Living Lightly: Give your furnace a little bit of a break

Living Lightly: Give your furnace a little bit of a break

For electric dryers only.
A Column Promoting a More Earth-friendly Lifestyle

By John L. Turner

Photo from John Turner

Most of us own an electric dryer to dry our clothes. In the summer you want the warm and damp air generated from dryers to be vented to the outside. But wouldn’t you want that warm, moisture- laden air to vent inside in the winter to help keep your home warm, perhaps resulting in less furnace activity?

Well, there’s a product available on-line or at local home  improvement stores that does just that. Called a Dryer Heat Saver or Dryer Heat Diverter, it’s a rectangular box fitted into your dryer vent hose and held in places by O-rings. It has a baffle or shunt to direct the hot air where you want it — in  the summer to the outside but in the winter into your house. A screen prevents lint (which needs to be occasionally  removed) from entering your house.

So why not take advantage of the energy your clothes dryer has produced to warm your home and in so doing, giving your furnace a little bit of a break?

A resident of Setauket, John Turner is conservation chair of the Four Harbors Audubon Society, author of “Exploring the Other Island: A Seasonal Nature Guide to Long Island” and president of Alula Birding & Natural History Tours.