If you have "no place to go," come here!

Laundry vents in a cold climate


OK, from the sublime to the ridiculous, unless you consider not wasting heating oil sublime:

The vent to my dryer used to vent directly into a crawlspace under the house. This was bad, because it wasn't up to code, because the moist air led to mildew, and because -- believe it or not -- the crawlspace had been insulated with straw, so the arrangement had only avoided a fire by some sort of special dispensation.

So, now the dryer is vented out through the wall of the house. However:

Cold air still gets a straight shot into the house through the louver, the hose, and the driver. (Technically, the new arrangement is an improvement, since at least now I have a louvered vent, as opposed to the old arrangement, where the hose from the dryer opened directly onto the crawlspace, which, in the winter, might as well be the outside.) Plus, I notice that the corrogated hose that leads from the wall to the dryer is cold.

So, is there any way to cut down on the heat loss from the dryer vent?

I could "louver the louver," but it seems that giving the dryer exhaust a straight shot to the outside is necessary to prevent a lint fire.

I could wrap the hose in pink insulation stuff, but it seems that the real issue isn't cold coming off the hose, but cold air coming through it.

Anyone with experience have any thoughts on this?

No votes yet


The louvers are supposed to act as vent dampers and prevent cold air infiltration, but most of those sold in the big box stores are fairly worthless.

A dryer vent is a 4-inch duct, so there are a lot of better dampers available, but be sure you to install a damper where you can get easy access for cleaning. The lint can prevent the damper from closing completely, allowing the cold air access.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

There are better vents you can buy than the louvered ones-they're made like a cylinder with a ball inside that is lifted up by the limited force of the exhaust of the dryer-when the dryer is not in use the ball merely sits in the bottom of the cylinder keeping all drafts out-about$30 retail

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on


My dryer vents to a small plastic box that I fill with water. The water catches any lint.... works like a charm, IMHO.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

To recycle the heat into the crawlspace, you can run galvanized stovepipe hither & yon under the house before exhausting it to the atmosphere,

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I have often wondered why dryers let so much lint past the filters. With all the years that the manufacturers have been making and re-designing these, why does so much lint end up going into the vent pipe? And while I am wondering about lint, why is the male belly-button such an efficient lint collector?