Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Portable air conditioner exhaust connected to dryer vent?
Old 02-22-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 129
Portable air conditioner exhaust connected to dryer vent?

Hello Folks,
I've downsized to a condo of approximately 900 square feet in Atlantic Canada. So far air-conditioning has not been a big issue, but a few days in summer it would be nice to have a little extra cooling. We applied to the condo board for permission to install a unit the first year but the new condo board balked (it is a new building) and denied our first application as it needed a new hole cut in the exterior by the balcony to facilitate venting. I think the issue is sorted now two years later, but I am thinking of a cheaper solution that is less costly and that is the installation of a temporary cooling unit, placed in the laundry room with the vent connected to the dryer vent, a few hundred dollars vs over a thousand. Anybody try it? Do you think it would work?
__________________

__________________
Frugalityisthenewblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-22-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
BOBOT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugalityisthenewblack View Post
Hello Folks,
I've downsized to a condo of approximately 900 square feet in Atlantic Canada. So far air-conditioning has not been a big issue, but a few days in summer it would be nice to have a little extra cooling. We applied to the condo board for permission to install a unit the first year but the new condo board balked (it is a new building) and denied our first application as it needed a new hole cut in the exterior by the balcony to facilitate venting. I think the issue is sorted now two years later, but I am thinking of a cheaper solution that is less costly and that is the installation of a temporary cooling unit, placed in the laundry room with the vent connected to the dryer vent, a few hundred dollars vs over a thousand. Anybody try it? Do you think it would work?
Should work fine. In some of the construction projects I managed we would do the same thing to condition the space and/or exhaust dust via existing ductwork. Make sure the a/c unit has enough fan oomph to push the air outside.
__________________

__________________
I still don't get it...
BOBOT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,614
I think it can be made to work. The dryer exhaust is going to be carrying small bits of lint, and some of that (along with a lot of moisture) may get blown back into your AC unit unless you do something to prevent it. I think I'd try to keep the dryer exhaust flow headed toward the outside of the condo (i.e. don't have it "T" into the line from the AC unit) and maybe install a backdraft damper in the line from the AC unit just before the dryer exhaust enters the common vent. Preventing this backdraft is even more important if the dryer is heated by natural gas. In fact, with a NG dryer it would be best to bite the bullet and pay for a professional installation rather than trying to use a common vent. Also, be sure to leave a way to clean the lint out of the vent periodically.

It might be a good idea to turn off the AC when you are running the dryer. At least check to see that the AC unit doesn't get really hot if both appliances are run at the same time.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
It might be a good idea to turn off the AC when you are running the dryer.
+1

I would want the dryer to have access to the full flow through the vent. Two appliances competing for the same exhaust may cause a higher back pressure and reduce the flow, or in the extreme case, the stronger one may cause hot air to backflow into the weaker one. Not good!
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 08:12 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugalityisthenewblack View Post
Hello Folks,
I've downsized to a condo of approximately 900 square feet in Atlantic Canada. So far air-conditioning has not been a big issue, but a few days in summer it would be nice to have a little extra cooling. We applied to the condo board for permission to install a unit the first year but the new condo board balked (it is a new building) and denied our first application as it needed a new hole cut in the exterior by the balcony to facilitate venting. I think the issue is sorted now two years later, but I am thinking of a cheaper solution that is less costly and that is the installation of a temporary cooling unit, placed in the laundry room with the vent connected to the dryer vent, a few hundred dollars vs over a thousand. Anybody try it? Do you think it would work?
A corollary of Murphy's Law says that every good engineering idea like this is usually against some sort of municipal building code.

In your case, if the A/C vent and dyer exhaust have separate pipes going out the same hole, it shouldn't be an issue. In fact you could just enlarge the hole. But if the A/C vent is somehow T-ed in to the actual dryer exhaust hose then that could cause the dryer to have problems with sufficient air circulation... and a fire in the exhaust could be blamed on the A/C vent, which would give your insurance company an excuse to deny the claim.

What about an A/C unit that's designed to mount in a window?
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 11:17 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Telly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugalityisthenewblack View Post
..................but I am thinking of a cheaper solution that is less costly and that is the installation of a temporary cooling unit, placed in the laundry room with the vent connected to the dryer vent, a few hundred dollars vs over a thousand. Anybody try it? Do you think it would work?
Oh, go ahead and do it, especially if it is with a gas dryer, and then sell the condo. So I can see it on a future episode of Holmes on Homes
__________________
-- Telly, the D-I-Y guy --
Two fools dancing on the hands of time
Telly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 05:10 AM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 129
It is not a gas dryer; it is electric and I prefer to use my indoor drying rack instead. I rarely use my dryer in the summer. I am thinking about putting in an inline booster fan and a using this three way exhaust kit. Heat Keeper Kit | Canadian Tire The unit I have I did previously install the exhaust through a window but the unit took up space in the living area.
__________________
Frugalityisthenewblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 08:29 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugalityisthenewblack View Post
It is not a gas dryer; it is electric and I prefer to use my indoor drying rack instead. I rarely use my dryer in the summer. I am thinking about putting in an inline booster fan and a using this three way exhaust kit. Heat Keeper Kit | Canadian Tire The unit I have I did previously install the exhaust through a window but the unit took up space in the living area.
That might not work. What that is doing is taking one output, and diverting it to one of two outputs. You want to do the opposite (two outputs to one input).

