How To: Dryer Vent Installation
Posted: May 14, 2012 | Posted By: Planet Handyman (Larry Hall)
If you’re a bit of a handyman – or woman – you likely know that dryer vent installation is something that is relatively non-complicated. In most cases, it’s a matter of measuring, drilling a hole to the outside and installing the right dryer vent for your needs.
Now, if you’re not handy at all, you know that this can be really, really tough. If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to deal with this issue, as you will automatically hook up your washer and dryer in pre-designated spaces. However, if you do happen to be moving the location of your washer and dryer, you will likely want to know more about dryer vent installation.
For starters, are you going to do this yourself or will you be hiring someone else to do the job? Consider what you know how to do and what you don’t know how to do. If you’re not familiar with a drill, or just aren’t sure if you can do it, then its likely best to call in a professional to do the job. A good handyman will likely be able to get the job done for you in just a couple of hours and it won’t take that long.
However, if you know what you’re doing, or at the very least, have someone who does that can help you, then this job might not be out of your league. In that case, it’s time to get started, so… Here we go.
First, where is your laundry room? If it’s upstairs, you’ll have to make sure that you vent to the outside through an external wall. At the very least, this will require a ladder. The same is true if you have your dryer in the basement. You’ll be running your vent up.
Then you’ll need to choose the type of venting to use. Many people choose the plastic accordion style venting, but you should consider that metal is more fire retardant. However, lint also seems to build up in this type of venting more easily. At the least, you should keep in mind that you need to clean your dryer vents regularly.
Your next step will involve deciding on what route you want your dryer vent to take. Short, sweet and straight to the point is the best choice. If you’re taking it out from the basement or ground level, your vent should be 12 inches from the ground. Once you’ve decided the location of the vent, get out your tape measure and measure the shortest route from the center of the vent hole in the dryer to your intended hole in the wall. Make sure to plan for the curves that you do have (ideally, you’ll only have two, from the dryer to the wall and from the wall to the exit). Once you know how much you need, you should go buy your venting. Don’t forget the corners if you’re using a stiff metal, and you’ll want to make sure that you pick up your vent cap as well.
Then it’s a matter of drilling a pilot hole to determine the location you’re planning, and then drilling the vent hole. The way you do this will depend on what type of material you’re drilling through, so be sure to do some research or ask a professional if you don’t know how.
In the end, if you don’t have help, or you aren’t sure how to do it, you really should call a professional handy man so you have a safe, properly installed dryer vent. However, if you are the handy man, you’ll find that installing a dryer vent only takes a few hours and is a relatively easy process.
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