Understanding Your Dryer Vent System

Understanding Your Home’s Dryer Vent System: What Does It Actually Do?

Your laundry dryer’s effectiveness depends on the dryer vent or duct. The dryer would not effectively dry your clothes without it, and there is a considerable fire risk.

Installing a dryer vent correctly, cleaning it regularly, and resolving minor issues are all easy, low-cost, and necessary ways to ensure that your dryer performs efficiently.

Why a Dryer Vent System is Necessary and How it Works?

A dryer or washer tumbles wet clothing through hot air in a revolving barrel. This hot air evaporates the water, picks it up, and drives it out of the dryer with the help of a blower.

The air pressure also blows out the lint from the clothes inside the dryer, along with this moisture. The force of the air is strong enough to pick them up and blow them out through the exhaust.

The humid air from the dryer and all the lint is channeled outside the house via the vent. A 10cm diameter metal vent on the rear of every dryer exhausts the moisture through an opening on the walls of your home.

A flexible, semi-rigid or rigid vent/duct transports air from the dryer to the outside. This tube has one end connecting to the dryer and the other connecting to a hole made on the house’s side. The exhaust could also release this air indoors, but this is highly discouraged due to countless reasons.

Different Types of Dryer Vents

The dryer vent often referred to as a duct, is the central component of the dryer air circulation system, which enables a dryer’s core functionality. The following are the most common types of dryer vents:

Aluminum Foil Vent:

The most popular form of dryer duct is the tinfoil accordion duct, which is relatively cheap and easy to find. These ducts have a tubular structure thanks to their wired coil.

These vents are not combustible since they are made out of metal. This material cannot be utilized within infill walls since it is regarded as a transitioning vent.

Aluminum Foil Vent

Semi-Rigid Vent :

This form of ducting is an adjustable pipe that looks quite similar to aluminum vents. The metal is semi-rigid, which makes it less vulnerable to crushing.

Lint and other detritus flow more readily through the duct due to its smooth interior. It’s also a vent that should be utilized outside wall assemblages.

Semi-Rigid Vent

Thin Vent or Periscope:

A thin or periscope dryer vent is constructed entirely of solid metal, allowing you to position the dryer closer to the wall. It must remain outside the foundation walls as a transitional vent.

Thin Vent or Periscope

Rigid Metal Vent:

The rigid metal vent or duct is the only dryer vent placed inside a wall and has a smoother interior to drive air and lint transmission. This duct also has the least lint deposits due to the smoother interior.

Rigid Metal Vent

PVC Dryer Vent:

PVC ducts are made entirely of synthetic plastic. These were once commonly used but are no longer advised due to the risk of fires.

Plastic can’t withstand high temperatures and can often have disastrous consequences, so most building standards prohibit the use of PVC dryer vents.

PVC Dryer Vent

Installation of Dryer Vent System

If you are not familiar with the dryer vent installation, it’s better to get professionals or experts’ help. However, it’s not that complicated if you have correct tools or kits like drill machines, saws, rotating jigsaws, and other tools.

The critical part is making a hole through the wall of the house. Other than that, the rest of the steps are simple.

Here are a few easy steps to install/reinstall your Dryer Vent.

  • Restore the vent tube into a cylindrical shape while wearing protection if it was delivered flattened or in another quasi-shape.
  • Make a hole outside the wall with 11-12cm diameter. Connect the vent tube to a PVC vent cover.
  • Put a vent cover and tube arrangement through the hole externally, then clamp it in position. For most cases, a thin, flexible vent or pipe diameter of 10cm is attached to the dryer’s back vent by springy or polymer clamps.
  • Connect one end of the metal vent to the outdoor vent cover and tube assemblage.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Dryer Vent System

According to U.S Fire Administration, dryer vents clogged with lint and other detritus cause fire breakouts over 2900 houses, resulting in approximately five deaths each year. Cleaning dryer vents regularly will ensure the safety of your family, as well as your home.

Pull the vent that travels from the dryer to your home after disconnecting it from the electrical outlet. Clean the vent or duct using a vacuum. Clean the vent that goes out of the dryer and the vent cover assembly linked to the home with the cleaner. Clean the lint trap inside the dryer. All components should be replaced if they are beyond repair. Buy new vents if you cannot reach all the places to clean.

Maintaining a clean and properly installed dryer vent duct can only benefit your dryer’s overall performance. The following are some of the most common issues that arise:

  • The Vent Dislocated From the Dryer:

The duct or vent for dryers frequently falls off the dryer or wall connectors. As soon as you step into the laundry room, you’ll notice the cause of this issue. First, you have to loosen the tube and clean it; the bulk of lint mixed with air density can occasionally cause the vent to detach. Replace the elastic or silicon clamps to reconnect. We have covered this in detail in one of our previous blogs.

  • Deflated Dryer Vent

Aluminium foil vents have extremely thin walls that can be easily ruptured. Buy tapes made of insulation material to cover the hole for minimal repairs. This repair should not be done with any other adhesive. Get a replacement vent if it has several ruptures or enormous damage. Vents are pretty affordable, costing between 8 – 25 USD.

  • Clogged Dryer Vent

It is dangerous to have lint and other particles in the dryer vent. There are possibilities that you might not have a lint trap in your dryer. If you have one installed, it could also be damaged or ruptured after prolonged use. If these are the cases, get yourself the proper lint trap. Do not attempt to fix it. Without a lint trap, your dryer vent will be clogged more often.

  • Pests and Vermin in the Dryer Vent

Mouse, rodents, molds, and other pests can break into your home through a dryer vent from outside. Check the vent cap that covers the hinged vent outlet on the outside of your house. The cover or cap must be securely fastened. Reconnect the cover or replace it with a new one.


Not having enough knowledge about your dryer can be troublesome. That being said, it’s wise to acquire knowledge about its maintenance and functionalities. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a basic concept of how your dryer vent works and how to maintain it.

I am a cleaning enthusiast and a writer for renowned cleaners guide sites. I am the Chief Executive Officer for All-City Janitorial and All-City Duct Cleaning. This is where I write about my exploits in detail to share my experience with everyone.

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