up on it and could start a fire if you’re not being careful to make sure it’s lint-free) and then when the nylon is totally full of lint then you can just toss it in the wash and start over…just keep reusing the same nylon.
Well, what do you guys think about venting a dryer indoors in order to save money on heating? I personally think that I am probably going to do this for the rest of the winters as long as I live so long as I have electricity. It helps keep my entire house toasty warm, keeps my skin and hair hydrated, saves me lots of money, and only requires minimally more effort to do so (swapping out the nylon every day or two is the more effort I’m talking about) I consider that a win in my book!
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P.S. If you want to read any of my other money saving tips, I recommend checking out my Life Hacks section of the blog. I guarantee that you will learn at least a few new ways to save money or just simplify your life.