Most homeowners take the convenience of a clothes dryer for granted. Choosing the dryer and installing is as far as their thoughts go for any type of maintainence until the dryer stops working correctly or worse yet a house fire breaks out. Clothes dryer-vents are very important to your health and safety. A clothes dryer that uses natural gas, burns the gas leaving behind carbon monoxide. If the carbon monoxide is not vented out of your house properly it can cause you to become very ill and can even lead to death. Children and seniors are most susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning. In the United States and Canada it is the law to vent a clothes dryer outside. The carbon monoxide will dissipate in the outside air rather than gathering in the room where the dryer is located. Proper dryer-vent installation is critical.
Aside from the carbon monoxide related health concerns and proper ventilation, dryer-vents require cleaning or replacement. Oftentimes it is easier to replace the vent rather than to attempt to clean it. dryer-vent pipes are inexpensive and are easy to install. The health and safety of your family depend on proper installation and reinstallation.
Clothes Dryer Placement
Choose a spot to place your dryer optimally this will be an outside wall. In other words on the other side of the wall is the outside of the house.
Always place a clothes dryer the shortest distance to the outside wall as possible.
Pick a spot on the wall between wall studs. This is very easy to see if you are installing the clothes dryer in an unfinished basement. If you are installing the dryer in a finished room find the studs in the wall and mark them with a pencil.
Preparing to Install the dryer-vent
Draw a circle slightly larger than the dryer duct. Make sure the area you choose has no electrical wires or pipes BEFORE you cut.
Cut a hole with a hole saw along the circle. If you are venting from a basement use a masonry saw. Be sure to cut the dryer-vent hole above ground outside.
Installing the dryer-vent Duct
Push flexible dryer duct through the hole.
Mount a louvered dryer-vent cover on the outside of the house. Louver dryer-vents will keep small animals and rodents out out of the house. A plain old hole with the duct sticking through gives rodents and small animals an invitation to hang out in a warm cozy spot.
Attach a 45° piece of duct to the back of the dryer. You don't want to use flexible ductwork attached to the dryer because when you push the dryer up against the wall the flexible hose can get crimped or crushed and not allow proper ventilation causing teh carbon monoxide to buildup and leak into the house. A crush duct will also hold lint in one spot and can cause a fire.
Attach the flexible hose to the 45° piece of ductwork at the back of the dryer.
Secure the dryer-vent hose in place tightly with clamps. Tighten teh clamps with a screwdriver to hold them firmly and securely in place.
Always choose the shortest distance to the outside when venting a clothes dryer.
Do not make many turns, twists or curves, the shorter and straighter a dryer-vent hose is, the safer it is.
Curves, twists and turns give lint a place to accumulate and can cause a fire.
Depending on how much you use your dryer, change the vent hose every year.
They are not very expensive and are readily available at hardware stores and home improvement stores.
For less than $10, you can keep you and your family safe.