Venting outdoors increases the efficiency of your clothes dryer and stops you from breathing in harmful fumes. With several options for venting dryers outside, is venting through a wall a good idea?
Venting a dryer in the wall is the safest and most practical option. Venting to the exterior through a wall means that you can keep the duct pipe short, which decreases the build-up of condensation and lint. Wall ducts also stop cold winds from blowing inside and prevent rodents from taking up residence.
In this article, I’ll show you:
- The pros and cons of venting through a wall
- How to install a dryer vent in the wall (inc. drywall)
- My recommend equipment for a professional finish
Pros and Cons of Venting Through a Wall
- Clean – All venting ducts need to undergo a regular cleaning process. A direct hole through a wall is easier to access than a roof vent, where you would need to bring in a professional.
- Installation – Wall vents are simple to install, and you do not need expensive tools to make a hole for the ducting.
- Compliant – Most building codes have wall venting as the preferred method. It is also easier to hide a wall vent than a roof vent, which may draw in complaints from your council.
- Safe – A wall vent means that you can prevent condensation from rolling back down the pipe. And lint finds it easier to exit the vent; rather than causing a fire hazard inside the duct.
- Concrete – If you have a concrete and brick home, you will need to use power tools to break through it. Whereas the roof access may be a more direct and easier way to go.
- Insulation – Anytime you break through a structure, you are going to damage the insulation. You may find that even after sealing the hole, rainwater and drafts will make their way inside and around the duct.
- Energy – By sending all the exhaust to the outside, you are also sending all the heat with it. With some dryers, you can save this energy and use it to warm your home.
- Neighbors – Even if your local building code allows it, your neighbors may complain about the constant buzz echoing through the duct from the dryer. Neighbors may also not appreciate the smell and the lint blowing towards their property.
Things to Avoid
Make sure that the vent has a clear exit on the other side of the wall. You do not want vapors to condensate onto metal surfaces and form puddles. Avoid venting into the attic or drywall; lint and moisture will build up, causing mold and fire hazards.
Never vent a gas dryer into any part of your home; the carbon monoxide from these dryers is lethal in closed spaces. Even electric dryers will release toxic fumes from the residues of detergents and fabric softeners left in clean clothes.
How to Install a Dryer Vent Through the Wall
- Plan – Work out the straightest path to the nearest outside wall. You need to keep the total length of the ducting below 35 feet. Any 90-degree turns you include are equivalent to adding five feet to the length of the duct.
- Pilot Hole – Start a hole with an 8-inch long 3/8 masonry bit inside the mark you made for the duct. This pilot hole will give you an idea about where the duct will come out on the other side of the wall. A small hole is easier to patch up if you need to move elsewhere.
- Knock Through – An SDS 4 ¼-inch masonry hole saw for brick will make a clean hole, but these need an SDS drill with lots of torque, which can be difficult to control. Instead, you can use your 3/8-inch drill bit to drill a hole through the line you marked, then use a hammer and chisel to knock out the remaining material.
- Vent – Push the vent cap through the hole from the outside and attach it to the wall. You can then connect the duct to the inside of the vent cap and secure them with a jubilee clip.
- Fill – Fill in any spaces in the wall between the duct and the brick with concrete or spray foam to prevent drafts and rain from coming through. You can use metal tape over the patch once it dries to seal it further.
- Hook-Up – Try to position the dryer so that you do not need to use bends. You can then connect the ducting. Use more foil tape around the connection to reduce air exhaust leaks.
- Check – Turn on the dryer and inspect your connections. Check the back of the dryer, the duct up to the brick, and the outside vent cover to ensure that the dryer’s air is flowing freely.
Can a Dryer Vent Go Through Drywall?
Yes, but you need to ensure that all lint, gases, and water vapor are unable to leak out in the wall cavity. Moisture will cause mold, lint causes fire hazards, and gases can travel along to other parts of your home. It is also worth following all the guidelines of duct length and distance beyond the outside wall.
How Do You Run a Dryer Vent Through Drywall?
The process is similar for drywall, but you should find it much easier to drill the hole. You may also be able to use a wood hole saw to make the hole. This means you can use a regular drill, but try to miss the support beams and wall studs.
For the best appearance and seal, you want professional venting products that keep the air flowing from the dryer while preventing the weather and rodents from getting in from the outside. Here are my favorite venting products.
These simple kits give you a way of making a sealed and trouble-free connection from your dry to your outside wall. the single 90-degree turn means you can push the dry back further without crushing the pipe, and snap-ring seals ensure that there are no leaks.
Included: Snap-to-vent elbow joint and wall connector, 8-foot-long 4-inch hose.
This is a drywall-specific product that saves space and reduces fire hazards. The box makes room for flexible hosing so that you can push back the dryer further and mount the exit hole higher without crushing the hose.
Included: 4-inch box, duct adaptor.
Depending on your needs, you may simply need a long ducting hose. This 25-foot long 4-inch vent hose comes with two jubilee clips, suitable for most dryers. This hose also comes in 6-inch and 8-inch diameters of the same length.
Included: 4-, 6-, or 8-inch hose, 2 × Jubilee clips.
An essential add-on, regardless of where you live in the hemisphere. The spring-loaded flap forms a one-way barrier, which closes when the dryer is off. This prevents a backflow of air when the wind picks up and shuts off the entrance to rodents.
Included: 4-, 6-, or 8-inch draft blocker.
This dryer duct vent improves the appearance of the hole on the exterior wall. The vent automatically opens and closes from the air pressure from the dryer while it is on. And this downward-facing vent also helps prevent the wind from pushing rain into the duct while it is open.
Included: 4-, 6-, or 8-inch draft blocker wall vent.