I have vented my gas dryer into my Minnesota house, where I raised my three children, for 40 years with no adverse affects. Never had a problem with humidity as many have suggested. Never had a problem with micro-lint as many have suggested. The dryer's screen removes 98% including most micro once the initial lint film is built up. Pantyhose over the discharge pipe removes the rest. Never a dust/lint buildup on surfaces in the house much less in the laundry room.

I suspect most on this site that have commented on this question have never done it. Having several CO detectors will protect from a faulty appliance. In addition I have never seen a comment on the expense of having to reheat outside air, often at zero degrees or lower, that gets sucked in through windows and doors as makeup air. So - my question is, based on my experience there being no issue with humidity or lint in cold winter months, how is this any different than a gas range/oven that vents directly into the kitchen with no questions asked? And shouldn't not having to reheat makeup air with your furnace be a factor?

Considering all the negative affects from climate change, this issue should be revisited.

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    Three points, the first being that this question as written is more appropriate for a discussion forum. secondly, if you don’t “think” you have a problem why are you on stack Exchange DIY improvement ? And third , of course you’re free to play Russian roulette but is it wise. – Alaska Man Nov 19 '19 at 16:51
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    When what is at risk is brain damage, how can self-assessment of harm be reliable? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 19 '19 at 18:48
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    The humidity thing depends largely on the era and construction of your home. It's not a constant. My 1950s home would do fine with the added moisture due to its leaky nature. My 1990s home, not so much. – isherwood Nov 19 '19 at 18:53

This answer is only about air exhaust from inside the dryer. Combustion exhaust must go outside whether you have CO detectors nearby or not.

There are three key differences:


A problem for many, especially in the summer. In a colder area (longer heating season) less of a problem. With an oven not a problem at all because you aren't trying to remove huge quantities of water from your food like you are with wet clothing.


You are managing that well. Many people don't, but that is a concern whether venting inside or outside. The fumes from cooking should be vented outside or filtered if inside (typically activated charcoal I think) so that is a similar issue. That being said, lint is a normal part of clothes drying where particulate matter (burnt food) is hopefully an only occasional side effect of cooking.

Heating Efficiency

This is the really big difference when you are not in the heating season. An oven keeps most heat Inside the oven - many ovens don't even have an exhaust fan. A cooktop does naturally lose more heat to the surrounding, but the fan is primarily to exhaust combustion products and particulate matter, smoke, odors, etc. It is not to take away a constant stream of hot air.

On the other hand a clothes dryer produces a constant stream of hot air that must be exhausted as it both cools down and saturates with water vapor. A dryer doesn't heat the inside of the drum (like an oven heating element) or the outside of the drum (like a cooktop burner under a pot). It heats air, blows the air into the clothes and then blows the air out. So the air going through is all getting heated and all leaving warmer than outside air and more humid. Good (within reason) in the winter, but very bad in the summer. And a lot of air - far more than exhausted over a cooktop.

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    I think you make a good point about summer conditions. If the concern of the OP (in the winter) is that you'd have to heat makeup air, that seems easily cancelled out by the extra AC load in the summer - when the dryer is dumping warm, moist air into your home and your AC is wasting power to move the heat outside and pull the moisture out - versus just venting outside in the first place, which is essentially "free" from an energy perspective. – dwizum Nov 19 '19 at 15:19
  • I need to clarify if not clear in my comments. I am only referring to winter months in a cold weather climate geography. I would never vent a dryer inside a house in the spring/summer/fall no matter what the location. – Tom Mathisen Nov 19 '19 at 16:38

This is "Works for Me" safety research

Bog-standard advice on how to build and run houses generally flows from institutions full of experts who do extensive research and testing using the scientific method.

Of course, there is a significant part of the population who has a big problem with the scientific method, because it often contradicts what they'd prefer to believe. So they have no use for electrical codes, best practices, any of that jazz. For them it's very personal: they want to do what their father, brother, uncle etc. did and do... because those people are family, and those faraway experts are nothin'. Anything that goes against this worldview gets them offended, because that's science attacking their family so of course they feel justified in retaliating, because you protect your family. So they've no use for science or experts.

So this is the usual "I hear best practice is X, well that hurts my feelings because I do Y, and here's a bunch of barbershop rationalizing to support my view". Rationalizing is one kind of clever that they do like. Bonus points if the rationalization makes it sound like the person is more clever than the experts.

Actually, the experts are nobody's fools, and did consider that as part of the equation.

To support this argument, they take their sample size of 1, and insist that science should accept that as a statistically significant enough sample to prove their practice is universally applicable to all homes and all situations. Of course, this doesn't stand up to real scientific rigor, but as discussed, science is good for nothin'!

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The dryer vents the humid air outside normally, I know some homes where folks thought they were saving $ by pumping the warm air into the house, in the cold winter months their windows sweated and after many years the inside woodwork on both windows and doors had significant amounts of rot they had not noticed. With a gas stove top I think you will find their is a requirement for a direct vented hood , if the dryer itself has no gas vent you have been lucky and in violation of the law no matter how many CO detectors you have if something happens you will be held liable , are your detectors at the floor line or close to the ceiling? If close to the ceiling and an older home this can be why they have not gone off. The human body absorbs CO 200 times faster than O2 and the effects are wide ranging.

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