An extended dryer vent? Is this an installation everyone should be familiar with? I guess.
I’ve had to make adjustments to the dryer vent in my house twice already. The first DIY dryer vent update involved removing the slinky-esque vent and replacing it with a rigid, pieced-together vent. (Per my inspector, it’s safer for gas dryers to have a rigid vent). Back then, I simply measured the distance between the dryer and the window and purchased $15 worth of elbows and 6″ metal tube pieces to make a secure connection between the dryer to the window vent.
This time around, I had to reinstall the metal vent after the glass block was installed in the basement. The vent from the dryer was temporarily removed during the window installation. When I went to reinstall it, I found that the vent on the window was about 5″ higher than the old vent, so I couldn’t correctly hook up the dryer without a dryer vent extension.
How do you extend your dryer vent? The simple steps I followed should help:
- Tape measure
- Vent pipe (I used rigid venting in this tutorial, but it’s also available as semi-rigid aluminum duct, and flexible ducting — check what is best for your type of drying machine)
- Aluminum duct tape (NOT “Duck tape”)
- Metal snips
1. Measure How Much Venting You Need
Disconnect the existing vent and figure out how much more venting material you need. To do this, I separated the original long length of dryer vent piping into two pieces. Then, I attached one of the existing ends of the vent to the dryer vent in the glass block window and the other end to the base of the dryer. It helped me to understand how the elbows on the end needed to be angled in their new positions, and measure the gap between the pieces.
2. Trim the Rigid Vent Material
Once I knew what length piece I needed to cut, it was easy. I trimmed the (still flat) vent pipe so that it was a generous 9″ piece, and dry-fit it to double-check the length. Notice the crimped end on the short piece on the left. The crimped end of the rigid vent is narrow enough to tuck inside the uncrimped end on the wall and ensure that the vent extension on the dryer is a tight fit.
3. Form the Pipe
Once the dryer pipe extension is cut, connect the sides to form a 6″ circle. The edges of the rigid piping I used are sold pre-bent, so it’s easy to wedge the edges and lock them together.
4. Tape the Dryer Vent Extension Into Place
The final step was taping around the new breaks in the tube. Use aluminum duct tape to connect the vent in the window to the piping already connected to the dryer.
Connect it well so that as much air as possible travels through the pipe and out the window. You don’t want this air ventilating into your basement. The backside of the tape is sticky, and the tape can be compacted to the surface like tin foil for a well-sealed dryer vent connection.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Dryer Vent
Cleaning your dryer vent is one of the most important things you do to maintain your appliance, aside from cleaning the filter after every load of laundry. It eliminates lint and dust buildup within the vent and reduces the risk of dryer fires. Buy a simple vent-cleaning extension brush to clean your dryer vent. Now that you know how to use metal duct tape, you’ll find it easy to perform this chore yourself every year.