Safe to vent out window in winter?

So far this winter, we’ve had temps pretty consistently in the teens and single digits in Ohio. My air filter is not set to ship until June. Should I not even think about running my GF until I can vent outside at above 60 degrees (or whatever is a safe temperature)? If I’m only cutting bare wood that isn’t glued, do I even need to worry about venting? I was so excited to get started, but after a few hours of reading and preparing, I’ve only become increasingly nervous about damaging the unit. I’d really appreciate help with this issue!

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While you are cutting the airflow from the GF will prevent the air from blowing back into the vent unless you have a very strong wind pushing directly down the vent hole, and even then the wall of your house should prevent that from occurring. While you are not cutting you will need to prevent outside air from entering the exhaust path.


This is typically accomplished using a flapper type dryer exhaust housing on the outside. The exhaust fan will accelerate the air so the flaps open up when it’s operating and close when it stops cutting. When the machine is off you can rely on the flaps or add a blast gate ($6 at Home Depot) on the inside of your venting connection to close the vent hose totally.


I got a quick connect for my exhaust hose and attached the base part to insulating foam - that part is in the window all the time. When I need to use the GF I remove the (homemade) insulating plug, hook up the hose, and forge away. When not actively using the forge I remove the hose and put the plug back in.

You’ll definitely want to vent regardless of what you’re cutting!!


Send pics!

I know there are many more attractive ways to accomplish this . . . hopefully someday I’ll upgrade to one of them! In the meantime:
Not so pretty window installation - it seems to be working ok though! Definitely needed the insulating tape.IMG_6512
Used the circle cut from the foam to make the plug. Cut out a piece of PG walnut plywood to attach it to that will lock onto the quick connect.
Hose hooked up to the window and ready to roll!IMG_6511
Plug removed and hose not yet attached.


Been venting using a standard dryer vent with louvers to block air coming in. Outside air has been below zero Fahrenheit more than once while I was cutting. I have not had a back flow of air with the unit off. Air coming in would be bad. Air going out is just heat loss for your house. Make sure that the unit is at a reasonable operating temperature before turning it on.


Excellent. The quick-connect is the key!

Here’s what I did. I’m in Wisconsin and have had weeks of below freezing and single digits and no problems with keeping my vent attached to the window.
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I set my glowforge up on a cart. I roll it into the bathroom when using it, and hook it to roof vent.


Wow. Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond! Your answers are really helpful. Looks like I’ll be taking a trip to the hardware store tomorrow!

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That’s pretty resourceful. :+1:
A direct connection to that vent fan also augments evacuation of the machine after the glowforge fans stop.

That could work for me - I’m renovating and the GF can’t go in it’s long-term location yet.
How powerful is your bathroom fan? Have you noticed any issues with added airflow moving light materials on the bed, for example paper?

I bought a dust collector “blast gate” on Amazon. It’s made for a shop vac to control which machines get dust collected from them. I figure, I’m going to put it in the window block and open/close it as necessary. Hypothetical at this point.

Vermont here. Dryer vent on the outside of the window insert, cheapo quick disconnect on the inside. Custom foam plug to block the hole on days when not zapping. Seems to work fine. Good luck!

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My bathroom fan is pretty weak so I haven’t noticed any issues like that but I haven’t cut any paper yet either.

When venting your Glowforge outside, it’s important to protect your Glowforge from extreme hot, cold, and humidity. Make sure to do the following:

  1. Disconnect the hose from the outside air when the Glowforge is not in use.

  2. If venting out a window, use a window dryer vent with a 4” exhaust port to keep the outside temperature and humidity from affecting your Glowforge.

Complete instructions for setting up your exhaust can be found in the Glowforge Manual.

There’s been some great discussion in this thread so I’m going to move it to Beyond the Manual so the discussion can continue. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to start a new thread in Problems and Support or to email

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Could I see a picture I’ve been trying to figure another method to help reduce the smell for my neighbors.