Here’s a secret: one of the most important parts of your dryer isn’t actually inside your dryer at all!
At the end of your dryer vents is your dryer vent cover – a key component in making sure your dryer works properly. It needs regular maintenance and should always be replaced once it starts wearing out. But with so many different designs and dryers, how do you figure out which one to pick?
That’s why we’ve compiled this list. Here are 12 of the best dryer vent covers and caps that are high quality yet affordable for any household. We’ve gotten multiple designs that can fit any kind of dryer, duct system, and siding, and they’re all workable enough for you to install yourself! We’ll also cover frequently asked questions about dryer vent covers and the best designs for a specific need.
How Do You Pick The Best Dryer Vent Cover?
According to the NADCA certified duct cleaners, there are three things that your dryer vent should be able to do:
- Keep outside particles, insects, and other pests from entering your home
- Have proper airflow to prevent hot air, moisture, and lint from clogging your ducts
- Prevent backdrafts from entering and your house’s heating from getting out
The best dryer vent cover will tick off all these boxes, so all you need to do is to make sure that you buy one that’s compatible with your ductwork. Dryer pipes will usually range from 3 to 6 inches, though some models are universal and can fit on any residential vent exhaust. If you’re looking for more commercial vents, you’ll need a professional to set it up.
Here’s a pro tip when setting up a vent cover yourself: Check the diameter of the back pipe (if there is one), not the sides of the vent. Most people make the mistake of thinking that when a model specifies a size, it’s the size of the vent itself. That number refers to the diameter of the tubing, so you should check your pipes before buying.
Top 12 Picks For The Best Dryer Vent Cover
Now you know what makes the best dryer vent cover, how do you pick one for yourself? Here are some of the best options that we’ve reviewed.
1# Heartland Energy Saving Dryer Vent Cover- Editorial Pick
A premium model that you can install yourself, Heartland’s Natural Energy Saving Dryer Vent Closure is a high-quality and efficient product that can seamlessly integrate with your existing dryer pipes. It already has pre-drilled holes for easy attachment, it’s a sturdy and reliable fix to the most common problems encountered with dryer vent covers.
What We Like: Overall user-friendliness. Unlike other models that require professional work to install, this dryer vent cover is lightweight and simple enough for anyone to install. It uses a floating shuttle system that lets hot air escape when you turn on your dryer, then falls in place when you’re done using it. This also adds the benefit of helping seal hot air and keeping out the cold during the summer.
What We Didn’t Like: The biggest drawback of choosing this product is its high price point. It’s easily around 10 dollars more expensive than your average dryer vent cover, which can be an issue for households with tight finances. But the overall savings in heating and electricity that you’ll get is more than a fair exchange for the extra cash you need to pay – and a guarantee that you won’t have to worry about your dryer ducts ever again.
2# Imperial 4″ Outdoor Dryer Vent Cap
If you’re worried about critters getting into your home through your dryer vents, Imperial’s 4 Inch Dryer Vent Cover can help. It’s a sturdy pest-proof dryer vent cover with a built-in wire mesh that can keep most bugs and other tiny insects from crawling in, with a design that can give you good airflow even during winter.
What We Like: The best part about this vent cap is the included mesh screen. For areas that have a lot of insects that you can’t remove from the premises like bees, the wire mesh is a great deterrent without harming them. Because dryer vents often produce plenty of hot air, they’re a favorite breeding ground for plenty of insects: but the pre-installed screen will keep out all but the most determined of critters.
What We Didn’t Like: However, this product lacks a few things that can make installation difficult, like a tailpipe to use with your pre-existing ducts. This limits how compatible it can be with some dryers, though a reliable contractor should be able to make the adjustments you need to make it fit. You can also fiddle with the screen if you need to replace it with a finer mesh, but be careful to replace all the parts and caulk generously once you’re done.
3# Builder’s Best 084635- Best Roof Dryer Vent Cap
For large households and establishments that have industrial-type dryers, Builder’s Best Galvanized Steel Roof Vent Cap is the ideal airflow solution that can withstand heavy use, harsh weather, and other outside shocks. Suitable for bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room vents, this is one product that will serve you for a long time.
What We Like: Durability is this model’s best feature. It’s made of galvanized steel, which avoids the typical corrosion that other metal dryer vent covers struggle with; and it uses rivets instead of caulking to attach to the roof, allowing it to remain in place during strong winds. It already has pre-drilled holes for easier installation and also comes with a dampener to reduce drafts. Finally, you can remove the screen mesh so it works better with clothes dryers.