It might work, but you would be running it 'backwards'. Depending on the design, the airflow might shut the vent, or it might trap lint and clog easily. But, if running it 'backwards' is not a problem (and it might be fine, I can't tell from the pics), it should be fine. Just don't forget to flip it when needed, or run A/C and dryer at the same time. I'd remove it if I were to sell the place.


What about two of these - one in each path? It would be totally automatic, as the flapper would open/close with the air flow. I would make sure the A/C is rated for 4" ducts, use all metal ducting, and maybe two flappers in series on each leg for a better 'trap'. Attach such that it is easy to dissemble for cleaning (no matter which way you go).

Dryer Vent Draft Blocker | Canadian Tire


-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,356
Is this a non-standard dryer vent? The standard ones are designed for air outflow and have a flap to block air inflow. The exterior of an A/C has zero net outflow, instead it merely circulates nearby air across its coils. Unless the dryer vent allows inflow, the ability of the A/C to heat exchange will be severely limited.
__________________
GrayHare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
The exterior of an A/C has zero net outflow, instead it merely circulates nearby air across its coils.
Not true for the new free-standing indoor A/Cs, that look like a big humidifier or a space heater.

These A/Cs exhaust hot air via a big hose. A few models take in the outside air via a 2nd hose, in order to circulate this air through the condenser coil, then out to the exhaust vent. I have seen one that has a dual concentric hose, meaning a small hose inside a larger one, to support two-way airflow.

However, most simply exhaust the hot air, which causes a slight vacuum inside the house. This exhausted air is then replaced by air leaking in through doors and windows.

I just now remember that I have seen some indoor A/Cs that have a vent outlet that one attaches to the bottom of a sliding window. That takes up a bit of room and may not be aesthetic, but would solve the OP's problem.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 11:02 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 61
You might look into a split ductless A/C solution. All the cool kids are doing it. Think of it like your car's A/C system where the compressor and condenser are outside and the evaporator (with a fan on it) is inside and they are connected by (relatively) thin piping. Quiet and efficient.

GM
__________________
Time, to eat all your words,
swallow your pride, open your eyes - Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith
Golden Mean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 06:08 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,869
It seems like the comparisons I've seen in Consumer Reports between ducted and window AC units put the ducted at a considerable disadvantage. As I'm not in the market, that is as far as I took it, but if you are interested check out old CU articles.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Air conditioner and kitchen vent hood
Old 02-24-2012, 07:43 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 129
Air conditioner and kitchen vent hood

Here is a clever unit It's a vent hood AND an air conditioner! | Appliances and Kitchen Gadgets - CNET Blogs
An air conditioner combined with a kitchen vent hood. I wonder how much they cost.
The portable airconditioners rigged to vent out a window render the window inoperable for getting a breeze without undoing all the venting contraption. The permanently installed AC needs an operating unit placed outdoors (ie the balcony) and with a small balcony, you want to maximize space.
Maybe I will wait-and-see as new innovations are coming to the market all the time.
__________________
Frugalityisthenewblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 08:04 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 129
To answer questions it is a standard size dryer exhaust . The exhuast hose from the AC is larger diameter so a modified connection, plus a fan/air mover would be needed to compensate for the smaller diameter vent.
__________________
Frugalityisthenewblack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 08:34 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,614
The outside part of a split unit can be flat and hung high up on an exterior wall, so it needn't take up any floor space on your balcony. There's also flexibility on where you put the evaporator: you can have the cool air blowing wherever you need it in your condo.

A through-the-wall system (aka "window unit") can be put well up on the wall, so it needn't take up much room on your balcony. They tend to be a bit noisier than a split unit. They are cheap, easily available, and easy to replace when the time comes.

Also, any permanent installation (split AC system, through-the-wall unit, etc) is going to add to the value of your condo somewhat, provided others appreciate AC as much as you do. Not so with a homebrew solution.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Should we downsize to one car kfindley79 Other topics 26 02-24-2012 10:53 AM
How to fix whatever ails you haha Health and Early Retirement 18 02-20-2012 11:06 PM
Career advice to a young worker Frugalityisthenewblack Other topics 30 02-19-2012 10:55 AM
Time for Credit Score to Update to Refinance inquisitive FIRE and Money 1 02-19-2012 10:40 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:51 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.