How Do You Clean A Dryer Vent In A Two
The process of cleaning a dryer vent in a two-story house is more complex than in a one-story house. The most important factor to consider is the height differential between the two stories. If the differential is greater than 12 feet, then it is not recommended to clean the vent yourself, as the risk of injury is too high. If the differential is less than 12 feet, you can use a ladder to access the vent.
Clothes Dryer Vent Line Installation & Elbows
For optimum clothes dryer venting we use 4″ or larger galvanized metal duct sections and elbows, though aluminum is also acceptable in most locations.Flexible clothes dryer is easy to install, avoids having to mess with elbows in the duct system, and is inexpensive, but that material restricts air flow and may sag, giving you areas that collect water and risk leaking into the building.
Our dryer vent installation photos just below illustrate use of 4″ galvanized metal dryer ducts.
Above you can see that we had to use a pair of elbows to lift the dryer vent duct into the building ceiling cavity.
The dryer vent joints are secured with foil tape.
Watch out: some manufacturers recommend against using sheet metal screws to secure dryer duct sections because the screws collect lint. Also if you have ever tried reaching into a dryer exhaust duct to clean it by hand and had your arm ripped open by the SMS screw you may have another objection.
At above right our second dryer vent duct photo illustrates passage of the duct through the rim joist.
Notice that we carefully caulked this opening both inside and outside the wall .
This duct section can be inspected and if necessary cleaned by removing the outside vent cover. Photos courtesy of Eric Galow, Galow Homes.
Connect the flexduct to the fan itself using plastic ties, or second best, duct tape. Keep all connections tight and avoid air leaks.
Maximum clothes dryer duct length & number of bends or elbows:
Note: Fantech notes that
Diy On How To Clean A Dryer Vent That Goes To The Roof
Here is a great video about cleaning the dryer vent with a leaf blower:
Here are the directions to clean the vent using a leaf blower:
- First, pull the dryer away from the wall
- Then, turn off the electricity to that room
- Remove the vent tube from the dryer and the wall
- Vacuum the inside of the dryer and the inside of the tube
- Using a leaf blower, stick it in the hole in the wall
- Wrap a towel around the hole and the leaf blower to keep lint from coming back into the home
- Turn the leaf blower on and run it for about 40 seconds
- Have someone with you that can go outside and make sure the lint is coming out of the vent. If you dont have anyone, turn off the leaf blower and go outside. You should be able to see lint all over the roof and ground.
- When you are done, put the dryer vent hose back together
- Then, turn the electricity back on
- Finally, plug in the dryer and move it back against the wall.
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What Are The Advantages Of Cleaning The Dryer Vent Without Going To The Roof
If you opt for this method, you will benefit in so many ways like
- You will not have to climb up the roof, which can be unsafe since the chances of tripping are very high.
- It is easier to clean the vent without any assistance as you will reach all the corners without challenges.
- It reduces the chances of your roof getting damaged because of removing and replacing it every cleaning day.
The Importance Of Dryer Vents
Whether you have a gas or electric dryer, if your dryer can exhaust air outside of your home it should be vented. Venting the dryer eliminates the moisture from the clothes so that they dont mildew and rot in humid conditions. This is important for health and safety reasons on top of just being gross. Installing a vent also will significantly reduce drying time because moist air is not being recycled through the clothes instead of flowing out.
Laundry lint that is left to build up inside a dryer vent can result in higher energy bills due to more frequent drying cycles, reduce the efficiency of heating appliances , shorten equipment lifespan, increase fire hazards and potentially damage the internal components of the appliance or ventilation system.
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Proper Dryer Vent Positioning
Most of the time, builders vent dryers out of the sidewall, even if its a two-story. The lint blows off to the side and its no big deal. You can clean those out pretty easily.
But sometimes the builder takes the dryer vent and goes straight up with it, venting it on the top of the roof. That can be a big problem for a couple reasons.
This particular vent was completely plugged all of the lint was stuck inside the vent. Lint was all over the roof and it looked terrible. When I unplugged it, I saw the flapper wasnt even working. Who knows what was packed down inside the vent?
Why Roof Dryer Venting Is Sometimes Discouraged
While venting through a roof is becoming more widely accepted, there are some downsides associated with doing this, and these should be considered before you pursue venting in this way. In some cases venting through a roof isnt even possible, but in the cases where you can , some of the known downsides may discourage you from venting in this way.
