How to Install a Dryer Vent in 6 Steps
If you’ve just moved into a new home or bought a new vented dryer, the need to connect dryer venting or install an original venting system is inevitable. You may also have to change your dryer’s plug to match your new home’s electrical outlet. Venting your dryer can be as simple as connecting compatible venting to existing ductwork in your laundry room or entail a more complicated process of laying new ductwork that runs through an exterior wall of your home. A space already equipped with venting hookups may require a handful of tools and supplies, plus a little bit of know-how, to get the job done right.
Laying all new ductwork for your dryer is a more extensive process, so it might be helpful to contact a professional for guidance. Follow the six simple steps below to learn more about connecting a dryer vent.
INSTALLING A DRYER VENT: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
Installing a dryer vent is a simple process once you know the right steps. All you need to do is clean the existing vent system, measure the distance between the dryer outlet and exhaust outlet, choose your vent type, trim it to size, attach it and push your dryer back into place.
Use the following guide and the instructions provided in your appliance installation guide to install your dryer vent and get your laundry day back on track. Professional installation is also a great option if you haven’t taken on a project like this before. Choose installation at checkout when buying select new Maytag® appliances, depending on your location.
What You’ll Need to Get Started
- Heavy metal exhaust vent (rigid or flexible, usually 4 inch diameter)
- Vent elbows (if applicable)
- Foil tape or vent clamps
- Tin snips
- Tape measure
- Protective work gloves
CLEAN THE EXISTING DRYER VENT SYSTEM
Small amounts of trapped lint in dryer venting are inevitable, so it’s best to get a fresh start by removing build-up to help enhance your dryer’s performance.
Follow these steps to clean your dryer vent system:
Disconnect any existing ducting from the dryer exhaust outlet and the wall.
Remove as much lint by hand as possible, cleaning out the connective ducting as well as the opening to the dryer exhaust outlet and vent hood duct on the wall.
Use the hose of your vacuum to suck up any remaining lint.
Remove the vent cover from the exhaust hood on the outside of your home and clean out the dryer venting using a vacuum hose.
MEASURE FROM THE DRYER OUTLET TO THE EXTERIOR EXHAUST OUTLET
Using a measuring tape, measure the distance from the dryer’s exhaust to the location of the vent outlet grill on the exterior wall. Be sure to account for any twists and turns by measuring the exact path the venting will take, rather than cutting up or over diagonally with the measuring tape.
Venting is most efficient when the vent path is short, straight and direct. Check your dryer product specifications or literature to confirm the required vent length and number of elbows. For example, Maytag® dryers typically require ducts to be no more than 64 straight feet, with up to 2 elbows. If you notice that the existing vent path seems unnecessarily complicated or indirect, consider contacting a professional to help improve the path for optimized drying performance.
CHOOSE YOUR DRYER VENT TYPE
Safely venting a dryer means choosing between rigid and flexible metal venting. We do not recommend other options like plastic or metal foil vents. Both flexible and rigid metal venting come in 4" diameter tubing and can effectively vent dryer exhaust, but each type has its own unique advantages and drawbacks that are worth considering. Be sure to follow the recommendations and requirements in the installation instructions or owner’s manual that came with your dryer for the best option.
Flexible metal ducting is bendable and versatile, which can be ideal when you’re trying to figure out how to hook up a dryer in a tight space. It’s generally cheaper than rigid metal venting, but more prone to kinking and sagging so you’ll have to put more effort into making sure it’s completely supported.
Rigid ducting is made of a solid material wrapped in insulation and comes in a variety of set shapes and sizes. It tends to stay cleaner, trap less lint and maintain its shape better than flexible ducting, so it’s ideal for more complicated venting paths that require directional changes. Rigid ducting often comes with a slightly higher price tag and can be trickier to work with in tight spaces.
If you’re laying original ductwork, contact a professional for more information about choosing a location for the vent hood opening and the best ducting to help get you there.
TRIM THE DRYER VENT TO SIZE
Your vent hose should be short, supported and have very little slack once it’s fully installed behind the dryer. If your ducting is long or snaking back and forth, use the measurements you took in step 2 to determine how much to trim for a snug fit.
Mark the distance between the dryer exhaust outlet and the wall on your dryer’s vent duct using tape or a marker. Be sure to add half an inch or so to ensure some overlap and prevent a cut that’s too short. Then, wearing protective work gloves, use the tin snips to cut your way around the mark.
ATTACH THE DRYER VENT
Determine if you’ll use vent clamps or foil tape to secure the dryer venting to the dryer exhaust outlet and wall vent. Foil tape is the only kind of tape meant to withstand the heat dryer venting delivers during a cycle, so don’t settle for alternatives like duct tape. Avoid using screws or anything that would protrude into the venting to secure the hose, as lint quickly snags on screws and can build up over time.
To attach the venting with a clamp, place the vent clamp loosely on the edge of the vent hose and slide the edge of the vent hose over the wall outlet. Tighten the vent clamp with a screwdriver and give it a gentle tug to ensure it’s solidly in place.
Connect a second vent clamp to the opposite end of the vent hose and connect the vent to your dryer exhaust, then tighten the clamp using a screwdriver. If you’ve opted to use foil tape to secure the vent hose, follow the same process outlined above using foil tape in place of the vent clamps.
REPOSITION THE DRYER
Carefully slide your dryer back into the desired location, guiding it to avoid causing kinks in the venting. Adjust the dryer until the venting is as straight and sturdy as possible.
DOES A DRYER HAVE TO BE VENTED OUTSIDE?
It is generally recommended to vent your dryer outside. Venting your dryer inside can create moisture inside your home and may lead to mold growth. This can reduce the air quality of your house and may aggravate breathing problems like asthma.
HOW LONG CAN A DRYER VENT BE?
Dryer vent hoses should be no more than 7¾ ft. The total length should include any flexible metal vent that is used in the overall vent system design. The duct should not exceed this length to avoid sagging and kinking, which can reduce airflow and lead to poor drying performance.
EXPLORE MAYTAG® DRYERS
Properly installing your dryer’s venting allows the dryer to perform more efficiently, dry clothes fully and properly and helps keep your family and home safe. For more questions about the steps above, or to learn more about installing original ductwork from start to finish, contact a professional. Then, consider these Maytag® dryers with dependable drying features to get even more from your laundry experience.
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