Dryer Vent Cover

Keep your laundry area warm and bugs/rodents out.

Dryer Vent Cover (flapper)If your laundry area is always cold in the winter you may want to consider a dryer vent cover. They'll keep the cold air out as well as any rodents or insects.

It's easy to tell if the dryer exhaust vent is causing the problem. Just put a thermometer or your hand in the dryer. If it's much colder than the room, then cold air is entering your house through the outside dryer vent.

Be sure to go outside and take a good look at your dryer vent. These are often jammed with lint and stuck in the open position. If this is the case it's probably a good idea to clean the vent and the entire dryer hose. Cleaning the hose often results in faster and more efficient drying and can prevent dryer fires.

Options for Fixing a Cold Laundry Room

Our laundry room was dramatically cooler than the rest of our house. Putting plastic over the window helped quite a bit, but there was still a big difference. I took a few measurements and found:

Outside Temperature Temperature of House Laundry Room In Dryer
29.5 66.2 61.3 52.3

Air from outside was entering the dryer from the dryer exhaust vent, cooling both the dryer and the laundry room. I can only imagine the difference on a 15 degree day. The solution was to buy a dryer vent cover that prevented air from entering.

The cheapest (and fairly effective) vent covers are about $5 (called "flappers") and installation is usually easy. When the dryer is running, the air pushes open a flap. When the dryer stops, the flap closes.

Heartland Dryer Vent CoverAnother alternative is something like the Heartland 21000 Dryer Vent Closure for about $20. This is what I installed on my house based on positive reviews and the design. It's a bit more involved, but it's a step up from a flapper. Read more about installing the Heartland ...

Installation was easy once I got the holes in the concrete. This was quite a task since masonry screws aren't included with the kit. Once that was done, everything else was easy. I used rope caulk around the outside to provide a good seal. The only drawback was that the Heartland dryer vent cover stuck out further than the original. This wasn't really a big deal in our case.

Results from our Upgraded Dryer Vent Closure

To test to see how effective the vent cover was I took another set of measurements on a similar day.

Outside Temperature Temperature of House Laundry Room In Dryer
25.2 63.0 61.9 60.5

The data show the dryer vent cover made a big difference. The laundry room was 4.9 degrees cooler than the house before. Now it's only a 1.1 degree difference. There was a 9.0 degree difference between the laundry room and inside the dryer before. Not it's only a difference of 1.4 degrees.

For a small investment, I was able to make the laundry room more comfortable while saving energy and money. Try our Home Energy Checklist for more ideas on home energy savings.