When a home remodel is in the works and it includes the laundry area, you’ll have to build in laundry room ventilation. Building codes require vents for dryers to take out the excessive heat and humidity, along with any combustion gases associated with gas dryers.
The International Residential Code (IRC) specifies that the vent hose can’t be any longer than 25 feet and it has to be made of sheet metal. In the past, the IRC allowed the coiled hoses for dryers, but after many avoidable dryer fires, banned them from use with dryers.
You’ll also have to vent the hose to the outdoors to prevent the buildup of moisture and lint inside a crawlspace or wall cavity that’s part of your home’s structure. Be sure the vent is far enough from the outdoor condenser for the A/C.
Besides dryer venting, you might want to consider other laundry room ventilation upgrades. Exhaust fans like those in the bathrooms and kitchen will pull out a lot of the hot, humid air that laundry creates. The downside of an exhaust fan is that it will compete with the dryer for airflow.
Exhaust fans may be small but they are powerful and the dryer relies on adequate airflow to work. Too much competition for air could starve the dryer for air, which could result in a fire.
Energy Recovery Ventilators
The better option for a laundry room is to use a balanced ventilation system where the amount of air leaving the room is equal to the amount of fresh air coming inside. Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) use this principle to provide clean, fresh air without driving up energy costs.
These remarkable devices strip the thermal energy of the outgoing air and put it into the incoming air. An ERV will also dehumidify the incoming air. Their sizes vary and can be used for whole-house ventilation or for just one room.
The experts at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions can help you find the best laundry room ventilation options for you. We provide HVAC services for homeowners in the greater Orlando area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).