Can & should you vent a dryer into the garage? That’s the question on the mind of most homeowners when choosing a suitable location to vent their dryer. To answer this with maximum accuracy, we need to note all factors that come into play.
First of all, you’ll need to drill a hole through your wall and install a vent duct that offers a passage for warm air from the dryer. A laundry room is the first choice for homeowners because it may have an existing vent on the wall. Even though it can be tempting to mount a dryer into your garage, it may not be appropriate, continue reading to find out why.
Why Should You Consider Venting a Dryer?
If you don’t have a dedicated laundry room, you will need to find a suitable location to vent your dryer. Dryers emit hot air consisting of tiny particles that clump together to form lint. These particles are the primary causes of fire, and you need a proper exhaust system that expels them safely.
Beyond that, hot and moist air can settle on surfaces, causing mold growth, especially if you have a poor ventilation system indoors.
Typically, mold can cause severe respiratory problems for people with weakened immune system allergies.
Besides, molds lower the value of your property when they settle on furniture, walls, floor, carpet, and ceiling.
Should You Vent a Dryer Into the Garage?
Risk of Mold Growth
As mentioned earlier, a dryer expels hot and moist air mixed with particles of lint which has a high possibility of settling on the surfaces of items around the home.
Moist air can settle on surfaces inside the garage and provide a suitable environment for molds to thrive.
Controlling moisture in the home can help prevent the growth of molds. One way to do that is to properly vent your dryer so that moist air can escape.
If the garage is the only available location to vent a dryer, it should be adequately ventilated by having extractor fans to get rid of excess moisture. Alternatively, you can use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity. However, these options can dramatically increase your utility bills.
The garage can represent a safety hazard for your family for many reasons. Firstly, other than vehicles, most people store all manner of things, including tools, wood finishes, cleaning solutions, and other chemicals.
If the garage has poor ventilation, there is a risk of the moist air mixing with these solutions and producing dangerous fumes that are harmful to your health.
Risk of Carbon-Dioxide Poisoning
If you have a gas operated dryer, venting it inside your garage can pose threats such as the uncontrolled
Release of carbon monoxide
Like electric dryers, gas-operated options use heat to dry the clothes. Propane or natural gas uses pilot heat for igniting the gas, thereby creating heating. They are more efficient than their electric counterparts; however, they require superior venting to eliminate the buildup of carbon monoxide. The risks of carbon monoxide can often prove fatal as it is often responsible for countless deaths across peaceful suburbs.
You will need thorough ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide accumulation. A carbon monoxide detector may help you know the carbon monoxide level in your home, but it is best to not vent your dryer into enclosed spaces such as garages.
Vent-less Dryer Options
If venting is not a viable solution, probably due to space issues, and the garage is the only available spot to install a dryer, you can go for ventless or condenser dryers that don’t require venting via a wall. The only problem with these options is, they are smaller than the classic dryers and dry clothes slowly.
Hence, they can be more expensive and time-consuming to operate.
Re-routing the Venting
Another option is to re-route the venting, where you can make the vent hose run a longer length through the wall and exit through the wall, attic or basement.
The only downside is that this requires a professional vent installation.
To effectively vent through the walls, only professionals can help you in completing this complex task.
You will also require longer pipes, and periodic maintenance because such a vent may require a professional cleaning service every 6 to 12 months.
Dryer venting installations require abiding by certain building regulations and codes. Depending on your city or state, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you vent a dryer in an enclosed space such as a garage.
Furthermore, if you live in a rental house, this may not be an option for you. To be on the safe side, you can involve a building contractor to know the options available and the laws that may prevent you from certain actions.
Tips For Installing A Dryer Vent in Garage
If you decide to re-route the vent, there are some things you need to keep in mind during installation.
- A dryer vent should comprise a sturdy duct of at least 0.016 inches in thickness. Such a vent should not have obstructions, kinks, tight corners, or leaks.
- In addition, it should be sleek and straight, at least not exceeding 35 ft in terms of length. If you need to pass it around certain obstacles, you can reduce the length by at least 5 feet for each 90-degree turn or 2.5 ft for each 45-degree turn.
For this, we highly recommend the Deflecto Dryer Vent Hood, which is made from sturdy aluminum metal. I like this vent because it has a plastic cover that can prevent small animals like birds or rodents from getting inside the vent.
- Straight runs with tight corners can be challenging to clean, leading to lint accumulation. When this happens, hot air can build up inside the vent and cause your dryer to overwork.
- Subsequently, your dryer will use more electricity leading to higher power bills. In this case, you can get a professional vent cleaning service to remove the deposits off the vent efficiently.
- Further, the dryer vent should run to an outdoor outlet to effectively expel the hot air from the dryer.
- Cleaning your dryer vent regularly helps in improving the efficiency of your machine. Therefore, your clothes will dry quickly, saving time, reducing energy consumption, and keeping your utility bills low.
Venting a dryer into the garage requires several considerations, such as compliance with the building codes of your locality. If indoor venting is allowed in your state or county, ensure you have proper ventilation through several windows.
Poor airflow can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, lint deposits, structural property damage, possible fire outbreaks, and pose very obvious health risks, which are the main reasons why venting your dryer into your garage is not recommended.
Windows, doors, and other openings should be open for proper airflow. Also, as a home remedy, you can have the vent terminated in a container with water to collect the lint. Ensure the container has freshwater every day before a fresh load of laundry.
Finally, venting a dryer in your garage has many drawbacks unless in exceptional circumstances.