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RDS 05-02-2008 09:22 AM

Dryer vent and AC compressor - min. distance?
Generally, does code dictate any minimum distance between a central AC compressor unit and a dryer vent? Seems like dryer lint would be bad for the compressor, but what do I know about how central air systems work? Not much.

I ask because I need to move my dryer vent (currently vented through an old basement window, and I'm replacing the window), but the compressor is right by where I want to put the new vent.

jumpinjack 05-02-2008 07:12 PM

I would keep the dryer vent as far away from the ac unit as possible. Especially if you have much lint that makes its way through the vent line.

What will probably happen is that lint will come out and be sucked into the ac coils causing air blockage if not cleaned regularly. Lack of airflow to those outside coils can overheat the unit, so it wouldn't be good.

I have never heard of any code issues, though I don't know about your area.

Termite 05-02-2008 07:55 PM

No code issue here. But, it would be a bad idea to have them within several feet of each other because of lint.

One thing to consider when you're moving that dryer vent though. There are codes for that. You're allowed 25' of developed run of 4" vent. 90* elbows count as 5', 45* elbows count as 2-1/2'. Add up the footage of pipe and then add your elbows up. The reason for this code is that some dryers are not capable of "pushing" much farther, which can lead to fires if lint builds up. Gas dryers are venting combustion gases as well.

biggles 05-02-2008 07:59 PM

any where but on the same side the condenser is on...wind blowing and the unit running it will pack with lint and result in a repair cleaning...and keep in mind the more lint into the condenser(even though you might not see it at first)on a warm day raise the head pressure and cost you more to run the compressor(higher amps)$$$$$ to cool the house.trick here...grab the liquid linethinnest copper one into the evap/fan section on a warm day if thats HOT your condenser is linted up already or on its way:furious:

RDS 05-02-2008 08:22 PM

Thanks for the useful tips. Sounds like I was right to be concerned. We don't actually run the AC much (maybe 10-15 days a year) but I would hate to foul the unit up with lint.

The current distance between AC unit and dryer vent is only about three feet, along the same exterior wall. I'd like to put the new dryer vent around the corner on the intersecting exterior wall -- still only four or five feet away, but I'm hoping having the corner of the house in between will help a little. I don't have a lot of options -- the gas dryer's right in the corner of the basement, with windows on each wall, so the vent pretty much has to go between them, but that's where the previous owners planted the AC unit.

Thanks also for the reminder to look into the codes re. dryer vent length. Otherwise, sounds like I'll always need to keep a close eye on the AC unit and make sure it's clean of lint.

DUDE! 05-04-2008 06:50 AM

I was up visiting my son's new to him house last weekend. It caught my eye that his dryer vent is coming out of the house right behind the ac unit. I'm not sure what his options would be, because layout inside, but you know the setup is not a good thing.

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