Venting your dryer properly is a crucial step in ensuring that your machine works effectively and prevents the risk of fire. If you have a small and tight place, choosing a dryer vent that will fit in well and provide a pathway for hot air from the dryer is essential.
Venting guidelines recommend 4 inches as the minimum vent diameter. Therefore this will be sufficient for installing and ensuring optimal airflow, faster drying time, and dryer efficiency. Learn about slim dryer vent installation and safety guidelines.
If your dryer is located in a tight place, finding the best duct for the project cannot be easy. As well, the size of the duct is the first thing to keep in mind, along with UL certification and an adequate vent path before installation.
You’ll find different types of vents on the market, namely, aluminum foil, semi-rigid metal, and rigid and plastic types.
Aluminum and semi-rigid metal are suitable for connecting ducts on external venting systems.
Therefore, they are not recommended for interior vents since their purpose is to complete the path of another vent.
Even though they may cost less than the rigid vents, plastic vents are not suitable for venting through the wall because they are prone to breakage and can easily catch fire.
I highly recommend rigid metal for installation in tight places because it can be fitted within an internal wall. Ideally, galvanized steel or aluminum vents are sturdy and can’t bend easily. Furthermore, the interior is smooth to allow seamless airflow and prevent lint from being trapped on the bends.
For this task, you can choose the Generic Aluminum Pipe which is a 4-inch aluminum duct. The reason why I recommend this pipe is due to its suitable size that can fit in small spaces.
Besides, it’s sturdy and doesn’t bend or crush. Furthermore, it’s a straight vent without bends or curves therefore there’s no risk of lint accumulation.
Besides the type of duct, you need to determine the size of the vent for the dryer. Also, determine the path for the vent from the dryer to the outside outlet.
Typically, a shorter route is recommended because you won’t need a longer vent. In addition, a shorter duct is easy to clean with locally available tools such as a lint brush and vacuum.
As mentioned earlier, you should ensure the size is 4 inches to conform to safety guidelines. For transition vents, the length should not exceed 4 feet. In addition, these must be single lengths as multiple sections are not allowed.
To get started, you must have all the materials ready. If your vent package does not have the accessories, it’s vital to confirm their compatibility when purchasing from the store.
For this task, you’ll need;
- Connectors for attaching the vent to your dryer.
- Vent box for mounting to the wall.
- Vent hood including a sturdy duct.
- Vent cover for preventing rodents, birds, or pests from gaining access.
- Louvered cover with flaps to allow hot air to be expelled quickly.
- Screw on clamps.
- Aluminum foil.
- Safety gear like goggles and gloves.
- Utility knife.
- Rubber mallet.
- Brackets or studs.
For the vent cover, I highly recommend the Deflecto Louvered Dryer Duct model, made of sturdy plastic material to provide a long-lasting solution. Subsequently, it’s weather-resistant and therefore will hold pretty well even under harsh weather conditions.
Slim Dryer Vent Installation
After gathering the materials, the next step is to determine the best spot to install the slim dryer vent. A shorter path is preferable; however, you can buy elbow connectors to ensure smooth turns if the vent is long.
Step – 1
Using a tape measure, estimate the size of the hole while keeping the size of the vent in mind. Preferably, drill a four-and-a-half-inch hole so that the vent can fit well. For this task, you can use a power drill. To cut the vent pipe, a jigsaw will do the job.
Step – 2
Next, measure the distance between the exhaust duct and the dryer. For longer vents, install bends or elbows.
If you are using a rigid vent, cut it before connecting the joint. At this point, it’s important to exercise caution by wearing gloves to protect your hands.
As well, put on safety glasses to protect your eyes from tiny particles or dust.
Step – 3
The next step is to line the seams and force them together. Then, connect the conduit. If you are using a flexible aluminum duct, use a small pipe to roll the edges on the wall. It helps flatten the end so the vent fitting will easily slip into the wall vent. Once the pipe is in place, tighten it with pliers.
For a rigid vent, use aluminum tape to secure the dryer and exhaust outlet connection. For longer runs, attach the vent to the wall or ceiling joists.
I prefer using the 3M Aluminum Foil because it’s strong and can withstand heat from the hot air escaping from the dryer.
Step – 4
The last step is to return the dryer to its place. Before connecting to the electric outlet, check whether the vets are kinked or loose. Finally, run the dryer and check whether the vent is working properly. You can confirm by checking the external vent outlet for signs of hot air escaping.
Safety Guidelines Highlights
Here is a summary of the safety guidelines.
- Ensure the vent has a minimum diameter of 4 inches.
- A rigid aluminum duct is recommended.
- A shorter router is ideal because it doesn’t have bends or turns and is easy to clean.
- Vents should be UL certified and meet the standards of safety.
As you can see, there’s not much of a difference in installing a slim vent or any other type. A slim dryer vent installation is an easy DIY project, as long as you have all the materials ready.
Likewise, you need to follow all the safety guidelines to prevent the risk of fire caused by poor installations. Lastly, before installation, contact a building contractor if you live in a multi-story house or rented accommodation.