How To: Cut Your Electric Bill
Heat from Your Clothes Dryer
Jeff shares a quick money (and energy) saving tip that uses one of your biggest household energy consumers – the clothes dryer! Using items you probably already have at home, you can make a $20 DIY bucket humidifier helps redistribute the warm air from your dryer back into your house and raise the relative humidity (great from those dry winter months).
If your utility or laundry room is rather small, you might consider setting up a small fan to improve air circulation and prevent moisture build-up. Another quick tip: set a reminder on your calendar or smart phone to clean and refill your DIY bucket.
- 5 gallon pail with a lid
- Dryer duct for 4″ dryer vent pipe (we used this one)
- Self tapping screws
- Two 4″ hose clamps
- Screw driver
- Electric drill
- 15/16″+ drill bit
- Felt Marker
- Utility knife (Gerber brand found here)
- 4″ aluminum dryer vent hose
- Trace the dryer duct onto the center of the lid with a permanent marker.
- Cut the circle out with a utility knife.
- Insert the dryer duct into the opening and secure with screws. Be sure not to overtighten the screws to prevent them from being stripped out.
- Drill vent holes around the outside edge of the lid. Make sure to put in plenty of holes to allow optimal air flow, we drilled 16 holes.
- Attach the dryer vent hose to the dryer and the dryer duct using the hose clamps.
- *Optional: Using the utility knife, carefully cut away some of the locking tabs from the lid to make regular removal easier.
- Fill the bucket halfway with water, lock the lid in place, and connect the dryer vent hose.
Make sure you check the bucket regularly to clean and refill. Remember, you don’t want lint to build up or it will reduce the efficiency of your dryer.
More Dryer Efficiency Tips:
- Running back-to-back dryer loads is smart and efficient. It lets you take advantage of retained heat from the previous cycle, cutting down on energy usage.
- You’ve heard it a million times, clean the lint screen between every load.
- Periodically clean the lint screen and wash with a mild detergent and toothbrush to remove fabric softener residue from the fine mesh. Rinse, air dry completely, and replace.
- Go easy on the fabric softener – too much can slow drying times.
- Once a year, or more depending on how much laundry you do, detach the hose from the back of the dryer and snake a long brush through to push out lint (20-foot dryer vent brush). If your load takes more than an hour to dry, it’s likely you’ve got excess lint.
- Make sure to pull the dryer far enough from the wall to prevent the vent tube from becoming kinked.
Disclaimer: Recycling heat from your gas powered clothes dryer can be potentially dangerous and anyone who tries it does so at their own risk. Attempting this can also void warranties on driers and other appliances. Please check with your manufacturer for safety information.
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