Installing a dryer vent is a project you can undertake all on your own with just a little help. To get you on your way here are some helpful installation tips.
Here’s tip #1 – do it right! There’s nothing more distressing then coming across a dryer that’s been vented wrong. Not only does it create quite a mess it can also create a major fire hazard.
Basement venting doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact it can be a piece of cake. All you need is two 90 degree bends and the odd time a third bend, and usually about 15 feet of piping. The flexible plastic pipe is tends to be the favorite pick but the true metal piping is just as easy to install and it is much more durable. Great so let’s get busy.
You will need a vent cap which will be connected to the exterior wall. There are a variety of different types. The cheap ones have an opening that’s around 2 ½ inches at the widest point. Save your money! Instead spend the little extra and get a good vent that has a 4 inch opening as well as louvers. You’ll get a lot less air flow resistance and the louvers also deter rodents.
You can’t use this style vent cap on the roof. You need a cap that sheds the rain water and has flashing built in. They aren’t expensive at all. You can vent through the roof but experience says that there are usually better alternatives than the roof. Think about it – what an awful place to have to go to clean trapped lint. You can see why looking for other options is a good idea.
No matter which type of pipe you use you’ll need one of the large clamps to secure the pipe to the fitting. Most of these simply require that you have a slotted screw driver. Place the clamp on the hose then tighten by turning the screw.
Tape the seam and the area around the screw once it is tightened. This will prevent lint from building up over the years. Remember duct tape is your friend.
If you do decide that venting your dryer through the roof is the right choice for you, then you will have to insulate the metal piper that is located where the cold areas are. If you don’t’ you are going to have a major condensation problem and leaking as well. If you live where it’s warm all year round this isn’t an issue for you.
Wrap with two to three inches of fiberglass insulation from the ceiling line down. Use your trusty duct tape to attach the insulation.
If you need to hang your dryer pipe use the plastic J hooks which are designed for 4 inch plumbing pipe. They are pre-punched and heavy duty. You can easily attach them where ever you need to. Simple and affordable.
Once you’ve completed your project check all connections and don’t be afraid to use that duct tape to seal up seams or anywhere where the lint can build over time.
That’s it – your done. It’s really not that difficult after all. Now you can sit back and admire your handy work.