What should the length of your dryer vent line be?

While many aspects impact the proper functioning of a dryer, the importance of proper venting cannot be overstated. Readers are provided with a description of a dryer’s functions, as well as information about how a dryer’s venting plays a crucial role.


One of the most important uses of a dryer is to remove the moisture that has been extracted from damp clothing during the previous drying process. Laundry that weighs 12 pounds can be significantly heavier than its original weight, as it contains multiple loads of clothes when first removed from the washer. The extra 8 pounds is a good thing, since it is water. As the air inside the dryer warms, it holds on to the moisture that was in the clothes, creating humid air. This humid air is released outside the dryer through the vent. An adequate level of ventilation must be provided if drying of the air is to proceed normally.


If the system is restricted, then this moisture can also condense into pools of water in the dryer vent, possibly leaking out. It is not uncommon for moisture accumulation in the dryer ducting to be a sign of poor venting, which should be investigated.



Another important function of a dryer is its ability to create heat. A number of current dryer models feature a ‘one time’, non-resettable, thermal fuse or safety fuse. The vents in the dryer should be properly installed, and the dryer should not become restricted, in order for these safety devices to open. In this instance, the dryer will no longer be able to heat and will require the defective part to be replaced to correct the problem. Most dryers (usually electric) have a thermal fuse that breaks if it becomes burned out. If this happens, the dryer will be completely shut down.


Without one of these thermal safeties, older models can be prone to malfunction if their venting is subpar. This results in the dryer cycling on its safety thermostat instead of its temperature control thermostat. When a system heats or cools unevenly, the timers that run on automatic cycles are compromised, causing poor drying and even further reducing the movement of the timers on automatic cycles.


Because poorly vented dryers produce excessive heat in the external cabinet and/or the cabinet top or control area, poor or obstructed venting is usually to blame. If there is no proper air flow through the dryer, the thermostats may not be able to turn the heater on to maintain proper temperature. Due to the fact that the heater generates heat, that has to go somewhere, most often to the cabinet. This is a clear sign of a potentially life-threatening condition! In the interim, until the problem is corrected, it is strongly recommended that the appliance be turned off (and, if possible, unplugged)


Additionally, what impact does it have on your  home drying time?


The length of the dryer vent line should be kept to a minimum. Runs of vent line with multiple bends reduce the flow of air, and when the dryer exhaust is no longer reaching the exhaust vent, you will have to change the vent liners.


The IRC guideline for Section M1502 of the clothes dryer exhaust path recommends that the exhaust duct from the dryer to the exhaust vent in the wall or roof should not exceed 25 feet away from the dryer. Even so, a 25-foot length is only attainable if the dryer is situated on a straight line that leads to the exhaust, which is seldom the case.


No matter how straight the dryer vent is installed, there will always be obstructions which reduce airflow. To determine the total length of a 45-degree bend, you must deduct 2.5 feet for every 45-degree bend. 90-degree bends will be subtracted 5 feet from the total length. While the length of the exhaust vent hose does not include the transition hose (which is only long enough to get from the dryer to the wall), the total length of the duct from the dryer to the wall must not exceed the maximum allowable length set by the manufacturer.


What will happen if your dryer exhaust pipe can’t ventilate in the building?

A clothes dryer must have excellent airflow to be effective. When the vent line is too long, the dryer exhaust gets wrapped around and becomes useless in the vent line. If you notice it takes longer for your clothes to dry and the exterior of your dryer is hot, you may have noticed that the washer is pre-warm or on long-term heat. In addition to the moisture inside your home, you’ll also have moisture on your windows and ceilings, and this will be visible as condensation. The water in your home can help foster the growth of mold on your walls and ceilings over time.


Not only are there many reasons to be concerned if you have a gas dryer, but there are even more reasons to be concerned if you have a gas dryer. If you have carbon monoxide getting into your laundry room because of exhaust fumes from your vent, you should seek the advice of a professional. Like the natural gas, which has an added scented odor so it can be detected, you will not know there is carbon monoxide contaminating your home.


If you can’t manage to get your total dryer vent length down to 25 feet, what will you do?

You will need to install a booster fan on the dryer vent line if you cannot reach a distance of 25 feet or less with your dryer vent. With these fans, people guarantee that dryer exhaust vents in the exhaust vent line, and not dryer exhaust. The fan activates when the dryer is running and turns itself off when it detects the dryer has stopped.


Use the services of a heating and air conditioning technician to properly resolve your dryer vent issues with the help of a wizard.

In addition to unclogging dryer vent lines that have accumulated caked-on lint, American Air Ducts and Dryer Vents will also install and reroute dryer vent lines for maximum efficiency and safety. There is a great chance that your dryer’s vent is twisting and turning as it makes its way to the exhaust vent. Find a Dryer Vent Expert near you if your dryer’s vent is over 25 feet long. If we must, we can either redirect the vent pipe so that it takes the shortest distance between your dryer and the exhaust vent, or we can install a booster fan to ensure that your dryer exhausts properly.

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