Thread Number: 69839  /  Tag: Modern Dryers
Dryers Use Dirty Air From Inside the Cabinet and Floor Around the Machine
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Post# 927765   3/19/2017 at 14:15 (189 days old) by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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Thinking back to the Maytag i just disassembled/reassembled...I realize the air flow starts at the bottom of th machine, circulates through the drum, then is pulled back down into the nether regions below and out the most vented dryers.
What up with that?
No pre-filtration of any kind for air pulled from the (likely) dustiest place in your house.
Imagine drawing air down through a (cheap and universally available) furnace filter, then into the drum...makes more sense to me.

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This post was last edited 03/19/2017 at 17:18

Post# 927772 , Reply# 1   3/19/2017 at 15:29 (189 days old) by Whatsername (Boulder, CO)        

Asking consumers to clean two filters would be too much! Most can't even handle the lint filter.

Post# 927776 , Reply# 2   3/19/2017 at 15:59 (189 days old) by henene4 (Germany)        

One thing europeans (mostly) don't have to worry about.

We were (mostly) raised with condensing dryers, so we are used to much more maintanace then 2 filters...

Post# 927792 , Reply# 3   3/19/2017 at 20:01 (188 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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all the more reason to keep the area around the dryer clean.....not only dust and such, but things that would block the flow of air intake as well....

I keep waiting to see a sort of sealed combustion for a dryer, pulling air from outside, and returning it not to take away inside conditioned air...

that would require two vent lines.....

Post# 927793 , Reply# 4   3/19/2017 at 20:12 (188 days old) by suburbanmd (Maryland, USA)        

The very fact that it's the dustiest place in the house argues that the dust isn't being sucked into the dryer, I think :-)

Post# 927794 , Reply# 5   3/19/2017 at 20:19 (188 days old) by Stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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Lol, can't tell if you're serious but...i have been allergic to dust most of my life and I can tell that is NOT how it works.

Post# 927800 , Reply# 6   3/19/2017 at 20:56 (188 days old) by suburbanmd (Maryland, USA)        

Here's how I figure it: It's the dustiest place in the house because the dryer sucks dust-laden air through it. But the dust that's sitting there wasn't sucked into the dryer, rather it's sitting there. It'll stay there forever, i.e. it's in equilibrium, because the dryer-induced airflow doesn't change in direction or velocity. If you disturb it, that's a different story. I'm allergic to dust also. I really have to avoid the stuff, and if it gets on my hands and then I touch my face, I'm miserable.

Post# 927801 , Reply# 7   3/19/2017 at 21:07 (188 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I'd look at it this way, if this really was a serious problem, wouldn't someone have addressed it already? The air doesn't really go through the clothing, most exhausts out of the dryer. It would be comparatively easy to add a filter, but nobody ever has. Perhaps it really isn't a problem. Perhaps if you had the dryer in your wood shop ;)

The problem I'd like to see addressed with a dryer is to pull the intake air from outdoors. When it is crazy cold or hot/humid outdoors, it bugs me to have to exhaust all that conditioned indoor air outside through the dryer vent. As with all the high efficiency furnaces, I'd love to see an outdoor air intake added.

Post# 927829 , Reply# 8   3/19/2017 at 22:33 (188 days old) by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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I like the idea of pulling in fresh air from outside, great idea Martin! You would have to be careful of not picking up the moist air exiting the exhaust vent.

There's dust you can see and dust you can't. What people are typically allergic to is the later type...which is an ever present fellow traveler of the first. Such dust is so small it is essentially an aerosolized irritant to folks like me.
Quality bagged Hepa vacuums (not the leaky typically bag-less junk) are a massive improvement for allergy sufferers because of the microscopic nature of dust mites...the 'active ingredient' to household dust.

Post# 927841 , Reply# 9   3/20/2017 at 00:15 (188 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Am I remembering correctly that Maytag touted an incoming air filter on an early model (maybe a condensor?) dryer?

Post# 927845 , Reply# 10   3/20/2017 at 00:44 (188 days old) by lowefficiency (Iowa)        

>> No pre-filtration of any kind for air pulled from the (likely) dustiest place in your house. 

>> Imagine drawing air down through a (cheap and universally available) furnace filter, then into the drum...makes more sense to me.

No idea if it was "factory" or not, but at least one dryer had followed your idea. Here's the back panel of a Maytag 641C that maytag63 restored, that had a mesh filter over the air inlet vents. I saved the link because I thought it was a good idea.

Post# 927848 , Reply# 11   3/20/2017 at 01:38 (188 days old) by rapunzel (Sydney)        

I open up the guts of my dryer at least once a year and it's always clean. There is almost no lint or dust build-up on the inside and I am not overly concerned about the quality of the air that is drawn through the machine. My laundry room is well aired and dry. Regular dryers have worked without the need for a filter for decades and without it being an issue. A vacuum cleaner and a damp mop make quick work of dusty floors.

Line drying clothes outside exposes them to dust, bugs, moisture and anything else that travels on a breeze. Yet, people still swear by line drying in fresh air. In Europe, where many people live in apartment buildings, it is not unusual to find a communal indoor drying space that is often located in the basement. These rooms are heated in winter and they have a few small windows that are kept open for fresh air. However, these spaces can also be dusty and smelly depending on how frequently they are used. Yet, clothes dry and remain clean in these spaces.

Post# 927869 , Reply# 12   3/20/2017 at 06:10 (188 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Having 4 cats in the house I'm always finding a 5th cat behind the dryer and water heater...but since I stuck the dryer on a pedestal it's not so bad because I can vacuum underneath.

