Dryer Venting Guidelines and Good Practices

1. Flexible transition hose between the dryer and the external vent should be either the foil type or the aluminum flexible duct (most preferred). Do not use the plastic or vinyl types.

2. All dryer ducts must be a minimum of 4" in diameter. Clean, unobstructed, frictionless ducts, like DryerFlex, encourage air flow efficiency, quicken drying times and reduce utility bills. This also makes the clothing last longer. DryerFlex is easy to use, flexible and completely fire resistant. Installing this material is one of the safest things you can do to protect your home.

3. A tip to make it easier to attach Aluminum Flex: Flatten aluminum flex with a piece of PVC pipe like a dough roller, click here to see image, then check out this video for some great tips.

4. If you have a Dryerbox installed, or are planning to install one, the in-wall duct material must be a rigid galvanized metal duct. DryerFlex is ideal and is the code compliant choice.

5. Important tips for proper Dryerbox® installation — and avoiding pitfalls can be found here.

6. Information on selecting the right Dryerbox model for your installation can be found here.

7. Duct joints should be installed so that the male end of the duct points in the same direction as the airflow.

8. Joints should be secured with metal tape. Do not use duct tape or any other types of tape. Aluminum Foil Tape is an excellent choice.

9. Dryer venting shall be independent of any other systems (chimneys or exhaust vents).

10. Roof dryer vent terminations must have a proper hood or roof cap equipped with a backdraft damper, such as the DryerJack Model DJK477. Small orifice metal screening should not be part of the hood or roof cap as this will catch lint and block the opening in a very short time.

11. If you vent to the exterior through a wall, make sure your wall vent choice exceeds code requirements for safely venting a dryer to the outside. Ensure the vent is a type that does not impede airflow efficiency by allowing lint to build up. This can cause dryer performance issues and lead to a fire. A stylish, rugged exterior vent of choice for many homeowners is the DryerWallVent. It delivers premium performance and is a safe, code compliant product.

12. The importance of proper dryer venting can scarcely be overstated. Click Here for the latest fire articles tracked on the Internet.


Good Practices

Actually inspect the termination port of the dryer and the wall or roof cap.  Look for a birds nest or clogged openings. Most importantly, feel for proper exit velocity of the air leaving the vent and look at or feel the interior walls of the duct.

If you suspect clogged or partially clogged exhaust ducting, it is likely you need to have them cleaned.  Dryer vent cleaning improves the safety and efficiency and depending on the venting circumstances, should be cleaned or inspected every 6-12 months.

Make sure your flex transition hose is not kinked or crushed. The space behind your dryer should be sufficient as to provide adequate room for the flex transition hose to make its bends with minimal deflection and restrictions. 

Dryer vent cleaning is a very real commercial trade and the contracted work is sometimes described as Routine and Problem Cleaning.

Routine cleaning is done from the outside by sending an air-propelled "jet-snake" through the vent. It blows air 360 degrees backwards, blasting the lint loose and blowing it outside. The lint is caught in a special bag.

Problem Cleaning is performed when an individual dryer is not drying clothes fast enough. They disconnect and pull the dryer out, install a large blower on the vent, and blow, brush, vacuum and/or dismantle - whatever it takes to get the vent clean. Look in your Yellow Pages under Duct Cleaning or search the Internet.

The use of the white vinyl flex pipe is all but completely prohibited, both by building departments and appliance manufacturers. Some municipalities allow or do not discourage the foil covered vinyl flex but almost all appliance manufacturers insist on the use of the aluminum flexible pipe.  A very useful comparison page can be viewed here.

Keep exhaust duct as straight and short as possible. Exhaust systems longer than the manufacturer's recommendations can extend drying times, affect appliance operation and may encourage lint build-up on pipe lining.

More Dryer Vent Cleaning information can be found here. This is a great site that addresses all aspects of vent maintenance, cleaning and solutions.

When running the clothes dryer, be careful not to overdry. Running your dryer too long not only wastes energy but can also damage your clothes. We recommend using an automatic setting, such as "less dry" rather than a timed setting. 

Clean lint filters regularly. Cleaning the lint filters on your washer and dryer will save energy, improve performance, and minimize fire hazards.