Note: As an amazon associate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase.You can read my complete affiliate disclosure for more details
Can You Vent The Dryer Through The Soffit?
A soffit is an under-eve of a roof, usually made from wood or metal. They close in the space beneath the eaves on all four sides.
This helps with insulation and prevents water from entering your home through cracks around windows and vents.
You can choose between different styles of soffits for your home, depending on what you want to achieve with it.
For example, if you’re looking for more ventilation, you may opt for one with perforations or louvers at the edge of it near the top.
However, if you’re looking for something aesthetically pleasing, then there might be an option that includes beautiful trim work instead.
Can you vent the dryer through the soffit?
Yes, but there are some rules associated with this action.
First, check with your manufacturer’s installation guide to see what they recommend for venting in your location.
Some manufacturers do not like the idea of venting into an attic at all.Others will provide particular guidelines.
Such as installing a metal hood that terminates out through the roof somewhere to protect from condensation or specifying minimum distances from combustibles.
Be sure you have read your installation manual to verify these rules.
Second, use the shortest route possible. The shorter the duct length you have, the faster the dryer will work and the more efficient.
Avoid any extra bends or curves in your venting to reduce lint buildup. Straight is best.
Third, if you are considering using an interior wall as part of your venting plan, please consider this:
The warmer air from inside your house is going to meet up with cold outdoor air somewhere along its trip through your home’s exterior walls or roof.
This makes condensation much more likely to occur inside the ductwork itself, making it a suitable environment for mold/fungus growth.
Fourth, make sure there is enough space in the area you plan to “vent” into. This is because dryer vents tend to accumulate lint inside the ductwork.
If this happens, the dryer itself can become starved for air, causing it to overheat or run inefficiently.
Fifth, know that condensation is something that can happen anytime moist hot air meets cooler surfaces, so even with proper installation.
There may be times when your clothes feel damp after a load.
How Do You Vent A Dryer Through Eaves?
You vent a dryer through the eaves by creating a hole in the wall between your house and garage. To do this, you need either:
1) an existing venting system that already goes from the dryer into the eaves or,
2) a new one that you can build from scratch using PVC piping.
In both cases, a 1-1/4 inch hole needs to be near the top of your eave so that fresh air can enter through it and dirty lint can escape out of it.
A fan will help pull the air through the line instead of letting natural convection draw all your heat back outside.
You may have to cut down your existing vents (or create them yourself with PVC pipe) if they are too short of reaching up into the attic.
If your fan is powerful enough, you won’t need to worry about the heat or cold getting back into your house.
You should also install a screen over this hole (or the vents) since lint will blow out of them whenever the dryer is running.
If you already have an exhaust system in place, but it doesn’t go all the way up to your eave, you can still reuse it as long as there’s nothing else wrong with it.
It may have been just installed on the wrong side of the wall between two rooms.
Turn off power to your washer and dryer before starting work on any part of this project so that you don’t get electrocuted.
Both options might not work in some situations because there isn’t enough room inside to fit a fan and PVC pipe.
In this case, you could always vent your dryer into the wall of your house and then out through a window or door.
However, this is much more impractical than putting it outside and makes it challenging to keep lint from building up on siding around the vent.
Can A Dryer Vent Go Through The Roof?
No. ANSI states that dryers should be on an outside wall and not exhaust through the roof.
HUD states that clothes dryers should not exhaust indoors or vent through the roof, with no exceptions.
The reason for this is to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in case there are leaks in the ductwork.
Carbon monoxide can build up in an enclosed space if it cannot escape, which can lead to serious health risks for your family.
There are potential alternatives to traditional dryer vents that you may explore when installing a new home or remodeling an existing one.
These options include exterior wall-vented dryers, vented countertop units, stackable washer/dryer units, ventilation hoods over the stovetop or range;
Central air conditioning with interior dryer vents, or the installation of geothermal dryers that use the earth as a heat sink.
If you are venting through your roof anyway, remember to check for any leaks in the venting system annually, especially after heavy rains.
The ANSI recommends not using aluminum foil or other metal screening to cover ducts or vents leading outdoors since this could block airflow and draw exhaust fumes indoors.
Manufacturers recommended that you hire an experienced professional to clean your dryer’s lint filter before each load of laundry for optimal performance.
These clogs can affect how well your clothes dryer operates and cause it to overheat.
A clothes dryer that overheats has an increased risk of catching fire, which could spread throughout your home.
You should replace a clothes dryer vent that goes through the roof should with indoor dryer ventilation.
To avoid fires, hire a professional to clean the lint filter before every use and install this equipment in an exterior wall or laundry room.
Can You Vent Out A Dryer Under The House?
No. This is not done or advised under any circumstances.
You can’t do this because the dryer will build up moisture and humidity inside the drum, which could cause mold growth where the humidity cannot escape entirely.
When you’re drying clothes, heat causes water molecules in them to turn into vapor (gas).
This vapor has to go somewhere because it’s too hot to condense back into liquid form, so it forms water droplets that the dryer’s fan blows out of the lint trap.
You should eject droplets outside your house’s ventilation system.
If they aren’t, then there is nowhere for them to go except to cling onto whatever other objects are nearby until they either drip into a puddle or become absorbed by the dryer’s thermal insulation.
