The proper installation of a dryer vent is not as simple as it might seem. Getting even one part of the dryer vent installation system wrong could lead to major ventilation problems for your clothes dryer over time. The purpose of a dryer vent is to move damp air from the dryer to outside of your home or business. Dryer vent installation issues lead to dryers taking ages to dry each load and increase the likelihood of a fire within your dryer.
Why You Need Correct Dryer Vent Installation
When you take washing and put it in the dryer all that water in the clothes needs to be evaporated off through your dryer vent. Laundry tumbles in the dryer, an electrical element or gas burner heats up passing hot air over the clothes and out via the dryer vent to the outside. To maintain proper drying efficiency, the dryer vent should be installed correctly and should be properly cleaned regularly. Poor dryer vent installation, can lead to longer drying times, early breakdown of the dryer, increased energy costs (from running the dryer several times to dry each load), and in the worst case a dryer fire.
Dryer Vent Installation Services
After many years in the industry, we offer some services that can ensure your dryer vent is the best it can be. We provide dryer vent cleaning, installation as well as repair.
- Re-route current dryer vent – Many times a better dryer vent route can be implemented. This is especially true if outdated or non-compliant materials are currently being used. Also, shortening the length of a dryer hose can increase dryer efficiency. Pay special attention that dryer hoses going through drywall, ceilings, and attics are free of screws and made of solid galvanized metal.
- Inspect dryer hose AKA transition hose – 90% of dryers have the wrong transition hose connected! Take a look on the back of your dryer, the warning label will state do not use thin foil or vinyl hose to connect your dryer to the wall. We carry the recommended transition hose to ensure total safety is achieved.
- New dryer vent installation – Our technicians will work out the best route to install your dryer vent, taking building code into consideration and using only the best quality dryer duct to ensure maximum efficiency is achieved.
Avoid White Vinyl Dryer Hose
The dryer vent hose often referred to as the “transition hose,” connects the dryer unit to the wall and should be made from solid metal or semi-rigid 4” hose. Vinyl or thin foil transition hose should be avoided, because they no longer meet the dryer manufactures recommendations. Take a look at warning labels attached to the back of clothes dryer units and you will discover many dryers specifically advise against the use of vinyl and foil dryer hoses. What many homeowners do not understand is that if there was a damaging dryer fire, insurance companies could exclude coverage as it was warned against.
Thin foil and white vinyl hoses were once the standard but today’s dryer safety codes have taken a different opinion. Through research and discovery, building safety groups reissued dryer safety standards because these types of material do not contain dryer fires but rather enable them. In the event of a dryer fire, this occurs when lint build’s up inside the dryer through bad installation or lack of dryer vent cleaning. The purpose of the transition hose is to contain a dryer fire allowing the lint to burn quickly inside the hose and dryer vent but not passing through to the walls. The thin foil hose (actually contains plastic!) or vinyl does not contain any fire and will ignite thus allowing the fire to spread into the walls or ceiling.
Solid metal piping decreases the risk of a dryer fire. Building codes also says screws should never be used in duct work and only aluminum tape is recommended to connect transition hose and dryer duct work together. Duct tape should never be used on dryer vent duct work simply because over time from the heat it loses its adhesive property and can come apart inside walls and ceilings.
Dryer Vent Code
All dryers must be vented outside, period. It is especially important to understand how harmful gas dryers can be to your home or office environment if gas by-products are not properly ventilated away. Deadly carbon monoxide residue is toxic to humans and animals in unventilated spaces. A few specifications to consider:
- Dryer vents should be installed in the straightest route from the dryer unit to the exterior vent as possible.
- Length of concealed solid metal ducting should not exceed 35 ft (25ft for IRC code). Deduct 5 ft from the allowed length for every 90 degree elbow and 2 ½ feet for every 45 degree elbow. These codes also say the dryer manufacturer’s recommendations can supersede the building code so you can see it is a grey area. See these building codes 2009 IMC Section 504.6.4 and 2009 IRC Section M1502.4
- Duct work joints should be installed with the male end of the duct pointing in the direction of the airflow – i.e. towards the outside wall.
- All concealed duct work must be rigid metal (aluminum or galvanized) duct work. Meaning anything inside the walls or ceilings must be solid.
- Dryer vent must be independent of any other vents, never share the dryer vent with a bathroom vent or even the chimney it’s a disaster waiting to happen!
- Transition hose connecting the dryer to the wall should not be more than 8 feet, this does not mean you should use 8 feet when the dryer only needs 12 inches to connect to the wall.
- Support dryer vent duct work with straps/braces to ensure the dryer exhaust system is fixed firmly in position and not hanging unsupported. This ensures no unnecessary strain is being placed on the dryer vent duct work.
Dryer Vents in New Construction
Modern construction maximizes homeowner efficiency but rarely is dryer vent safety taken into consideration when placing laundry rooms in new homes, often the dryer vent installation is left until the end and they have to make it work … somehow. Dryer vents often run long distances and between floors. A common trend among new home construction plans is to locate the laundry area in the middle of the home making it more difficult to shorten the distance between dryer unit and the external vent cap. Builders often compensate the further distance by using wider transition hoses and duct work which unfortunately creates more air velocity increasing the risk of fire.
An average clothes dryer unit can support 25 feet of dryer ventilation without difficulty but when elbows are added into the equation, supported length decreases every 90 degree elbow is classed as 5 feet, 45 degree elbow is 2 ½ feet. Excessive dryer vent elbows can greatly reduce the efficiency of the clothes dryer, increase energy costs and cause lint to build up. The reduced air flow experienced when dryer vents twist and turn around a building can increase moisture build-up which then allows lint to accumulate increasing the chance of a dryer fire and extended clothes drying times. Extended lint build up can theoretically cause the clothes dryer to “suffocate” and will lead to the thermal cutoff to activate or the unit to overheat. When a unit overheats, lint could ignite causing a major household threat.
Prevent Future Problems with Proper Dryer Vent Installation
Annual maintenance is a must for all dryer vents within your home or business. Proper dryer vent installation coupled with annual dryer vent cleaning can save homeowners hundreds of dollars in energy expenses each year as well as decrease the following risks or result in the following benefits:
- Decreased clothes drying times
- Fewer dryer repair costs due to a stressed dryer unit
- Mildew, mold, and gaseous toxins are not released into your home or office
- Less risk of a damaging dryer fire that could result in home damage or loss of personal property.
Clearly there are a lot of considerations needed when properly installing a dryer ventilation route, are you 100% certain yours meets building standards? If there is any question, we are happy to complete a full-service dryer vent inspection. With all of the obvious benefits, dryer vent service will pay for itself immediate through efficiency and reduced hazard potential.
Professional Dryer Vent Installation Service
If you live in Ontario then call us today for professional dryer vent installation in the Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Hamilton or Mississauga area. We use only the premium materials many that are not available in your local hardware stores. We are on Home Stars (although we do not ask for reviews very well), we also offer dryer vent cleaning and dryer cleaning to ensure complete peace of mind and maximum efficiency for your dryer. Call us today on 905 966 0838