Whether you are renting an apartment or simply do not have a room with direct access to the outside, you might have considered purchasing an indoor dryer vent kit as an alternative solution.
While indoor dryer vent kits can be quite useful in limiting the amount of lint released into the room, they are not a replacement for a proper dryer ventilation system. This especially applies when it comes to gas dryers. Keep reading to find out why.
Indoor dryer vent kits are not a suitable way to vent gas dryers. In fact, these kits don’t provide any ventilation as they only catch lint and then release the air directly into the room. This can result in increased humidity, mold issues and, most notably for gas dryers, possible gas poisoning.
Indoor Dryer Kits Release Exhaust Into the Room
Indoor dryer vent kits collect lint by either using a water reservoir, in which the water needs to be replaced frequently, or by using mesh filters that need to be cleaned out or replaced regularly.
Despite their name including the word ‘vent,’ these kits don’t actually provide any ventilation. In order for ventilation to take place, the old air would have to be removed from the room.
However, an indoor dryer vent kit does the exact opposite.
It releases the hot, moist air expelled by the dryer directly into the space or room where the machine is kept. The room, therefore, is not rid of the dryer air unless a window is cracked or a door is left open, and even these measures are seldom sufficient.
Indoor dryer kits are solely designed to collect the lint released by the dryer and then allow the air to continue into the room. This means that while the lint is not released into the room, all the moisture is.
Indoor Dryer Kits Cannot Be Used With Gas Dryers
As explained above, indoor dryer kits simply exhaust the hot air from the dryer directly into the room. If you were to use these kits with a gas dryer, you would be releasing the carbon monoxide that is produced as a result of the dryer cycle directly into the room.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can have severe health and safety consequences.
All manufacturers of dryer vent kits specifically say that they are NOT to be used with gas dryers for this very reason.
For example, the BetterVent Indoor Dryer Vent Kit (amazon link) specifically indicates that it can only be used with electric dryers. The Dundas Jafine Indoor Dryer Vent Kit (amazon link) clearly states that it is not to be used with gas dryers.
Dangers of CO Gas
Carbon monoxide is poisonous, odorless, colorless, and tasteless. The fact that we are unable to see it smell it, or taste it makes it extremely dangerous. If you were to be having CO gas released into your home, you likely wouldn’t notice until it was too late.
This gas is so dangerous that when a large amount is inhaled, it can deprive your vital organs of oxygen, which can cause you to lose consciousness. In that case, you could suffocate as you wouldn’t be able to breathe enough to replace the oxygen that is being lost.
If you are exposed to CO for a prolonged period of time, you can experience serious symptoms such as excessive vomiting, extreme headaches, and muscle weakness.
The good news is that usually, the damage caused by carbon monoxide can be reversed. However, if you catch it too late, it can leave you with permanent damage to your vital organs, or it could even be fatal.
You Should Not Use Indoor Dryer Kits at All
Although indoor dryer vent kits are widely available for purchase and use, they really should not be considered as a replacement for dryer vents, even if you have an electric dryer.
These kits are not up to code at all. The International Residential Code (IRC) requires all dryers to be vented outdoors (Section M1502.2) to prevent moisture and lint from accumulating inside and the possible consequences if they do.
Unless you have a ventless dryer (which will never be gas as the carbon monoxide has to be vented directly outdoors so that it can be diluted and removed from your home), you have to vent your dryer outside.
Negative Effects of Venting Dryers Indoors
If you vent your dryer indoors, there will be some severe consequences for you and your home. Apart from possibly releasing gas into the room if using a gas dryer, venting dryers indoors can also cause damage to your home and even have negative health effects for you and your family.
Venting your dryer indoors means that you are releasing warm, hot air into the room. This will cause the humidity levels of your room to rise. The excess moisture will settle into your floors, drywall, and other surfaces in the room, which can be a breeding ground for mold.
Being exposed to mold in your home will have serious health implications for its inhabitants. Exposure to mold can be expressed in allergy-like symptoms such as having red and itchy eyes, frequent sneezing, and the development of rashes.
Furthermore, prolonged mold exposure can have long-lasting effects on individuals. For instance, it can affect one’s ability to remember things, and cause hair loss, muscle weakness, or sensitivity to light.
When it comes to your home, mold can break down the walls or flooring, making them weak and brittle, potentially affecting the overall structural integrity of your home. This only adds to the structural damage that water itself can cause.
There are a few pros to indoor dryer vents, but these in no way outweigh the cons.
Seriously Consider Switching to Ventless
If you want to avoid the issues associated with venting dryers indoors but at the same time don’t want to go through the excess work required to install a vented dryer, you may find it better to switch to a ventless dryer.
While these dryers tend to be more expensive than their vented counterparts, ventless dryers, and especially heat pump dryers, are absolutely worth it. You can sell your old dryer to help fund your new dryer.
Ventless dryers are great because they are known to save electricity, and you can recycle the water from the water tank for a variety of things. For instance, you can use the water to tend to your garden or to flush your toilet.