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 (venting into a laundry room or closet).
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 (similar to how it’s done when installing sheetrock).
What Type Of Pipe Can You Use For Dryer Vents?
Dryer vents use smooth rigid metal ducting. This is a good choice for airflow, but not the best choice for long-distance because it does not have any flexibility or give.
It has a very low cost, and you can buy in varying lengths for drops to each appliance.
You should replace an open wire mesh at the end of the dryer vent to prevent small animals from crawling into the vent piping and keep lint inside the pipe.
Keep it away from combustibles that may surround them.
Clothes dryers need a lot of air moving through them, so they have openings near where they are, usually near or on top of an outside wall or in an attached garage.
Can You Use 3 Inches For The Dryer Vent?
No .3 inch is small for dryer vent (also known as dryer vent hose, dryer vent tube) and is not recommended.
3 inch has very limited capacity for airflow. It can accumulate lint easily, making it much harder to remove the lint buildup in the future.
It may lead to overheating of the machine and malfunctioning (e.g., overheating).
To ensure safe use of your equipment, make sure you check with your instruction manual or hire professional help if needed.
Also, please consult local/state building codes for proper installation before installing any appliance to avoid damage or fire hazard.
Materials used for appropriate installation will vary by location — please check with your installer if you’re uncertain about what materials you need in your area.
Depending on the model, you may need 4 inches (maximum) or 6 inches (minimum) dryer vent hose. Look at your instruction manual to know details about it for sure.
Here are some standard requirements by state:
6 inch :Connecting the dryer exhaust tube directly to a 4-inch diameter wall or soffit can reduce airflow and cause overheating the motor and delayed drying times.
The minimum acceptable size for a clothes dryer is a 4-inch diameter exhaust duct. Exception:
You may use an A 3-inch diameter duct when connecting to a transition duct, which then connects to a 4-inch diameter main duct that leads outside of the structure.”
If needed, use a short piece of 4-inch duct to connect the dryer vent hose.
4 inch: Connecting the dryer exhaust tube directly to a 4-inch diameter wall or soffit can reduce airflow and cause overheating the motor and delayed drying times.
The minimum acceptable size for a clothes dryer is a 4-inch diameter exhaust duct.” If needed, use a short piece of 4-inch duct to connect the dryer vent hose.
6 inch: A shorter length reduces airflow resulting in longer drying times.” Use a short piece of 6 inches (or larger) to connect the dryer vent hose.
Any state building code sets no maximum lengths, but it’s good practice for your safety to keep the run as short as possible.
Leaving too much slack can allow lint to build up in your dryer vent hose, creating a fire hazard and allowing animals to enter your vent system.
Lengthening a dryer vent hose may cause some reduction in airflow, but it’s something for you to consider depending on where you live and the condition of your current installation.
Your best option is to have 4 inches or 6-inch dryer vent hose professionally installed by a qualified person.
It should add up to 25 feet of extra length if needed without reducing air flow significantly.
Common metal ducting materials include galvanized steel and aluminum which are both strong and lightweight. Used metals are not recommended due to rust.
Other commonly used materials include flexible metallic ducting, rigid fiberglass or plastic sheet, and semi-rigid metal ducting.
Flexible metallic ducting is available in roll form with attached hanger straps for installation.
It has a corrugated inner surface and a smooth outer surface that provides excellent airflow and resists lint collection in hard-to-reach seams.
Semi-rigid sheet metal is available in aluminum, galvanized steel, and stainless steel.
They provide an effective alternative when the regular flexible duct isn’t practical, such as connecting through walls or ceilings or with low clearance to the exterior wall.
The primary concern with sheet metal is that it can dent and become hazardous to your dryer vent hose or other components.
You should repair dents using a patching kit before having a qualified person inspect the entire system for any other potential issues.
If you’re not sure if your existing installation poses a fire hazard, have it inspected by a professional.
Is A Flexible Dryer Vent Safe?
No. No matter how convenient, flexible dryer vent hoses may not be the best choice for the home.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has strongly against them because of various safety issues.
Although they are quicker and easier to install than rigid metal ducting, flexible hoses come with several problems:
- They can kink or collapse when you push the dryer back into the wall. This makes proper venting impossible and can cause a fire.
A collapsed hose also prevents lint from escaping, so it builds up in the hose and at the base of the appliance. These clogs pose an additional fire hazard.
- They create air leaks that reduce dryer efficiency, lengthen drying time, and increase energy costs.
The country’s energy department estimates that 5% to 15% of a dryer’s total energy use goes to waste when using a non-metallic vent instead of metal ducting.
- They contain plasticizers such as phthalates and lead, which can contaminate laundry.
This issue is potentially serious for people who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS).
These individuals may already have damaged immune systems, making them more vulnerable to toxic substances in the environment.
Homeowners often ask themselves whether or not they can vent their dryer through the eaves, roofing material like shingle siding, and even under a house.
Venting your dryer in these ways is typically frowned upon because of safety concerns with carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper installation.
As for pipe types used for dryers, 3-inch PVC is most common, but you should speak to an HVAC professional before deciding what type of pipe would be best for your home’s vent system.