Condenser vent kits hook to vented tumble dryers and pull the moisture out of the exhaust air. Without such a kit, a vented dryer that cannot vent outside simply sprays its humid exhaust air all through your house, and the moisture causes mould and mildew to grow on your furniture. Vented dryers should vent outdoors whenever possible as no condenser kit works perfectly, but when that is not an option, choosing the right condenser kits is important.
Condenser Vent Compatibility
Make sure your new condenser vent kit is compatible with your dryer. Some kits are universal, but others are not. As a related issue, a large dryer requires a larger condenser because larger dryers vent more water. In addition, some condensers are simpler than others are with fewer parts to connect. Be sure to read the description and information carefully before making a purchase.
Condenser Vent Placement
Where you plan to put your kit influences what kind of kit you need. For example, if floor space is limited, look for a wall-mounted model. If your dryer is near an indoor drain or an appropriate pipe you can tap into, you might want a kit with a drain hose. Otherwise, you must empty your condenser manually, a special inconvenience if you have a large household and wash a lot of clothes. When full, a condenser's collector can be quite heavy.
Ice-Based Condenser Vents
Some condenser models use require ice for the best results. A condenser works by collecting the humid exhaust air from your dryer and allowing it to cool so it drops its water inside the condenser instead of all over your walls. Ice cools the humid air more quickly and thoroughly, but to use these models you have to make sure you have sufficient ice on hand before doing the wash. Some users find that inconvenient. If the air in your laundry room is relatively cool, you can probably get away without using ice at all. However, heat has to go somewhere, and if the heat from your dryer does not go into melting ice, it goes instead into heating up the air in your laundry room. A condenser kit heats up any room it is in to some extent, but without ice, the effect is stronger. That is something to consider for the summer, if your laundry room is in your living space.
Do-It-Yourself Condenser Vent Kits
It is possible to make your own condenser using a few simple parts and tools. Essentially, it includes a plastic box, with or without ice, with small vent holes and a good seal to the dryer's vent hose. This might not capture as much moisture as the commercially available kits do, but they are comparable in function to basic models and they cost just a fraction of the price.