How to Install a Dryer Vent

Learning how to install a dryer vent can save you lots of money. Even if you decide to have the job done professionally, knowing how to install a dryer vent can help you make sure the job was done right.

How To Install A Dryer Vent Like A Pro
Installing a dryer vent really only involves one significant challenge: cutting the vent hole through the side of the house. After that, the rest is just cutting and connecting the vent pipe-a straightforward operation. Here are the steps for installing a dryer vent:

  • Locate the vent hole. The location of the dryer will determine the location of the vent hole. If your dryer is in a laundry room, you may not have many venting options, but if your dryer is in an unfinished basement you can be more flexible. Inspect the outside of your home for a spot that is close to the inside location of the dryer, is at least 12" off the ground and is free from any obstructions.
  • Test the vent hole location. Once you've found a likely spot, transfer the location to the inside wall using landmarks like corners, doors or windows. Inspect the inside wall for outlets or other obstructions. To find out if the wall is clear, drill a small pilot hole through the inside wall. Take a piece of coat hanger wire and bend it at a 90-degree angle about three inches along the wire. Stick the short piece of wire through the hole and place the long end perpendicular to the wall. Twirl the wire and if the short piece spins without sticking, the chances are good that you can drill a vent hole at this location without any problem.
  • Cut the vent hole through wood. If the vent hole needs to be cut through wood or siding, use a 4-1/4" hole saw to cut the hole from the outside. Keep the saw perpendicular to the wall and take frequent breaks to allow the blade to cool. Once the hole has been cut through the exterior, use a keyhole saw to cut a matching hole in the interior wall.
  • Cut the vent hole through masonry. If the vent hole needs to be cut through cement block or brick, us a ¼" masonry drill bit to drill a series of holes around the perimeter of the marked vent hole. Use a cold chisel and hammer to cut through the masonry between the drilled holes. Smooth the edges of the hole with the chisel. Once the hole has been cut through the exterior, use a keyhole saw to cut a matching hole in the interior wall.
  • Install the vent and housing. The dryer vent comes with a housing and short section of sheet metal pipe. Feed the pipe through the vent holes and fix it to the exterior wall using galvanized hardware appropriate for the wall material. Caulk around the edges of the housing.
  • Install the elbows. Install a 90-degree elbow pipe onto the vent pipe stub and another onto the exhaust port of the dryer. The elbow pipes can be rotated to create a straight line between the dryer and the exhaust vent. You may need to use other elbow joints to work around bends in the wall or other obstructions.
  • Run the straight sections of pipe. Measure the distance between elbow segments and cut lengths of straight pipe to fit. Connect the segments of pipe together and connect them to each elbow joint.
  • Seal and secure the pipe. Seal the joints in the pipe with metal tape. The metal tape will not be enough to hold the pipe segments together over time, so secure the pipe to the wall using plastic or metal pipe straps.
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