Venting your electric dryer indoors (yup, you can do it safely!), could create an extra source of humidity or heat (depending on the season) and save you serious money.
Below we talk about how to vent a dryer inside the house (step-by-step).
I shall also share with you the dos and don’ts to keep you out of harm’s way as you vent in the house.
How to vent a dryer inside the house [steps]
Method 1: using an indoor dryer vent kit
This is ideally the best method because commercial kits feature extras that help overcome common issues (more on this later) such as suffocating humidity levels.
You are thus guaranteed a healthier environment and a thoroughly efficient operation.
Plus, they mostly come with all the installation hardware.
You could be wondering: But which is the best indoor dryer vent kit?
The short answer (in our opinion) is this Indoor dryer vent kit from BetterVent (an American brand).
The most outstanding invention in this kit is the double filter system that helps capture harmful lint, and dust creating cleaner, safer air.
Better still, the filtration system doesn’t use water meaning no messy cleanups.
Important: This unit is only compatible with electric cloth dryers.
The company recommends that the exhaust line be either a smooth walled 4-inches metal pipe or 4-inches metal flex duct built for electric clothes dryers.
In addition, it’s advisable that you make the connection -at the rear of your dryer machine- with a metal (90 degrees) fitting.
There should be two 90 degree turns at most.
Step 1: Identify a suitable location.
Keep the following in mind while looking for a site.
- The kit works best on a vertical wall and it should be the closest possible to your clothes dryer.
- You should not exhaust it into a ridge vent, soffit, an attic, or crawl space.
- The height should be easy to reach for maintenance tasks such as vacuuming the filter.
Step 2: Mount the BetterVent
Follow these steps:
- Open the door by releasing the door latches.
- Steady your BetterVent against the chosen wall and proceed to mark the applicable screw locations.
- Next, drill a ¼-inch hole at the screw locations 1 ½-inch deep and tap the plastic anchors in (concrete or plaster walls).
- This step is a bit different for sheetrock walls- you should instead drill a 3/16-inch hole and again tap in the anchors.
- Lastly, position and align the BetterVent kit perfectly with the wall anchors and screw it to the wall.
Steps 3: Install the exhaust line
Your final step involves mounting the exhaust line. The guidelines I listed at the preliminaries stage will not come into play.
- Confirm if your clothes dryer provides a sidewall option (for ducting). The idea is to pick the connection that creates the shortest path either at the back of your dryer cabinet or sidewall.
- If you find the connection at the back, slide the dryer unit away from the material wall and fix a metal 90-degree fitting (recall this?).
- Now stretch out a tiny portion of your metal flex duct and connect to the dryer. Remember to secure the connection with the hose clamp.
- Carefully pull the flex towards the BetterVent and complete the connection. Again secure it.
Your kit is now correctly installed and all that remains now is calibration.
Calibrating BetterVent’s safety exhaust flap (SEF)
BetterVent’s safety exhaust flap is a nice feature included to ease maintenance.
It opens when the filter (and screen) is due for cleaning (or replacement) to preserve a topnotch operation and discourage lint buildup.
It will be open until you reset it.
Now, you have to calibrate it using the packed magnetic weights to have it match your dryer’s exhaust output which is essential for its proper functioning since various dryers have different air outputs.
This is a straightforward process and you should be through in minutes.
- Clean the screen mounted inside your dryer (its owner’s manual highlights the specific procedure).
- Take the smaller, thicker 60 mil magnet then peel the brown paper off. Attach this inside the safety exhaust flap.
- Find a book, clipboard, or even a magazine and turn the dryer on. Cover 25% (approximately) of the door with any of these.
- At this stage, the flap should open/stay closed. If closed, move the coverage upwards until it opens.
- In the event that it opens before reaching 80% of the door, add a second peel and stick another magnet to the flap (on the top).
- Repeat the test.
- You want to add the magnets until the flap opens at exactly 80% coverage. Don’t worry- 2 magnets are usually enough.
Your dryer is now all set for use.
Tip: Another option for venting dryers inside condominiums, apartments, and RVs when outdoor venting is impossible would be the Dundas Jafine kit. We recommend it if you’re under a tight budget.
Please watch this video to learn how to mount the kit.
Method 2: using DIY indoor dryer vent kit
There are DIY kits that work.
The issue with these is that most are designed by individuals and have no uniform way of implementation.
If you would like to experiment with them, do an online search for DIY indoor dryer vent and test the solutions that pop up.
Venting a dryer inside the house – what to know
In theory, a dryer should be vented outside at all times and now that you understand how to vent a dryer inside the house, it’s important that you understand a couple of things.
And that’s because of your safety, health, and even the continued health of your building.
You see, depending on the condition of your house, venting inside could end up bringing copious amounts of humidity in the room.
And we all know the terrifying consequences that carries- moisture condensing on the windows, plenty of stains along with damp patches on the walls and ceilings, robust mold growth (leading to infections), musty smell, rotting and structural damage, and more.
There are more hazards hanging around including:
- Fines- It could be illegal to vent dryer system in the house in your state for Christ’s sake!
- Risk of fire- accumulated lint is extremely flammable and could catch fire the moments it meets a wayward spark from faulty wiring.
- Exposure to Asthma- remaining with lint, the trapped lint particles may trigger asthma symptoms
But does it mean that the idea of venting indoors is inherently flawed and that you should strictly route the dryer vent outside?
Nope! The good news is that you will be safe as houses if you complete the procedure as explained above.
How to vent a dryer inside the house: Do’s and Don’ts
- Never do this with gas dryers- they emit carbon monoxide and they can be deadly when vented indoors.
- Follow the recommended maintenance routine to maintain an excellent operation.
- For DIY models, venting the moist air into containers of water such as a bucket (to nab lint) could worsen the problem of moisture.
You have now confirmed that venting a dryer inside your house is not as difficult as it first sounds.
And you can choose commercial venting kits or go for DIY methods.
We trust that you will not fear to vent your clothes dryer after this.