Common Dryer Vent Installation Mistakes

Dryer vent installation is not a complex process, but it is an important one. Avoid the following mistakes when installing your dryer vent.

Using the Wrong Vent Material
Some people simply buy the least expensive dryer vent installation kit from the local home improvement store without examining the contents or analyzing how appropriate they are to use. White, flexible plastic hose is never the right choice. It’s a fire hazard and collects lint. Lint causes dryers to run inefficiently and creates a fire hazard. Although many codes allow flexible, foil covered vent hoses, these are still not much better than the flexible plastic. The best material is smooth, rigid 4” metal ducts. Use flexible metal ducts only when you need to make a bend.

Venting to the Attic or Basement
Dryer ducts need to vent to the outside. They should take the most direct route outside, with the fewest possible turns. Venting to the interior of the house, like the attic or the basement, leads to inefficient drying and humidity damage in the home. It can also increase the fire risk.

Extending the Length of Vents

Many people make the mistake of thinking a longer, straight vent is better than a short vent which may need one or two turns to get to the outside. The best route for a dryer vent is the one that gets to an exterior wall with as little linear feet as possible.  Avoid roof vents if you can.