Dryer to Heater




About: I'm not great at anything just dangerous at a lot of things

I have finally decided to stop being a spectator to all the great things that all of you have offered, and make a contribution. I want all of you to know that English is my first language...but I will still butcher it.

This instructable was inspired by another one referring to how to stay warm in the winter. This was mentioned within it, however the details on how to make it were not available. I did some further research and came up with this little heater.

I want all of you to know this should only be used with only an electric dryer! If you do not know if you have a gas or electric dryer do not try until you know. Doing this with a gas heater could lead to death in various ways so don't do it. I also wanted to tell you that I used things that get hot... and hot things can burn you so don't touch hot items. I also used tools that are sharp and sharp things can cut you.(feel free to apply this advice in other aspects of your life) BE CAREFUL! Use gloves, eye protection, haz mat suit, full riot gear, and helmet for better protection depending on how careless you are.

Step 1: Gathering Supplies

things that I used

1. tin snips

2. duct tape

3. box cutter

4. hot glue gun

5. left over shelf paper (some sort of screen)

6. sharpie

7. empty coffee container

Step 2: Creating Dryer Exhaust Receiver

I used the existing dryer vent duct on my dryer. I took the duct and placed it upon the top of the lid and traced around it.

Step 3: Cutting a Hole

I took the lid and used a box knife to start a hole in the center. I used my tin snips to cut the hole. I cut the hole roughly 1/8"-1/4" smaller than the marked circle from the duct. Remember sharp things can cut you so be careful.

Step 4: Securing the Duct

I then took the duct and gently secured it into the lid. The hole being a little smaller helps secure the duct in the lid. I worked the duct in far enough for the wire frame was on revolution on the inside of the lid. I also used the clasp that secured it to the outdoors on the inside of the lid to increase the hold.

Step 5: Marking Your New Heater Vent

on to making the new vent. I marked the area on the coffee container where I intended to cut out the new vent. I should note that you do not want to cut this hole all the way to the bottom of the container. you will need to put water in the bottom of the container to catch the lint that gets missed by the lint trap.

Step 6: Now We Have a Hole

the plastic on the coffee container is more rigid than that of the lid. I was still able to cut if out by starting it out with the box cutter and then cutting the remainder of it out with the tin snips. Another note on the use of sharp objects. the hole left had sharp edges (sharp edges can cut be careful) so I put duct tape around to protect my delicate hands. Note: my awesome Miami Vice coffee mug in the background

Step 7: Creating a Lint Guard

I struggled to find something that I could use as a lint guard. I eventually found some rubber mesh. The original use of this material was as shelf paper. you can use something different, but this worked well for me. It was flexible allowing it to conform to the round coffee container. I used hot glue to adhere the mesh to the side of the coffee container. I placed a bead of hot glue on the inside to the container, and pressed the mesh onto it. hot glue is hot and so is the tip of the gun that melts it. hot things burn so don't touch.

Step 8: Ready to Test

now put some water in the bottom of the container. then place the lid with duct attached back on prepare to get warmed up.

Step 9: Ready to Go

install the other end of the duct to your dryer and let it warm you up!



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      11 Discussions


      8 months ago

      I think this is a great write up, concept, and a creative example of re-purposing. However, exhausting your dryer inside your home or crawlspace will lead to a plethora side effects. Much more expensive than a space heater.
      The high moisture will cause aggressive mold growth within months. Over time your walls and floors will start to rot. If you're in a rental you could be in violation of the rental agreement. If you own, you're in violation of building codes and will be facing expensive repairs. Unfortunately I found this out when I replaced a dryer and did not hook up the vent correctly. The exhaust blew directly into my garage, and within a year everything in the garage was destroyed.

      Also it WAS stated clearly in this instructable, but just to reiterate, if you own a gas powered dryer, DO NOT do this hack. Gas dryers exhaust carbon monoxide which is poisonous and could lead to death.

      Mount Oread

      Tip 1 year ago

      In addition I used the tip on the cat litter and it has worked wonderfully... appreciate the tip dwek.

      Mount Oread

      Tip 1 year ago on Step 7

      Following a few weeks of use I had to make an alteration to my design. The hot glue did not hold up with the mesh(or someone knocked it in). I ended up using duct tape to adhere the mesh and it has worked well thus far.


      1 year ago

      Back 30 years ago we had a small apartment sized washer/dryer set. These fit in a closet and we would wheel them into the kitchen. The washer drained down the kitchen sink and the dryer had something commercially similar to what you made. During the summer, it was a non issue, we just vented it to an open window. During the winter though, it made the apartment way too damp. However things like cotton sheets and things that dry quickly, it worked. Things like bath towels, etc we ended up drying in the public dryers. Too much moisture in a home is never a good thing. Thanks for sharing, just monitor what you are drying


      1 year ago

      A nice way to use hot air instead of venting it outside. The moisture in the air will increase the relative humidity in the dwelling, good because the humidity is usually lower during the heating season. However: that moisture will also encourage the growth of molds and mildew which are a health hazard. Regularly inspect and aggressively clean the room the vent is in.


      Tip 1 year ago on Step 5

      Try cat litter instead of water, gives the project weight and avoids spills, drys the air some and bacteria.


      1 year ago

      Nice , better then a sock over the exhaust vent tube!!!!


      1 year ago

      Aren't you worried that water and a nice warm environment is a perfect place to grow bacteria? I would be extremely concerned about such a setup personally. But if this works for you, go for it.

      1 reply
      Mount Oreadgm280

      Reply 1 year ago

      That could be a possibility. It depends on how often someone is willing to dump it out.

      I thought about that as well. I cut the hole on the side larger than vent duct. Allowing a larger volume exit than the duct it was going through previously