How to Vent a Clothes Dryer | Ask This Old House

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Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey travels to Cleveland to reroute a lengthy dryer vent.
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Time: 1-2 hours

Cost: $30

Skill Level: Beginner

Tools List for Venting a Clothes Dryer:
Measuring tape
Drill Driver
Hole saw slightly larger than size of vent pipes
Metal cutting scissors or shears

Shopping List:
Rigid dryer pipes
Dryer vent elbows
Dryer vent cover
Critter cover
Foil duct tape
Vent clamp

1. Measure and mark the correct location for the rigid pipe to vent to the outside.
2. Drill a pilot hole through the marked location to determine where to drill from outside.
3. When drilling through vinyl siding, set the drill into reverse and lightly score the hole based on the center of the pilot hole using the hole saw.
4. Set the drill into the correct direction and drill the hole. Don’t cut all the way through to the other side.
5. Go back inside and drill the rest of the hole from the inside. This will ensure the cut appears clean on both sides of the hole.
6. Measure and cut the rigid vent pipes to size. Seal the seams of the vent pipes with the duct tape.
7. Insert the pipe into the dryer vent cover. Seal the seam with more duct tape.
8. From the outside, insert the pipe into the hole. Secure the vent cover to the exterior wall with screws. You can add an additional critter cover over the dryer vent cover to prevent pests from coming up.
9. Insert the other end of the pipe into a dryer vent elbow and seal it with duct tape.
10. Push the dryer back into position. Connect the dryer vent to the elbow and secure it using a clamp and a screwdriver.
11. Plug the dryer back in.

Richard recommends keeping the dryer vents as short as possible to prevent lint from accumulating and clogging the vent. All of the pieces Richard used to install the vent, including the duct tape, the rigid pipe, elbows, and the duct cover are all available at home centers.

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Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Vent a Clothes Dryer | Ask This Old House

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