My condo association does not allow installing a dryer vent to outdoors, so I am forced to vent my dryer into a lint trap. Unfortunately the trap I have does not catch all the dust, and the rooms adjacent to it gather visible dust within 2-3 weeks. I make sure to change the water in the trap after every load. Are there traps available that perform better? Are there any additional filters/gadgets that may help with this?

Some additional notes: As much as I would like to set up a vent to outside, it is not an option for me. Humidity is not an issue, as I only dry clothes with no or lowest heat setting, and I do have an a/c register nearby to help provide dry air.

Edit: The dryer is electric. I live in a suburb of Chicago, which may have a different building code than the city itself.

  • 5
    What you are doing is not up to code (See Chicago Building Code 18-28-504.1). You should bring this up to the building owner and condo association.
    – Tester101
    Aug 23, 2011 at 17:24
  • 8
    Agreed. Your condo association is in the wrong here. Venting a dryer indoors is a very bad practice as it introduces not only lint (a fire hazard) but large amounts of moisture into the inside where it can promote mold growth. Aug 23, 2011 at 17:31
  • 1
    Humidity is an issue regardless of the temperature you use to dry it. And while the A/C can help with that, you're now sending excessive dust and humidity into the A/C ducts which isn't good for the building at all.
    – DA01
    Aug 23, 2011 at 20:59
  • 2
    This has to be a joke! NO WAY!
    – mohlsen
    Aug 24, 2011 at 2:32
  • Lung rot from breathing fiber particulate, sounds funny but one of the causes of CPOD. Maybe you need to introduce asbestos into the head offices... Jan 4, 2014 at 3:45

4 Answers 4


According to Chicago Building Code

18-28-504.1 Installation.

Clothes dryers shall be exhausted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Dryer exhaust systems shall be independent of all other systems and shall convey the moisture and any products of combustion to the outside of the building.

Exception: Where the make and model of an electric dryer is known and the manufacturer’s installation instructions do not require exhaust, see Article 4, Ventilation for room exhaust requirements.

Venting a dryer inside is a potential fire and mold hazard, and can negatively affect indoor air quality causing sickness (and/or death, maybe).

You should bring this up with the condo association, the building owner, and potentially the building inspector. A possible down side to this action is, the condo association could ban the installation of dryers altogether. So you'll want to try and suggest some alternatives.

I'm going to guess, the condo association is worried about the appearance of vents sicking out all over the building. A potential appeasement would be to select a nice looking vent (voted on by the condo association), and force anybody who installs a dryer to use the same vent.

They may also want all vents to be installed in similar locations, so the vents are uniformly placed on the building. A good way to insure this would be to install all the vents at once, including installing vents for units without dryers (in which case they should be sealed until in use).


Just get an electric condenser dryer, we have a Bosch WTW84560GB that is great, it also uses a lot less power than the older models that need venting.

  • I'm not sure "Just" is justified. A condenser dryer will require installing a drain pipe, which is it's own project. That said, the idea isn't a bad one. Aug 24, 2011 at 12:46
  • @The Evil, I never see a condenser dryer that needs a drain pipe, we just have a small easy to remove water tank we have to empty at the same time as cleaning the lint filter.
    – Walker
    Aug 24, 2011 at 12:49
  • I dunno - I guess I'd rather do the bigger hassle up front to avoid the little hassle for the rest of the time I live there. ;) Aug 24, 2011 at 12:51
  • @The Evil Greebo, in the UK it is not a hassle to empty the water tank as the dyer is normly next to the kitchen sink, it takes longer to clean the lint filter.
    – Walker
    Aug 24, 2011 at 13:00
  • I like this idea very much. I will look into this style of dryer to see if it will address my problem.
    – Marcin
    Aug 26, 2011 at 17:54

Both comments on your question are correct. Bring this up with your condo supervisor. If he refuses to do anything about it, I would call the city building inspectors and find out what you can do about this. All ventilation for dryers should be directed to the outside, because(like what has been said by Tester and Greebo) this promotes a big fire/mold hazzard. As well, if it gets too bad, and there is enough particulate floating in the air, this can cause a static discharge that could start the fire without there being any danger of having an open flame source in the room where it is venting into. Call your city building inspector.

  • 4
    The down side of this approach, is that the condo association could decide to ban dryers in condos altogether.
    – Tester101
    Aug 23, 2011 at 18:37
  • 2
    True, if they were going to be asses like that, they should at least have a community laundry mat for the tennents to use if this is going to be a liability. I still think that they are putting their tennets in danger by trying to cut corners. I do not believe that the original inspection of the property allowed for this.
    – lazoDev
    Aug 23, 2011 at 18:39
  • 3
    "if they were going to be asses". ha ha. They already are! They want to risk the health of all tenants, so they don't have ugly vents sticking out of the building. Sounds pretty asstastic to me.
    – Tester101
    Aug 23, 2011 at 19:05
  • 3
    The condo association does not have the authority to supersede the building codes. Their choices really are either ban dryers or STFU. If the entire condo community bands together they will have little choice but to fold. Aug 23, 2011 at 19:10
  • @The Evil Greebo: There might be a loop hole. If the building and electrical connections predate the code, they may be grandfathered in. I'm not exactly sure how that works (I'm no lawyer), but I think it would be their only defense.
    – Tester101
    Aug 23, 2011 at 19:18

As already stated, venting a dryer indoors is illegal and extremely dangerous (especially if it's a gas dryer)...as well as just a huge annoyance (you end up with a humid, dusty room).

What you can do is invest in a Washer/Dryer combo unit that doesn't require venting. It works via dehumidification. It takes longer to wash and dry, but works great:

And I'd do as others have suggested as well...you don't want ANY of the dryers in the building venting to the inside. Force the association to fix this issue for everyone.

  • It is not illegal in the UK, also I have never seen a gas dryer sold for home useage.
    – Walker
    Aug 24, 2011 at 12:41
  • Fair point @walker, but OP is in Chicago. And even though it is not illegal to vent indoors in UK (and likely other places), it is still not safe.
    – Tester101
    Aug 24, 2011 at 13:13
  • 1
    @Tester101, I don't see anythink unsafe about vending an any electic dryer indoors. It will steam up windows, but that is not a safty issue. Anyway the moisture from a dryer is no more then drying the cloths on racks in a house.
    – Walker
    Aug 24, 2011 at 13:33
  • 1
    Apologies, 'illegal' may have been a badly chosen word. It's definitely against most (all?) US building codes, however. Gas dryers are also very common here in the states. As for safety, high moisture in most any residence is a health issue as it is an ideal environment for mold and dust mites. On top of that, you're spewing large amounts of fine dust into the room which is a health issue for the lungs (not to mention just a pain in terms of cleaning).
    – DA01
    Aug 24, 2011 at 14:29

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