Water damage, improper moisture drainage, and frequent roof dryer vent cleaning are three of the main factors that discourage individuals from venting through a roof, and each of these factors will be briefly discussed below.
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Signs That Maintenance Is Needed
There are a few signs that maintenance is needed for the dryer.
Can A Dryer Vent Go Straight Up
Regarding this, can you vent a dryer vertically?
DEAR BOB: A vertical dryer vent is typically a problem because it acts as a moisture condenser. The sheet metal duct is cooled by the outside air in the attic. When a laundry is situated near the center of a home, especially if there is a slab foundation, a vertical duct is often the only option for ventilation.
Also Know, does a dryer vent have to be straight? The maximum developed length of a clothes dryer exhaust duct shall not exceed 35 feet from the dryer location to the wall or roof termination. This means that vents should also be as straight as possible and cannot be longer than 35 feet.
Also, can dryer exhaust go up?
The warm, moist air inside the vent tends to condense on the colder walls of the pipe, and the water droplets catch lint, which also gets wet and sticks to the pipe. The lint eventually builds up and constricts the pipe, and the dryer can‘t exhaust properly.
How do you vent a dryer through the ceiling?
Connect the dryer to the roof vent with 4-inch metal duct pipe, cutting pipe as needed with tin snips and fitting it together with the necessary fittings. You may have to cut a hole in the ceiling over the dryer to run the duct through the attic.
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Can The Dryer Vent Be Above The Dryer
While it isn’t advisable, you can have the termination of your dryer vent going through the roof. Venting through the roof should only be used as a last resort, however, when running your dryer vent pipe. The vent cap that you’ll have to put on the end of your dryer vent has the potential to block the dryer lint.
Can You Vent A Dryer Vertically
You can vent a dryer vertically as long as you dont exceed a distance of 35 feet in length. The preferred way to vent a dryer is downward or laterally but vertically is indeed an option. There are also special considerations to keep in mind when running a dryer vent vertically. Some of these are:
- Always insulate your duct when running through an attic or unconditioned space.
- Make sure that you have a vent or exhaust hood that will keep the rain out of your pipe while making sure that lint has ample room to escape.
- Make sure that you install a dryer booster fan if your total distance exceeds 35 feet.
- The hole in your roof where the dryer vent terminates should be in a location thats easy to maintain yet aesthetically pleasing.
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Roof Dryer Vents Are Harder To Clean
One of the main issues with roof dryer vents is that they are difficult to clean since you will have to get on the roof to do that. Dryer vents need to be cleaned often to avoid lint build-up. So installing them on the roof makes the cleaning process difficult, making a person reluctant to clean it, which further leads to air blockage and even fire hazards. Therefore, it is always better to install the vent on an outside wall than on the roof.
How To Install Rooftop Dryer Vents To Protect Your Michigan Home
When in use, dryer releases hot gases. These gases can cause damage to your home so they should be vented out of the house if the dryer is kept indoors. The most common way of getting these gases out is by installing rooftop vents. It may sound like a daunting task to install rooftop dryer vents which should be left to experts but in reality it is an easy task which can be done by anyone.
Start by choosing the location for the vent opening. This should not be more than 25 feet from the dryer because most dryers can only handle a maximum of 25 feet vent. Trace the size of vent on the ceiling using a pencil then use a saw to make a hole in the ceiling wide enough for the duct to slide through. Trace again on the rooftop and make the hole.
Climb on the roof and make finer cuttings on the hole you made from the inside. On the perimeter of the hole spread roofing tar and insert the pipe which is connected to the vent in the hole. The vent flashing should be worked under the raised shingles which are then let to fall on it. The flashing should be nailed to the roof using the 1-inch roofing nails. Connect the vent cap.
For more expert advice on how you can install rooftop dryer vents and any other home related issues please contact us at Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We have been serving the Southeast Michigan, Detroit Metro Area for 70 years.
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Can I Vent My Dryer Out The Roof
It is not advisable to vent a dryer through the roof. This is one of the most common mistakes we see from people who are not experienced with air ducts. Dryer vent specialists will tell you that a vertical approach to installing a dryer vent is inefficient and creates a fire risk for a home if it goes unchecked.
Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians
In their books, the Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians union does not recommend a venting location over another. Still, it does stress the need to have shorter runs built from rigid pipes and the importance of minimizing elbows and bends.
