How a Dryer Vent Heat Reclaimer Works
Dryer vent heat reclaimers help to reduce some of the heating costs of your home by taking heat from other places, such as the stove, or the dryer. This heat is then circulated around the building, which then feels warmer due to this extra heat. All dryers use heat in order to dry clothes. This heat is then lost when the air is vented outside. Using a heat reclaiming device can save money by re-using air you have already paid to heat.
Heat Reclaimers and Hot Air
Air which is sent out by dyers often returns to the home as cold air. This can be a negative source of drafts and chills in the house. In the normal dryer vent process, the heat escapes but returns as cold air, requiring more hot air to warm it up. Running a dryer can actually cause your home to cool down.
The heat reclaimer pulls in the air while it is still hot, before it can escape into the atmosphere, and pushes it into the air circulation of the house. The heat then travels around the home, as with the ordinary hot air that you get from nearby radiators and central heating. This air is then expelled through the roof. The heat reclaimer takes the air provided by the vent, so that it never gets the chance to cool down and re-enter the home. It not only ensures heat is not lost, but prevents you needing to use more hot air to warm up the house.
Gas and Other Problems
A more complex problem is that of the gas-powered dryer. These types of dryers often expel gases through the vents, and not the kind of gases that the household will want circulating around the home. In order to prevent this, plumbers and engineers can fit the heat reclaimer to the machines before the gas is expelled, or you may decide that the risk is not worth it, and simply leave the heat to escape into the atmosphere.
Gas is not the only reason to worry about fitting a heat reclaimer to your dryer. The very process by which the dryer vent is used to provide hot air to the home also allows moisture to escape into the wood.
In addition, the reclaimer drives up moisture and humidity, meaning that it creates the ideal atmosphere for dry rot and mold to form in wood. If your dryer is in a basement, for example, this can be a cause for concern. One solution to this is to install a dryer basin or drain, which will help to remove excess moisture from the air, without leaving you with a completely dry atmosphere. Drains can be made by putting a small hole into the bottom of the dryer vent, near to the machine itself, and then passing a hose into it, which will eventually end in a drain or sink. Keep the hose from falling out by sticking it to the vent with tape.