Are Dryer Vent Outlet Boxes Necessary?
Dryer vent outlet boxes are necessary for safer, more efficient drying. A recessed dryer vent outlet box not only protects your walls from the heat of the dryer, but prevents condensation from building up and creating a habitat for mold or mildew.
Advantages To A Dryer Vent Outlet Box
Dryer vent outlet boxes are recessed into your existing wall, allowing homeowners to push the dryer flush against the wall.This typically saves from eight to twelve inches of space, making your room larger by a foot. That foot makes a huge difference if your dryer is located in a closet or small corner. A dryer vent box also allows you to eliminate one of the 90-degree elbows or curves in the piping for the dryer. That means one less place for lint to accumulate. So, your dryer becomes less of a fire hazard. Because air flows freer, your dryer is also more efficient, using less electricity or gas. The cost for parts to install a recessed dryer box is usually less than $50 for the do-it-yourselfer
Alternatives To Outside Dryer Vents
For rooms with dryers, but no outside wall access for a dryer vent, there are alternatives. There are vent-less dryers and dryer boxes. The vent-less dryer reduces and drains condensation in such a way that an exterior hose is not needed. There are cons to these dryers. They have lint alarms which may be too sensitive, and qualified repairmen are often hard to find. Replacement parts may also be expensive and difficult to find since there aren't a lot of these dryers on the market as compared to vented dryers.
The “dryer box” is an alternative to the vent-less dryer. Dryer boxes made of hard, heavy duty plastic or metal. The end of the dryer hose that would normally run into an outside wall, runs into the box instead. This vents the lint and moisture into the box instead of your laundry room or closet. If installed correctly, cleaned regularly and monitored carefully, dryer boxes can be a safe alternative for apartment dwellers or rooms with no outside wall access. They are not recommended by most builders or fire marshals however, as most owners do not install or clean them properly, thus creating a fire and mold hazard.
Tips For Installing Dryer Vents
- Use only rigid metal or flex aluminum piping, not plastic tubing or plastic coverings stretched over a metal frame.
- Use aluminum tape, not screws or other metal fasteners on the interior of the pipe. Screws and rough surfaces tend to catch and hold lint, creating a fire hazard.
- Don't use duct tape when securing or installing a dryer hose. It will not hold up well against the heat generated by the flow of hot air and will eventually fall off. Use only aluminum or metal tape.
- If you choose to install an interior dryer box, clean it frequently to avoid mold and mildew and lint build up. Make sure the box is sealed securely after each cleaning to prevent the escape of condensation and lint.
- Never use a dryer box with a gas dryer. There is a huge risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.