How To Fit A Clothes Dryer Air Vent & Duct

Looking at fitting a clothes dryer air vent & duct? Here are some handy tips showing you how to correctly vent a clothes dryer and fit a vent:

First of all, you’ll need to buy the following:

  • An air vent to fit to the outside of the house (You need one that has flapps that open when air pushes against them and fall closed when the air stops)
  • A duct to connect to the air vent (aluminium tube, don’t use plastic because it’s a fire hazard)
  • Some gauze to stop insects and pests from crawling into the air vent when it’s in action (they will be attracted to the warm air)
  • Some duct tape metal tape (for sealing the gaps. Note that duct tape is a fire hazard in clothes dryer vents, so use metal tape)
  • Silicon (optional)

Tools you will need are a circular drill bit and potentially a screw driver and some screws for the air vent if it doesn’t fit tightly.

Before fitting a clothes dryer air vent and duct, you need to plan where your clothes dryer, air vent and duct will go 🙂 Ideally, you want to place your clothes dryer somewhere that is as close to the air vent as possible so moisture can easily leave the system and not get trapped and build up in the duct. Also, the duct should be straight and horizontal so as not to obstruct the air flow or cause moisture to build up on the walls of the duct. At a push, you could angle the ducting down, but venting air upwards is risky because it can cause water to backup into the clothes dryer.

Next you will want to turn off your electrics and drill a hole in the wall where your ducting will go. Match the size of the hole to the size of the duct / vent. Feed the duct through the hole from the outside and attach the duct to the air vent using metal tape when it’s nearly all fed through the wall. Push the air vent against the wall and remove the air flaps. Fit some gauze behind where the air flaps were, then replace the flaps making sure the flaps drop back down easily and fully. Screw the vent into the wall if it doesn’t sit neatly (the fewer holes in the wall, the better). You may wish to silicon around the area / screw holes if the air vent is not in a sheltered place. Now go into the house and pull the duct out to the clothes dryer, making sure the duct walls are smooth (if they aren’t, water and lint can collect – lint if a big fire hazard!). You may need to cut the duct to size before you fit the duct to the clothes dryer.

How To Avoid Fires When Fitting A clothes Dryer Air Vent & Duct

Clothes dryers can be very dangerous and catch fire. Be aware of the following tips when fitting a clothes dryer air vent and duct:

  • Don’t use plastic ducts, only aluminim. Plastic melts and causes fires
  • Don’t vent upwards – only horizontally or downwards. Venting upwards causes lint and water to get stuck in the duct
  • Don’t put bends in ducts – this also causes water to get caught in the duct
  • Make sure insects and pests can’t get into the vent. They are attracted to the warmth and clog the duct causing a fire hazard

Tips for safe clothes dryer use:

  • Check the ducts regularly to make sure they aren’t collecting lint or are clogged
  • Don’t leave the house while the clothes dryer is running
  • Remove lint from the filter before use and follow the clothes dryers instruction manual for safety
  • Know the warning signs of a clothes dryer fire hazard:
    • Lint left on clothing after drying
    • Overly hot clothes after drying
    • Dryer shutting off during drying cycle
    • No lint on the filter after drying
    • The top of the dryer is hot while running
    • Increased drying time
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