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Seems like this might actually BE a better mouse trap!

     Dryer vent caps have previously come in either single flap type caps or louver type caps----neither one is ideal----I am not sure there even IS an “ideal” method----as it seems they all clog with lint sooner or later or have other issues that prevent proper function. 

Two common types of dryer vent caps

 

     There is a newer style cap that I am starting to see more often that seems like it might actually be a better solution----both in terms of function, resistance to clogging and energy efficiency.

A Green Dryer Cap

     These “green” caps Sunsmile have a cylinder with a floating cap inside.  When the dryer turns on the air pushes the cap upward and allows the air to escape.  When the dryer shuts down the cap settles back down sealing the vent pipe.  This next picture shows the housing with the lid taken off----the floating cap can be seen at the bottom of the cylinder where it caps the vent pipe.

What the cap looks like on the inside

     This next picture shows the floating cap removed.

 

Another picture of the inside

     Pretty cool mouse trap don’t you think?

Charles Buell

 

Seattle Home Inspectors, ASHI Home Inspector, Structural Pest Inspector, Charles Buell Inspections Inc, Seattle, WA

 

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Comment balloon 21 commentsCharles Buell • August 26 2009 09:35AM

Comments

My track record with dryer vents is less than pristine. The one venting into the crawl space tried to burn down the whole house. Another vent was equipped with a grate that compacted lint causing my dryer to run longer and l-o-n-g-e-r before I figured out the issue. I like this floating cap one you show.

Posted by Kate Kate about 9 years ago

Hmmm..That is interesting. Wonder though if it is any easier to clean out. And what would happen if the floating cap refuses to float.

Have you ever noticed that in some cases the term "green" translates to higher costs with questionable return?

Posted by Jim Palmer, Washington County, Florida (Chipola Realty - Chipley Office (850) 638-2777) about 9 years ago

Kate, as convienient as dryers are the whole venting thing is something that has to always be kept in mind and well maintained---it rarely is.

Jim, they seem to be pretty much "self-cleaning"---at least better than the other type.  I suspect if it got stuck somehow it would be no different than either of the other two that got plugged.  Regarding your comment about "green," I would argue that there are lots of ways that homes can be done green without costing more---it is mostly the hype that makes them cost more.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

To clarify, Charles - it was the "hype" that I was refering to. I have no problem with "green", but I do believe that some are taking advantage of the hype to command a higher price for the same product that we already had. If that makes any sense.

Posted by Jim Palmer, Washington County, Florida (Chipola Realty - Chipley Office (850) 638-2777) about 9 years ago

Jim it makes total sense and I agree with you. 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Charles - I think I need one of these myself.  We had birds nesting in ours at one point, then a grate was placed over it.  Periodically, I have to go clean it out.  Pain in the proverbial, if you get my drift.  :)

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 9 years ago

Mr Charles,

The photos made me life. The objects in those first photos I have actually traversed. I do not know if you are aware of it but the standards for certifried assistants make it mandatory that we traverse certain areas.

nutsy

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

I have not seen these on a house out here. Maybe I just haven't run into one yet. Looks like  a much better vent.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 9 years ago

Invent a better mouse trap and the world will beat down your door.

Or the dryer door...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Pretty cool mouse trap is an understatement Charles!
Happy Wednesday with my thought,

Paul

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) about 9 years ago

I actually have one of those on my own house.. aha!  No mousies yet, and it's been years. Also no rain (good thing around here), and it seems to vent just fine.

Charles, if you want photos of real mouserat-traps, let me know! :)

Posted by Shoshana Shay (St. Pete Realty) about 9 years ago

Nutsy, I can imagine they do

James, I think we will probably be seeing more of them

Jay, that is what they say

Paul, it will be interesting to see how they do over time

Shoshana, I was hoping someone would chime in that they had one.  Any problems with it?  How long have you had it?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

They may work well but this one looked pretty durned dirty.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 9 years ago

Barbara, I wish I knew how long since this one had been cleaned----the house had been vacant for 3 years:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

That's almost too simple.  Should sell a bunch, but it hasn't hit this area yet.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) about 9 years ago

I have seen something similar to that for use when the exhaust is vented through the soffit of the home. Works on a coil spring, and opens whenn the air is moving. Seems like a really good concept. Most that I have seen are fairly clean, so they must work pretty well.

Posted by Ian Niquette (Square One Home Inspection) about 9 years ago

So just exactly where does the mouse get caught?  cheryl(totally just kidding)willis

 

Posted by Cheryl Willis, MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law (RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI) about 9 years ago

Jack, it will be interesting to see----they are quite a bit more expensive.

Ian, I haven't seen the downward ones yet.

Cheryl---where you been hiding?  Nice to see you around:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Charles, as far as I can remember, it was installed when I moved in and moved the appliances, so that would be 12 years... never a problem.  Inside there is a v-e-r-y long vent, so maybe it hasn't been a problem because it takes so long for the air to get outside! :) 

Posted by Shoshana Shay (St. Pete Realty) about 9 years ago

Shoshana if it is functional over that many years with such a long run, I would say that speaks well of it.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Charles,

Great Post.  It is amazing how simple and effective solution can be.

Thanks for sharing,

Matt Naumann

Posted by Matthew Naumann, Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent (Exit Realty Charleston Group) about 9 years ago

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