How to vent a clothes dryer

How to vent a clothes dryer

How to vent a clothes dryer

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These are Step How to Vent a Clothes Dryer

  1. Mark the location of the rigid pipe that will vent to the exterior.
  2. To determine the location of drilling from the outside, drill a pilot hole through this marked area.
  3. Drilling through vinyl siding requires that you set the drill in reverse. Then, use the hole saw to lightly score the hole.
  4. Place the drill in the right direction and drill the hole. Do not cut through the hole from the opposite side.
  5. Now, drill the remaining hole from the inside. This will make sure the hole appears clean from both sides.
  6. Cut the rigid vent pipes to the required size. Use duct tape to seal the vent pipes’ seams.
  7. Place the pipe inside the dryer vent cover. Use more duct tape to seal the seam.
  8. Insert the pipe from the outside into the hole. Attach the vent cover to your exterior wall using screws. To prevent pests entering, you can also add a critter cover to the dryer vent cover.
  9. The other end of the pipe should be inserted into a dryer vent elbow. Seal it with duct tape.
  10. Place the dryer in its original position. Attach the dryer vent to your elbow with a clamp or a screwdriver.
  11. Re-insert the dryer.


Richard suggests keeping dryer vents as short and clean as possible in order to avoid lint accumulating and clogging them. You can find all the parts Richard needed to install the vent at your local home center, including the duct tape and rigid pipe elbows and the duct cover.

Q: The laundry room was moved to the second floor by the previous owners. They also terminated the dryer vent from the attic space above. It’s not close to an exterior wall. Is there a better way to vent it outside?

A: While it’s becoming more popular to have laundry rooms on the second level, venting clothes dryers into the attic is a huge mistake. The warm, humid air coming from the vent makes it a perfect environment for mold growth on roof framing, sheathing and any other items stored there. The damp air from the vent will condense on cold surfaces in cooler temperatures, which can soak insulation and cause damage to the ceiling below. All that warmth can also lead to ice dams in snowy areas.

These problems can be avoided by using the roof as the direct route to the outside. You will need to connect the ductwork with a roof vent that is hooded to allow airflow to the dryer.

Even if you have an asphalt-shingled roof, installing such a vent is best left to a professional who has the proper equipment to protect your fall and knows how to flash around roof penetrations. After the vent has been installed on the roof, connect it from the attic to the dryer conduit. Foil tape can be used to seal the vent and seams of the duct. Use a fire-stop sealant like Fire Barrier CP25WB+ by 3M to seal the duct at the duct’s entry into the attic. To reduce internal condensation, wrap the metal in R-8 duct insulation.

The duct can also be run to an exhaust vent on an exterior wall, at least 3 feet away from a door or window. Straight duct runs can be as long as 35ft. However, dryers will need to subtract 5ft for each 90-degree turn that the duct makes. The dryer should be within reach of an exterior wall. If it is, a handyman can cut a hole in the duct and connect it with the vent. No matter which direction your duct runs, make sure it is made of 4-inch galvanized metal. The duct’s smooth walls allow for good airflow and keep lint buildup at a minimum. They are also fire-resistant. Tint-trapping corrugations made of flexible plastic or foil-faced flexible conduits pose a danger to fire and slow down airflow. This increases drying time and makes the dryer motor work harder.

Tools & Materials

  • Tape measure

  • Cordless drill/driver

  • 2-in. Diamond hole saw

  • Metal shear scissors

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