Prepping, homesteading and living the simple, green, independent life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Ultimate Extreme Clothes Dryer Vent!

The other day my wife noticed that the floor around our clothes dryer was really cold. We had always noticed that the air in our dryer was always a bit cooler but this was really colder than usual and winter isn't even here yet!

I'd been considering changing our dryer vent to a better quality model that would prevent cold air from entering for a while now but kept putting it off. With the cold entering like that I couldn't put off any longer so I made a trip to my local Home Hardware store.

I'd seen energy efficient vents before at Home Hardware and had a particular model in mind. Strangely I couldn't find any energy efficient models at either Canadian Tire or Walmart.

There were only two models at the store but I picked a model by Broan. The other vent was not only more expensive but came across as a gimmicky "as seen on TV" product. Broan is a well known brand and it looked more like a regular vent only larger.

Basically instead of vent flaps that open and close it has a styrofoam ball that rolls forward and up when hot air is exiting. It rolls back and seals the vent when the dryer stops. The vent cover is also well insulated with the walls made of 2 inch thick foam.
By replacing the vent I was also able to see what was inside my exterior walls: straw. My house was built in the 1930 and straw was a common insulator back then but unfortunately it doesn't insulate very well. If we weren't planning on moving in less than 5 years I'd remove the interior drywall and put in spray insulation with a high R-Value but it probably isn't worth the effort.

Hopefully this will help a bit with heating and with a new basement door also coming soon, whoever buys this house is gonna be getting a pretty energy efficient home! 


  1. Does the straw have a tendency to settle? I've seen old homes with sawdust and even newspaper insulation, and it usually settles to the bottom.

  2. Not sure but I would imagine so. Even the pink fiberglass stuff will settle over time. Looking back I should have used foam board isolation and spray. It's easier quicker, insulates better and acts as it's own vapor barrier.

  3. Cory, Please advise me about this vent. What's the model name and/or number? How can I find it in CT. or on the web? Is there a link? I've been looking for one of this quality and can find only cheap junk. Please help. Thanks, Dave

  4. Dave,

    I don't have the package paper anymore but it's called the "EcoVent" by Broan.

    It seems like Home Depot has them:

    I got it at my local Home Hardware for about $18.

    Where are you located? There was still one left on the shelf when I got mine.

  5. Hey Cory,

    Thanks for the post. I'm also looking to build in the next few years. I'll keep this in mind.


    TSP "Cool Breeze"

  6. Hey Cory, Thanks for the reply. I live in CT, USA. Have since found them on Cananda HD websites. However, they are for sale in store only... Can't find a US point of purchase yet. I'll keep searching. Thanks again, Dave

  7. I've read of people in the US buying them from Canada on ebay.

    If that doesn't work, send me an email and I'll ship one to you if you'd like and you could pay me back by paypal.

  8. Hi Cory,
    I have found that the bathroom in my basement can withstand -22C, but when it gets to -25 C, like on Saturday, the water freezes. I think it has something to do with the exhaust fan vent and the proximity of the waterline to the pipes leading to the outside. I am thinking that if I get one of these vent covers, it may help. Can you install them easily from the outside of the house without having to damage anything inside? Not a real handy guy here!

  9. Oh ya, installing them is pretty easy.

    Usually they're just held on to the side of the house with a few screws and caulking. Remove those and it should just slide out. You may have to reconnect the fan exhaust vent.