Everyone knows that dryers and stove hoods are blowhards.
Dryers need to get rid of moist air, and stove vents are supposed to fan away odors and heat.
But good luck if those appliances don’t work by expelling air through ducts to the exterior of your building. The stream comes right back at ya.
Many consumers are sophisticted enough to appreciate that, no matter how constructed, dryers that pump air into the room through some sort of device meant to eliminate moisture invariably boosts humidity in an apartment or townhouse significantly.
They also may know that they don’t dry clothing very efficiently. But what are you going to do when elimination of the duct is a favorite cost-cutting technique of developers and when condo and co-op boards in Manhattan often are reluctant to approve piercing a building’s exterior for a vent?
(Using a portion of a window may occasionally be feasible, but don’t count on it. And unless you’re renovating your home, the duct work can be an overwhelmingly costly, unattractive or expensive obstacle to overcome.)
Don’t even think of getting me started on combination washer/dryers, which can handle only small loads and neither wash or dry very well from what I understand.
While the dryer issue is fairly well known, surprisingly few buyers in my experience realize that a preponderance of hoods over a stove lack outside ventilation. All they do is recirculate bad air.
Having exterior ventilation can make the difference between comfort and discomfort. Failure to have it can be a deal-breaker, yet, ironically, having it is unlikely to affect a contract price at all.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022