Condensation in your dryer can lead to mold growth and increased maintenance efforts. Fortunately, condensation in the dryer is very easy to diagnose and fix.
Condensation in the dryer is usually caused by excessive humidity and a lack of proper ventilation. Clear any lint buildup and ensure your dryer ventilation duct is properly installed and free from obstruction. If it’s particularly warm outside, leave the dryer door open when not in use.
I will address two problems related to your dryer: firstly, the issue of water accumulation inside the dryer and on its glass door, and secondly, the occurrence of condensation within your room due to the dryer.
Why Is Your Dryer Full of Condensation?
Condensation in your dryer is either caused by humid outside air coming into contact with a cold surface or by improper ventilation.
Areas such as Florida are particularly humid and many homeowners cool their homes by using air conditioning. This combination facilitates the formation of condensation both in the dryer and in the laundry room. There are a couple of easy things homeowners can do to combat this such as using moisture-absorbing products and leaving their dryer door open.
The other most common cause of condensation in the dryer is due to faulty or improperly installed ventilation systems. Lint buildup can impede proper vent duct ventilation and is a major contributor to many issues faced by dryers. Additionally, it poses a significant fire hazard that should not be overlooked.
When the warm air from the dryer cannot effectively escape through the ventilation system, it either remains trapped in the system or flows back into the house. The interaction between the stagnant warm air and the colder indoor air leads to the formation of condensation.
In the next section, I’ll talk you through exactly how to address humidity issues and ventilation issues. If you don’t know the exact cause of your condensation right now, I’d encourage you to read the entire article in order to effectively fix the problem.
Humidity is the most common issue causing condensation in dryers.
Dryers vent to the outside of the home and when not in use, a dryer vent will pull the outside air inside. This is due to the negative pressure fans and your HVAC system creates within the home.
As outside humid air enters the dryer through the dryer vent line, the matching of the humid outside air and the colder indoor air (normally due to the AC being turned on) causes the air to condense in the dryer and you may see wet on the door and wet dripping down.
Leave the dryer door open
The easiest and most simple solution to finding condensation within the dryer (normally overnight) is to leave the dryer door open. However, be careful that your dryer light turns off after a certain time period otherwise you’ll be wasting electricity.
Close the air conditioning vent in the laundry room
If you increase the temperature of your laundry room by turning off your air conditioning, the contrast between the outside air temperature and the inside air temperature will reduce. This will minimize if not prevent condensation buildup in your dryer.
The colder the area that your dryer is located in, such as the garage or basement, the more likely it is to experience condensation due to the contrast between the hot temperature inside the dryer and the cooler temperature outside.
Put moisture-catching bags in the dryer
If you can’t leave the dryer door open another good option is to place moisture-catching bags within the dryer. A rechargeable silica gel pack like this one (on Amazon) is environmentally friendly and low maintenance. Just remember to remove it before turning the dryer on!
2. Full Lint Trap
The second and easiest thing you should check for is a full lint trap. If the lint trap gets full, the moisture can’t escape and builds up in the dryer, creating condensation. This can cause the dryer to run inefficiently, resulting in longer drying times and potential damage to the dryer.
Clean the Lint Filter
Cleaning out the vent trap is your first step in combating condensation in your dryer. Cleaning it frequently prevents the accumulation of lint that can clog the lint filter. To clean it properly:
- Take out the lint filter and either vacuum the lint off of it or tip the lint into the trash.
- Wash the lint filter with a mild detergent, warm water, and a soft scrubbing brush.
- Use the vacuum to clean the area where the lint filter goes.
- If a lot of lint is built up behind the lint filter slot, remove the necessary parts and then vacuum it.
3. Blocked Dryer Exhaust Vent
Another common cause for condensation in your dryer is a blocked exhaust vent. This usually occurs if you don’t clean it regularly (at least twice a year). When obstructed, air can get trapped in the dryer drum resulting in condensation.
The three most common signs of an obstructed dryer vent are:
- Longer Drying Times: Restricted airflow prevents efficient drying.
- Excessive Heat: Excessive heat buildup can occur, leading to hot air inside the dryer or in the surrounding area.
- Lint Accumulation: A visible buildup of lint around the dryer vent opening, on the lint trap, or on the outside vent hood is a clear sign of an obstructed vent. This can lead to fires or burnt clothes.
Unblock the dryer exhaust vent
Generally, most households have a dryer ventilation duct that extends from inside the house to the outside. You should clean this duct every 1-2 years to prevent potential fires and condensation issues.
An easy way to clear a blocked vent is to get two people, one outside and one inside. Disconnect the dryer, stick a leaf blower in the pipe on the inside, and turn the blower on. This will blow all the lint out of the pipe. Remember to put a bucket beneath the vent outside to catch the excess lint and I’d also recommend wearing a mask and glasses to avoid breathing in dust.
Replacing the duct could also solve the condensation problem, as the duct is usually prone to lint blockages that cause condensation. If your duct is made of vinyl or plastic, it would be best to replace it.
Here’s a useful video I found on how to clear out a clogged dryer vent:
4. Problems with the vent duct’s outside exit point
A closure vent flap (located on the outside of your house) is a protective cover with a hinged flap that opens when the dryer is in use to allow the hot air and moisture to be expelled. When the dryer is not in operation, the flap closes to prevent outside elements such as pests, debris, or weather conditions from entering the vent.
Without a functioning closure vent flap or booster, the dryer cannot properly exhaust the moist air created during the drying process. Sometimes dryer lint gets caught in the mechanism causing the flap to remain open.
The open flap allows warmer, humid air from the outside to flow backward into the dryer where water then condenses. This can also lead to increased humidity and moisture in the laundry room.
Examine the Duct’s Outside Exit Point
Ensure the dryer duct is clear and unobstructed. If you don’t already have one, set up a dryer vent flap to help reduce the condensation. This flap will open while the dryer is running, permitting hot air to come out. After the cycle is finished, the flap will shut.
If your dryer already has a vent flap, ensure it’s not blocked or jammed. If the flap is broken, you need to change it. The good news is that replacing it is relatively easy and inexpensive.
5. Dryer causing condensation in the room? You could have a puncture!
Occasionally dryers can cause excess moisture in the air of the laundry room. The most common reason for this is due to improper ventilation. This causes moisture extracted from wet clothes to be cycled back into the closed environment of the drying room.
Improper ventilation is normally caused by an issue with the ventilation hose which attaches to the rear of the dryer. Condensation is likely to form where there’s a poor seal and occasionally this isn’t in the room where the dryer is located.
I’ve heard reports of dryers causing condensation in neighboring rooms. Where this is the case, your dryer vent duct is probably damaged and is not airtight. You should therefore inspect the vent hose and ensure it’s both sealed tight and isn’t damaged.
The other issue relates to the positioning of the dryer vent system. This leads to condensation forming. For instance, if your vent hose travels up through the roof or is too long, you may be at risk of having condensation develop due to the temperature difference in the attic.
This is a common issue in older homes, but newer builds are designed with fire safety in mind, so they don’t usually have this problem.
Is Condensation in A Dryer Bad?
Condensation in a dryer can be extremely dangerous. Not only can it cause mold growth, structural damage, and an unpleasant smell, but it can also lead to a clogged lint line which could become a fire hazard. Additionally, it can cause your dryer to become less efficient, and running it may skyrocket your electricity bill.