They also revised their notes on re-routing the venting system through the roof or the wall.
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Wall Venting Is Visually Unattractive
If venting through the wall causes your home to be visually unattractive, then venting through the roof will be a better option. Roof ventilation is not uncommon after all, a chimney is a ventilation device, and these are found on virtually all homes. If things can be situated so that your chimney and dryer vent are in close proximity, then you wont have to worry as much about dryer ventilation causing your home to be an eyesore.
No Other Direct Access To The Exterior
Concrete slab foundations are becoming the norm in building construction. When a dryer is along an interior wall in a concrete slab home, there is no access under the slab to run a dryer vent to the exterior. Directing a dryer to the roof becomes the only feasible option to vent the dryer outside.
According to building codes, dryer vents cant vent to a soffit, leaving the roof the only option. Dryers venting through the roof must have a rigid metal vent pipe and requires routine cleanings to prevent dryer fires. It would be best if you had the dryer vent professional cleanings annually or as needed.
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How Tall Of A Roof Do You Need For A Dryer
Less than 5 1/2 above ceiling level, it is also invisible for minimal visibility. For areas with moderate snowfall and/or higher profile tiles, choose the larger 486, which is just as effective but larger. Like the dryer, all dryers in America are made from durable materials that look great and are easy to install.
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Can I Use A Pvc Pipe For A Dryer Vent
No. You cannot use a PVC pipe as a vent. It does not have the necessary insulation to prevent condensation from forming inside and making its way into your home.
It causes moisture damage in homes and also causes the dryer to work harder than it should. This leads to the early failure of components and increased energy use.
Recommendations for venting your dryer are to use four inches of 4-inch aluminum flexible duct or one-inch minimum diameter rigid/thin metal duct.
You can also use 12-inch lengths of aluminum foil tape to connect the PVC pipe directly to the back of the dryer .
But be sure that you do not place any insulation inside the vent tubing you must allow airflow through this section.
For best performance and energy efficiency, install a U.L. listed UL181 Dryer Booster Fan is available in your area.
This inexpensive investment will pay off quickly with better drying, improved performance, and energy savings.
It would be on top of the dryer, vents into the room, or laundry closet.When using aluminum foil tape to vent into a laundry room or closet:
Cut a 4-inch diameter hole through the nearest wall outside of your home and run 12 inches of straight, rigid dryer vent pipe through it.
Connect this directly to the backside of your dryer with duct tape and sheet metal screws.
You can use more than one length of aluminum foil tape in addition to connecting directly if you like
Be sure that all joints are air-tight .
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Maintenance Of The Dryer Vent
There has always been a recommended step by step process for maintaining your dryer vent. As with anything in your home, it is important to be proactive in your maintenance on a daily basis. This will reduce any future issues that might arise.
The most important thing that you can do is to check the lint grate on your dryer. Do this before you run any laundry to dry. You can clear this lint trap very easily and it will save you a huge headache moving forward.
Its also important to vacuum around the dryer to make sure no extra particles can get into the vent or potentially start a fire. If you notice a fire starts, shut off the electricity immediately.
Use one dryer sheet at a time, as they release chemicals into the dryer vent. Lastly, it is recommended that you air dry sheets and pillows so that they dont produce more lint that can attach to the dryer vents.
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Can A Dryer Vent Terminate Through The Roof
While it isnt advisable, you can have the termination of your dryer vent going through the roof. Venting through the roof should only be used as a last resort, however, when running your dryer vent pipe.
The vent cap that youll have to put on the end of your dryer vent has the potential to block the dryer lint. Lint piling up in your dryer vent is a fire hazard, which is the number one reason why you should pursue other options for venting your dryer.
Here are several of the main reasons why you shouldnt vent your dryer through the roof:
- Fire hazard
As I just mentioned, dryer vents terminating through the roof present a more significant fire hazard than vents going through the side of a wall. The dryer vent pipe is responsible for expelling hot air and moisture along with dryer lint away from the dryer. If the line is vented vertically through the roof, the type of vent cap that you must use presents more of a blockage hazard than other caps do.
- Risk of water damage
While roof dryer vents have special rain caps installed on them, they arent 100% effective at keeping the rain out. The cap will stop rain from dropping through the vent from a vertical trajectory but not from the sides. If you live in an area with heavy winds, theres a good chance that some rain will get swept into your dryer vent.
- More difficult to clean and maintain
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