How to Vent a Dryer Properly
LESLIE: Bonnie in Texas has some dryer-venting issues. Tell us what’s going on.
BONNIE: Yes. I have a dryer – gas dryer – that vents right into the garage from the utility room.
BONNIE: And it just has one of those little flappy doors on it that’s kind of close to the floor of the garage. And the door that goes into the kitchen is right there, so all that heat and lint will come into the house, heats up the kitchen bad.
BONNIE: And it won’t be up – it’s not to code, that’s what I understand, so I need to know how to vent it out of the garage without trying to go through the brick wall.
TOM: Yeah. Hmm. Well, if a brick wall stands between you and the outside, you’re going to have to find a way to go through that brick wall.
Yes, it’s not vented correctly and all of that lint is a fire hazard. You really do need to get it outside of the house. You know, you have the ability to duct it a little bit. I mean you can run a dryer duct with metal duct if it’s properly installed. You can run it 20, 30 feet so – can you go out the back of the house instead of the front of the house? Is there a wall that you might be able to get to if you reran it so that it didn’t have to go through the brick?
BONNIE: Well, it – there is – the exterior of the house has got the brick veneer and it has a big, double-door garage door. I’m wondering about how I could vent it up through the ceiling of the garage. There’s not a room up there, just attic.
TOM: Well, either up through the roof or you can go out through sort of the gable end of the house.
TOM: Or you could drop it down and you could actually run it across the ceiling and then drop it down towards the soffit. And then just open up the soffit there and have the vent kind of go at the soffit area. So you can vent it out at a number of places but the thing is, every time you put a bend in it, that reduces the air flow. So you want to make sure that it’s got as few bends as possible.
TOM: And you want to do it with metal duct, not the flexible plastic duct. You want to do it with hard metal duct.
BONNIE: Oh, OK. A hard metal duct.
TOM: Yeah. Because the other reason you do that is because it can be cleaned, too.
BONNIE: OK. So if I did it straight up in the attic, can I go through the roof? Is that a bad idea?
TOM: You can, yes. Yep, you can go straight up through the roof if it’s – that’s the closest way to go. But just remember, you can’t go too terribly high because, again, you have a lot of back pressure. But yes, you can go straight up through the roof and there is a type of a roof vent that can – for dryer exhaust – that goes up through the roof, can be properly sealed against the roof and it’ll just drop the exhaust around the roof. You might end up seeing some of that lint collect around the roof but at least it won’t be stinking up your kitchen anymore.
BONNIE: Yes. Thank you. I’ve got some options there then.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.