Dryer Vent: An Overlooked Source of Heat Loss

sealing a dryer vent

Dryer vents are a frequently overlooked source of heat loss in modern homes. Those who live in colder areas know how expensive heating costs can get in the winter months, and the same is true in reverse for cooling at hotter times. If you're looking to save some money and remedy what an overlooked source of heat loss in your home, read on to learn everything you'll need to know.

How Much Heat is Your Home Losing to Dryer Vents?

Nearly 10 percent of your home's heat is likely to escape through your dryer vent. This usually amounts to at least several hundred dollars' worth of additional heating costs. Have you ever considered why your laundry room tends to be the coolest room in your home? That's because as warm air escapes your home via your dryer vent, cool air seeps in through the vent. In other words, you're getting the worst of both worlds. The more laundry you dry, the more cold air is let into your home.

What is the Cause of Dryer Vent Heat Loss?

Your home's dryer vent most likely features a sheet-metal flap over its exhaust. Although these flaps are meant to reduce the amount of heat that escapes your home, most of them fail to do a proper job of creating a seal that keeps warm air inside and cold air out. Furthermore, dryer lint has a tendency to clog these flaps, causing them to remain open, ultimately allowing even more cold air to find its way into your house. To make matters worse, insects and other assorted pests tend to find their way into homes through clogged dryer vents.

How do You go About Fixing This Problem?

Having discovered what a heat-losing nuisance dryer vents can be, you're no doubt wondering how you can remedy this problem. Well, you'll be pleased to learn that there are several easy and cost conscious methods of preventing dryer vent leaks. The first is to throw out your old dryer vent flap and replace it with a stronger, more efficient vent flap made of tough plastic.

You can also purchase devices known as dryer vent seals, which tend to be made of tough plastic and can usually be attached to your dryer vent without the aid of any tools. These seals fit tightly over dryer vents and prevent air from escaping. A decidedly more cumbersome method is to regularly clean lint out of your dryer vents with a scraping tool. While this method may not involve purchasing any new parts, it can prove to be quite a chore, especially during the winter months.

So there you have it. If you're looking to prevent warm air from escaping your home, make sure to pay close attention to your dryer vent.