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Ventless Dryers: Will They Cause Mold?


Even though ventless dryers cannot directly cause mold, they may play a role in this problem. A ventless dryer can increase humidity and cause condensation, which can, in turn, cause mold and mildew issues. However, this should only happen if the area the dryer is located in lacks proper ventilation.

Dryer machines usually require the installation of additional venting and plumbing. However, the ever-useful ventless dryer eliminates the need for this and all the disadvantages that come with it. But as these models are not so common in the USA, one of the first concerns is where all the moisture goes.

While ventless dryers have their own set of drawbacks, moisture problems and mold growth do not have to be among them.

Ventless Dryers Increase the Chance of Mold Growth

While ventless dryers do not directly cause mold or mildew growth in the laundry room, they can certainly contribute to this problem.

A ventless dryer, as any dryer for that matter, has to deal with a lot of moisture to dry the laundry, and while doing so, it generates a fair amount of heat.

As a result, during its cycle, the dryer contains warm, humid air. We all know that this kind of environment pretty much asks for mold and mildew growth, so we don’t want this air in our house.

Vented dryers solve the problem by shunting the air outside. Ventless dryers solve it by cooling the air and collecting the condensed moisture in a tank, which may or may not be plumbed into the drainage system.

mold growth

Is the air released from the dryer completely cool and free of moisture? It’s unlikely. So, there is an increased chance for mold growth compared to if the room did not contain the ventless dryer.

However, the amount of heat and moisture in this air should be minimal and won’t be enough to cause a problem unless you run the dryer multiple times in a row and/or there is insufficient ventilation for the room.

How Can Ventless Dryers Cause Mold Growth?

Adding the lack of ventilation (that is often present in laundry rooms, bathrooms, closets, and other areas where we tend to keep our dryers) to the air released from a ventless dryer can be a recipe for disaster.

While ventless dryers are safe and efficient machines that are a good idea for many homes, they have their downsides.

Specifically, in this situation, there are two main factors that cause ventless dryers to contribute to mold and mildew growth—their effect on the humidity levels and their predisposition to create condensation.

Ventless Dryers Can Increase Humidity

Unfortunately, the fact that ventless dryers do not have a direct access point to the outside means that they can increase the humidity in the room, which can end up causing mold and mildew to form.

As mentioned before, a ventless dryer takes in the room temperature air surrounding the dryer and then heats it. This heat will allow the clothes in the drum to get so hot that the water evaporates.

When the cycle is done, the hot air is cooled by a condenser and turns to water, which collects in a water collection tank in the dryer, where it remains until it is emptied or drained away.

However, some of the moist air can be released into the room when you open the dryer. Alternatively, when the dryer is running, some moisture could escape.

The moisture released into the room can accumulate and, together with the heat generated by the machine, make the room warmer, more humid, and cause mold or mildew to grow.

Ventless Dryers Can Cause Condensation

Another way for mold to form in the laundry room is due to condensation created by the ventless dryer.

When a space becomes humid, the moisture in the air will condense once it reaches a colder surface such as the walls or floor. Water is formed, increasing the chance for mold issues in your laundry room unless it is dealt with.

Furthermore, ventless dryers cool down the heated air that dried the clothes with the use of cold water coils. These keep cooling the air until the water condenses out of it and is collected in the water collection tank. However, this condensation can sometimes occur underneath or inside the dryer itself.

If the condensation is really heavy, you might start to notice some water puddles around your dryer. If you leave these, you are at risk of having mold and mildew growing inside your laundry room.

For this reason, you should also refrain from placing your dryer in a carpeted room as the water can quickly seep into the carpet without you noticing.

Condensation in any room can lead to mold and mildew growth, so it is best to wipe away any water as soon as it is discovered.

Prevent the Dryer From Causing Mold

Don’t worry; having a ventless dryer doesn’t automatically mean mold and mildew issues. There are a few easy steps you can take in order to prevent this from happening. Keep reading to find out just how you can prevent your dryer from causing mold.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

The first and most important step is to ensure there is proper ventilation in the room where the dryer is kept.

Keeping a window open while you run the appliance, and for a couple of hours afterward, will suffice to reduce the chance of mold formation by allowing the moisture to exit the room.

You can also increase ventilation by opening up the door to wherever the appliance is left to increase the airflow into the room.

Add a free-standing fan like the Amazon Basics 3 Speed Small Room Air Circulator Fan (amazon link), and you will increase the air circulation in the room, further reducing the risk of mold.

Amazon Basics 3 Speed Small Room Air Circulator Fan, 11-Inch

It really comes down to making sure you have installed the appliance in a spot where it can “breathe.” Essentially, this simply means that you need to have fresh air coming into the room while allowing the moist air to leave it.

Empty Water Container

As you know, a ventless dryer requires a little more labor than other dryers as you will need to empty the water container after every couple of loads. If it is a particularly large load, then you might need to empty it after a single use.

empty water container

If you let the container become too full, it can leak. Leaks that occur might go unnoticed. The water can then accumulate underneath your dryer or spread to the rest of the room and cause mold growth to happen.

Dry the Floors

If you do notice that your water container has leaked, or if there are little puddles caused by the condensation set off from the dryer, then it is in your best interest to dry the floors as soon as possible.

If you leave the floors wet, they can become damaged by the water, or they can get mildew and mold-infested. They are also a slip hazard. Instead, keep a mop or microfiber cloth handy to wipe down any wet floors or surfaces as soon as you notice them.

It is a good idea to give the room a quick mop after each load to be extra cautious of any stagnant water.

Use a Dehumidifier

A great way to remove any excess humidity or moisture in your laundry room is to make use of a dehumidifier.

This is a machine that draws in moist warm air, then cools it down until it condenses into water and collects in a tank or bucket, which needs to be emptied.

There are so many options available that will suit your budget, but the SEAVON 35oz Dehumidifiers for Home (amazon link) is a great option. It is small enough to fit inside the laundry room but has a large enough capacity to collect moisture. There is also an auto-shut-off option, meaning you won’t have to worry about turning it off once it has done its job.

Note: Ventless dryers do not have to be used in conjunction with a dehumidifier in order to be sustainably functional. This is just an extra measure you can take when the days are too cold to leave a window open and you have saved up enough washing for several dryer loads.

Keep the Appliance Well Maintained

In order to reduce the chance of mold occurring due to condensation or humidity that forms from the appliance overheating, you should keep your ventless dryer well maintained.

Keeping it clean from lint and dust can prevent leaks from occurring or the appliance from overheating, which can, in turn, prevent and stop any mold growth inside or around the appliance.

Easy maintenance you can do is to wipe down your machine after each use to remove any excess water and clean the lint screen before or after each load. You can also vacuum or mop around your dryer regularly to remove any dirt or moisture that may have accumulated there.

Sources

https://www.buildwithrise.com/stories/pros-and-cons-of-ventless-clothes-dryers#:~:text=Warm%2C%20dry%20air%20exits%20the,can%20go%20down%20the%20drain.

https://www.scrantonproducts.com/preventing-mold-and-mildew-in-humid-weather/#:~:text=When%20warm%2C%20humid%20air%20comes,for%20mold%20and%20mildew%20prevention.

https://www.hunker.com/13410272/problems-with-ventless-dryers

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