Post# 927905 , Reply# 13   3/20/2017 at 09:56 (188 days old) by johnb300m (Chicago)        

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I'm not worried.
I figure the flames burn up whatever little dust gets pulled into there, and then it goes right into the lint filter.

Strong fumes around your dryer?
Now that's another story.
Those smells could get on your clothes. Like painting, etc.

Post# 928074 , Reply# 14   3/21/2017 at 13:44 (187 days old) by iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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This is why if you have a muysty basement your clothes sometimes smell muysty from. The dryer pulling in the musty air to dry the clothes.

We was an alcoholic, heavy smoking neighbor once, when their dryer was running the exhaust smelled like a tavern.

Post# 928082 , Reply# 15   3/21/2017 at 15:55 (187 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
Clothing always smells fine to me...

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I never really considered the quality of the air the dryer was using. One thing I often think about is the extra-expense of using the dryer in the summer. With my inside laundry room the dryer is sucking air-conditioned air out of the house which means 110+ outside air is being used  to replace it sneaking in from various places like windows, doors and even the range hood. A  garage laundry area would eliminate that problem but it does get uncomfortable out there. At times, I'm sure it would be possible to dry clothes just using the "air" setting. Another thing I've considered is closing the laundry room door to the house and cracking the door that goes into the garage. I guess it's just a matter of how cheap you want to be.

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Post# 928086 , Reply# 16   3/21/2017 at 16:55 (187 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Joe (twintubdexter) said:

"At times, I'm sure it would be possible to dry clothes just using the "air" setting."

No kidding, particularly if you get 110F in summer -- some of the newer dryers use about that temperature on the lower temperature settings.

Post# 928088 , Reply# 17   3/21/2017 at 16:57 (187 days old) by duke ()        

The ideal clothes dryer would be a sealed unit that pulls make up air from the attic, Especially in the south.Running a dryer while trying to cool a home down here is ridiculous in summer..I have never understood why building codes were not upgraded to require this change in true energy star homes.. 

Post# 928090 , Reply# 18   3/21/2017 at 17:00 (187 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

Exactly, Duke -- maybe they are waiting for a revision on the building codes. Certainly they'd have to get at least the manufactures to promise making dryers that had the necessary plumbing.

Post# 928093 , Reply# 19   3/21/2017 at 17:08 (187 days old) by duke ()        


Most dyers can be retrofitted now ,even old ones.The 4" cabinet knockouts are a perfect  fit.Most have/had these.

Post# 928095 , Reply# 20   3/21/2017 at 17:12 (187 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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My F&P SmartLoad runs the cooldown until the exhaust temp is 95F. It wouldn't shut off at an ambient of 110F unless there's a failsafe time-out.

Post# 928096 , Reply# 21   3/21/2017 at 17:14 (187 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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yet odd, in manufactured homes(mobile homes), behind the dryer is an air intake vent to allow the exchange of air, at least in the general area, without sacrificing that much conditioned air...these homes are sealed tighter than most wood build homes.....this vent is needed for other vented items like bathroom vents and range hood vents....even opening and closing a main door can cause a sort of vacuum to the interior...

I don't run the dryer in the main bathroom when heat or A/C is on, only on days where we have the windows open......and when using the units in the basement, I crack a window open, and close the door to the laundry room.....

one dryer is bad enough, but running 3 or 4 at a time is a substantial amount of conditioned air that is being exchanged....

Post# 928097 , Reply# 22   3/21/2017 at 17:21 (187 days old) by duke ()        

Good point on the F&P. Thermistor circuit board controlled with no adjustments???How would it work in alabama on someones back porch on dog days?

Post# 928104 , Reply# 23   3/21/2017 at 17:36 (187 days old) by duke ()        

That smartload dryer has a few drying options to include manually set timing.That's what I would use when it's 100 degrees . 

Post# 928106 , Reply# 24   3/21/2017 at 17:41 (187 days old) by duke ()        

Martin ,

You are 100% correct.That is considered make up air required for that mobile home's application per the federal government--Yes thats right,The feds .

Post# 928158 , Reply# 25   3/21/2017 at 21:41 (186 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
I guess a clothesline would solve everything

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Outside temps in the summer  reach 110+  all the time, but in my non-air conditioned garage it never gets more than mid 90's. The garage is insulated and sheet-rocked like the house. The garage door is thick and insulated and seals very well. Still if I could get the dryer to draw air from the garage it would be economical. I suppose if I closed the laundry room door a very small percentage of air might be pulled from outside through the laundry room vent fan...probably not enough to make any difference. I have a feeling that installing a vent in the door that goes to the garage would be taboo. By law it has to be a "fire door".

Post# 928163 , Reply# 26   3/21/2017 at 22:01 (186 days old) by duke ()        

Palm springs with it's 70 degree average temperature would make me care less about a dryer.Hot days??Why not a clothes line .

Post# 928271 , Reply# 27   3/22/2017 at 13:44 (186 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        


I understand that part, retrofitting the dryers. Seems easy for electric dryers (one could connect the external air duct straight into the heater).

I am wondering if just leaving the duct open to the cabinet in case of a gas dryer wouldn't cause problems like outside air coming into the home when not desired. I was thinking of the similar case of furnaces where the make up air comes straight into the burner and leaves thru the exhaust, and there is no exchange with the home air.

I'm also completely ignorant if one needs dampers or extra equipment in the case. Which is why I thought it would be helpful if the dryer manufacturers just offered the product ready to connect to two vents and we wouldn't have to worry about it.

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