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Best Way to Install a Dryer Vent

Hey guys,   I having a hard time installing the dryer vent tube. The inlet/outlet wont't line up and I end squishing the vent tube up against the wall.  I know this is restricting airflow. There has to be a better way. What products/methods can you recommend? Thanks in advanced. I love the show!

Our Answer

You're right Mike.  Getting the dryer vent connection right is far more important than most people know, and for several reasons. First off, its important for safety.  Dirty dryer ducts are a leading cause of house fires.  Plus, the longer the dryer has to work to vent that moisture, the more energy it burns up in the process, not to mention the increased wear and tear on the clothes as they tumble around a lot longer than they need to.  

It sound's like you've tried the straight forward approach of snaking the vent behind the machine, but the key here is (and as you've observed) to do this without crushing the vent. In fact, you want to do this with as few bends and turns as possible.  Every 90 degree turn, provide the same resistance as 20 additional feet of duct run, so the fewer twists and turns the better.  Here's a couple ideas that might help.

  1. Take a look at the layout of the dryer exhaust inside your house. What happens when that duct gets into the wall?  Can it be changed for easier access?  There are a number of prefabricated ducted dryer exhaust configurations that can help. In some cases, it may be smart to cut open the wall to adjust the position or re-run the duct completely.
  2. Look at the dryer.  Many can be easily modified so that the exhaust ducts out the side, instead of the back. When I remodeled my laundry room a couple years ago, I did just that. Now, instead of the duct taking two turns and then running 20 feet under my son's bedroom, it goes all of 18 inches out the side of the dryer and through the exterior wall. Our clothes have never dried faster!
  3. Once you have the ducting set, be sure to keep it clean. Cleaning a dryer vent is easy if you have a right tool. Now that I have a short exhaust duct run, its not as critical but before that, I used an inexpensive dryer duct cleaning tool called the Gardus Lint Eater. It is a series of flexible piping that link together and has a big brush on the end.  It snakes its way through your dryer venting system and will get rid of all of those dangerous lint bunnies lurking in the dryer vent.  

Lastly, it is also important to replace plastic or vinyl dryer ducts with metal duct material, which is sturdy, making it easier to clean your dryer vents.

Hope this helps!

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EVP, floor, bathroom, laminate

What’s the Best Bathroom Flooring?

What is the best kind of laminate flooring to use in a bathroom?

Our Answer

Hey Karen, that's a great question. There have been many changes in laminate flooring over the last few years with one being that more and more laminate is now designed for wet locations like bathrooms.  That said, even water-resistant laminate is not capable of taking a prolonged soaking. The good news is that there are several other new and equally affordable options to consider.  

Engineered Vinyl Plank: Waterproof, kid-proof, pet-proof! Engineered vinyl plank (EVP) has a vinyl veneer with a rigid PVC core which makes it even easier to install. Plus the designs it is available in look as much like wood as the real thing.

Click Ceramic Plank: Whether your master bathroom is ready for a remodel or your kitchen needs a makeover, NEW Click Ceramic Plank (CCP) is ideal for any room in your home! These quick-locking ceramic based planks are easy to install – no grout or mortar needed. CCP is great for DIYers and the easy maintenance is a bonus.

These new vinyl and ceramic products look so much like the real thing, I'd skip laminate for a bathroom space and consider them instead.

Tom Kraeutler

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Help! Overrun with House Flies!

Our home is overrun with house flies.  There is no apparent cause such as open trash, food being out or even Jimmy Hoffa (ha!).  I kill up to 25-30 flies *per day*, no kidding.  The worst part is the next day there are that many right back. The only thing I can think of is that our cat's box is maybe 12' from our door in the garage but we keep that cleaned out every 4-5 days so as to eliminate this as a possible cause.Can you guys suggest either a fix or a possible cause for this?  It's about to drive me absolutely nuts!Thanks and I love this show!Daniel LedfordLouisville, KY

Our Answer

Wow! That does sound like a lot of house flies.  Animal waste and garbage are actually both excellent breeding material for flies.  A fly can go from pupa to adult in eight days, so there does seem to be some reproduction going on in your home.  If you think you are doing a good job of keeping the litter box clean and garbage cans covered, then there may be some other breeding site.  For example, a missed bit of pet waste that is in a corner somewhere?  Keep doors and windows closed to exclude any breeding site that's INSIDE your home. 

Also, try to figure out what kind of flies these are.  If they are tiny gnat-like flies they could be fruit flies, also known as drain or sewer flies because they breed off of biofilm in your household drains.  Once you figure out which type of flies you have and find and clean the breeding site, you should be able to eliminate the problem.