View Full Version : A/C beside outdoor dryer vent

July 21st, 2005, 11:59 AM
I just got central A/C installed in my home and the installer put the unit beside the outdoor dryer vent. I asked him if this would be a problem in the winter time (it gets -20 celcius or -5 F in my area, a lot of ice and snow) with the dryer blowing heat on the A/C unit, and he said the only problem would be lint coming from the dryer and I could wash it off with a hose. There’s already some lint on the unit after a few days and doesn't look like it will just wash out easily (it's a Carrier).

Any advice is appreciated.

July 22nd, 2005, 09:44 AM
Your right, it will not wash not easily. A major mistake putting the AC next to the dryer vent. You'll be cursing that lint buildup forever. I highly recommend moving the dryer vent well away from the AC. Can you go straight up making the dryer vent through the roof?

July 22nd, 2005, 10:51 AM
Jacksnap, thanks for your reply. There’s no way the dryer vent can go to the roof. I was thinking of using an attachment to direct the hot air and lint down - not a solution but it might help. What about the hot air blowing on the A/C unit in below freezing temperatures?

July 23rd, 2005, 01:31 AM
Hot air blowing on your condenser in the winter shouldn't hurt it, because it won't be on. Remember, Your condenser is designed to have high pressure/temperature refrigerant going through it. The only problem I can see (which has been mentioned already) is lint building up on your condenser. Most condensing units pull air in through the coil, and up. This will draw lint in, and plug your coil which will cause high head pressures from the reduced ability to transfer heat. Make sure you clean out any lint on there by washing your coil. You probably don't need coil cleaner for this, but if you have it it will be better. Turn off the power to your unit (disconnect) and remove the top cover (which the fan could be mounted to) make sure not to break wires going to the fan when doing this. Get a garden hose with a nozzle and back flush the condenser from inside. Make sure not to have too high of water pressure and bend your fins!!!:D

July 23rd, 2005, 11:51 AM
Fordrules – thanks for your reply. I was thinking it would be easier just to vacume the lint out of the coil, instead of using water. Would I still have to disconnect the unit in that case?

July 23rd, 2005, 12:42 PM
Fordrules – thanks for your reply. I was thinking it would be easier just to vacume the lint out of the coil, instead of using water. Would I still have to disconnect the unit in that case?You'll never be able to effectively vacuum the lint from the coils. The lint solidifies on the fins when it get damp (dew/rain). Also, you are sure to bend the fins with the vacuum nozzle even if using a brush. If you can't reroute the vent, then figure a way to get it to discharge vertically (with consideration to avoid rain/snow entry) at least above the top of the fan (top of unit).

July 23rd, 2005, 12:49 PM
Unfortunately when you use the dryer in the summertime, depending on the dryer temperature, the A/C condenser then has additional heat load to overcome.

July 23rd, 2005, 01:08 PM
I was also wondering about the extra heat load from the dryer vent - can't be good that's for sure. When I talked to the contractor who did the installation, he said a lot of units have a western exposure and sit in the sun all day. Luckily, my unit sits in the shade pretty much all day.

What about tying a screen to the A/C unit to trap the lint (but let the air through) before it gets to the coil? That way I could just wash out the screen easily. The screen would only be on the side adjacent to the dryer vent.

July 23rd, 2005, 04:39 PM
You need to find some way to divert the dryer exhaust. If it comes straight out of the house and into a flapper end, can you put a 90 degree elbow on the pipe at the wall and turn it away from the AC condensor? Then put the flapper on that.

July 23rd, 2005, 04:46 PM
My one heat pump condensing unit is 18" to the right of my dryer vent. I have not experienced any special troubles in its operation. The lint mostly builds up on the ground below the dryer vent, and some does end up on the condensing unit. I get more grass clippings on the condensing unit than lint, though. Yearly PM takes care of any buildup.

July 23rd, 2005, 08:12 PM
I went to Home Depot and bought a vent with a cover and a screen for keeping out rodents. I’m going to glue a finer window screen/mesh over the vent screen to trap the lint. The vent screen pops out, so I can wash it easily with a garden hose. When I put the new vent in, I'm going to direct it away from the A/C unit. I guess a 30-45 degree angle should work without letting rain in. Hopefully this should be a good enough solution. I just have to watch the screen regularly so there's no lint build up that will block the dryer exhaust going outside.

Thanks for your responses, much appreciated!