Proper Installation of Dryer Vents is Important

by Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

While we primarily service heating and air conditioning, occasionally we are called upon to hook up or relocate dryer vents. Throughout our travels, we have seen quite a few improper installations of these vent systems. This is a major concern as improperly installed vents will drastically reduce the efficiency of your dryer. Here are a few guidelines to follow in regards to your dryer vent system.

The length of the dryer piping is of great importance. It must be kept as short as possible. The maximum recommended length of most clothes dryer exhaust ducts should not exceed 25 feet from the dryer location to the wall or roof termination. The maximum length of the duct shall be reduced 2.5 feet for each 45-degree bend, and 5 feet for each 90-degree elbow. Always consult your installation manual for your particular model requirements.

Flexible ducts should never be used. They cannot support their weight and sag. Lint is collected in the sagging area and becomes a fire hazard. Plus, flexible ducts are very restrictive to airflow.

Rigid 4-inch metal duct is the preferred material to use for venting dryers.

Never use screws to secure the duct joints as the screw tips inside the piping will collect lint and block the flow of air.

Ever wonder why you dryer location is so dusty? Proper sealing is very important. All joints should be sealed with aluminum tape rated for duct sealing. Cheap duct tape will fall off eventually.

Use as few elbows as possible.

Always vent to the outdoors through a sidewall or roof, as a dryer will produce a lot of hot, humid air and lint in the home. Do not vent to the garage as condensation and mold will be a problem.

The dryer termination must have a backdraft damper that closes tightly when not in use. Make sure to check this termination every few months as these dampers can become clogged with lint and become stuck open. Also, some terminations have screening that must be kept clean.

If your dryer is in a confined area or closet, make sure you have adequate air into this space. Your dryer is exhausting about 200 CFM from this area so we must be sure we have openings in this room to provide enough make up air. At least a 10 x10-inch opening is necessary.

The dryer duct system should be removed and cleaned at least once a year, as the inside will become clogged with lint over time.

Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

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Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.