There are many types of dryer vents available today. Most cost under $10 and are made out of aluminum or plastic. There are inherent problems with these vents though. Aluminum vents and plastic vents deteriorate pretty quickly in weather and sun. Many people call us and ask what dryer exhaust vents will last longer than a year or two. Unfortunately there are no cheap dryer vents that will last in the beating sun or wet climates. However there are alternatives.
One alternative is copper. Copper is a great material for vent products. Copper does not rust, it patinas, or oxidizes over time. Copper turns from its shiny natural state to a dull reddish brown for about two years. Then as rain and sun hit the metal it starts to patina turning a darker color, then getting stripes of green. 16 ounce copper vents can last up to 30 years, that is 30 times longer than their cheaper counterparts. There is also very little maintenance you need to do on a copper vent. However dryer vents need to be cleaned about every six months. Here is a great article on how to clean your dryer vent.
Another alternative dryer vent other than copper is steel. There are a variety of steel dryer vents that range in price from $15 and up. Of the steel variants stainless steel is the most resilient. Galvanized and bonderized steel vents are best for projects where the vent has to be painted to match siding color. However, stainless steel is the most resilient to rust and weather. Stainless steel vents can come in different grades of stainless steel. Industry standard for construction is 304 grade stainless steel. We have found that this low grade of stainless steel is still prone to rusting. Vents made out of 316, marine grade stainless steel, are much better at resisting rust and weather.
There are many styles of dryer vents, and a few different ways a dryer can be venting to the outside. The three main ways a dryer can be vented to the outside are through a wall, a roof, or a soffit. Venting a dryer through a wall or a roof is usually compliant with code. However in some cities venting a dryer through a soffit is against code. In all instances there are usually a few different styles you can use to get your dryer exhaust to the outside.