The exhaust from a conventional clothes dryer is full of moisture and lint, and the best place to vent it is directly outside. Matt Culik knows this, but his particular situation makes him wonder whether there are circumstances when this rule might be broken.
Culik will soon be moving into a new house, and the intended laundry room does not have a vent connection for a clothes dryer. Coincidentally, he is planning to replace an old electric hot water heater with a heat-pump water heater, and this has given him an idea.
“Rather than drill a hole in the side of the house for the vent,” he asks in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor, “would it make sense to vent the hot, humid dryer exhaust into the basement? (Obviously, I would need to address the lint issue, but stay with me…) My thought is that this would provide ‘better’ air for the heat pump, and the heat pump would cool and dehumidify the basement.
“I know going in that this is probably a terrible idea,” he continues, “but figured I’d ask just in case. … I’m guessing the air is way too wet to be properly dehumidified by the heat pump, and I’m asking for mold and general dampness problems.”
Culik’s question is the focus for this Q&A Spotlight.
Lint is potentially a big problem
There are at least two reasons not to try this, says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay.
“The lint problem is insoluble,” he says. “And damp lint sticks to everything (with the potential of gumming up the heat pump water heater compressor).”
Second, there’s no guarantee the water heater and the clothes dryer would be operating at the same time.
Even if Culik were to install…