What We Didn’t Like: The biggest downside of this product is its relatively difficult installation. Since it’s a heavy-duty dryer vent roof cap, you’ll likely need a professional to make sure the parts are properly installed. Improper installation can cause the dampeners to clank and the screen to fall out, so we don’t advise that you try putting this in yourself unless you’re experienced and have the right tools. You may have to make additional modifications to its design if you are looking to address a specific issue with your vents – so, again, we recommend hiring a professional for the best results.
4# Deflecto – Dryer Vent Cover To Keep Birds Out
Dryer vents are favorite nesting spots for birds since they provide shelter and a regular supply of hot air, but this can affect how well your dryer works and risks harming the fauna in the area. The Deflecto Dryer Vent Hood is a straightforward way of making sure no birds get in your vents, with the bonus of helping you reduce your energy costs.
What We Like: The wide mouth screen is our favorite feature with this product. It allows for better airflow so you reduce moisture whenever you use the system and the bird guard keeps any local wildlife from poking inside your vents. You can remove the bird guard if it’s not nesting season or if you want to put a finer screen inside, and the built-in damper reduces back drafts in colder weather.
What We Didn’t Like: We noted that the construction is this product’s biggest drawback. They made the tube of aluminum so you can accidentally crush or bend if you aren’t careful with installation, and it gets marked and cut easily if it’s hit by anything sharp. A simple solution to this problem is to detach the tubing and use your own ductwork to attach it through the wall. This helps the wall cap stay in place and allows you easier access to the tube interior when you need to clean it.
5# HY-C RVG-DVG- Pest Proof Dryer Vent Cover
Animals are some of the biggest culprits behind wrecked dryer vent covers: anything from a determined warbler to an untrained family dog can go through your screen or guard to access your vents. If you’re looking for a straightforward solution to put with your existing dryer vent, the HY-C RVG-DVG Universal VentGuard is your product of choice.
What We Like: With stainless steel construction, this exterior dryer vent cover is durable enough to handle bites, clawing, or other damage by most animals, with the extra feature of being rust-resistant during heavy rains. The screen attaches easily over 4 to 6-inch dryer vent covers, though you need to make sure of the proper dimensions of your caps before buying. Keyhole installation allows you to remove and re-attach this product as needed without having to damage or change the housing of your dryer vent cover.
What We Didn’t Like: We recommend using your own screws to attach this vent guard since the included Tapcom screws aren’t always sharp enough to pierce walls or sidings. Even if you get them attached, the risk of the screws loosening with time could expose your dryer vent again. The gaps are also too big to keep smaller creatures or insects out, so you might have to insert some wire mesh into the guard.
6# Deflecto Supurr-Vent- Low Cost Outdoor Dryer Vent Hood
For one of the cheapest yet still effective options for dryer vent covers, look no further than the Deflecto Supurr-Vent. It’s easy to install, costs a fraction of the price of most vent covers, and can fit most standard ducts. It does a respectable job at keeping wind, snow, and sleet away from your dryer vents, which can be helpful for residents in rainy areas.
What We Like: Deflecto is affordable without being shoddy. The plastic construction is weather-resistant and treated with UV-inhibitors to avoid sun damage and cracking, while the curved louvers open smoothly for unobstructed airflow and quiet operation. The vents automatically shut when you aren’t using your dryer, which prevents drafts from getting in. The construction is sturdy enough so you can install it in wood, brick, or concrete walls, and is even compatible with older models of dryers.
What We Didn’t Like: The tradeoff for this low price point is a relatively short lifespan: on average, this vent cover will only last for about 2 to 3 years before it becomes brittle and cracks. Fortunately, the low base cost makes it easier to replace, and the parts are interchangeable so you can even replace individual vents if you don’t want to replace the housing.
7# Deflecto Dryer Vent Hood with Pipe
The Galvanized Dryer Vent Hood is another low-cost yet reliable product from Deflecto that you can quickly install in your own dryer ducts. Made of galvanized steel for extra corrosion resistance, it has a simple gravity damper that’s effective at keeping out rodents, birds, and other small animals from your vent systems.
What We Like: The all-metal galvanized material makes this model uncommonly tough and corrosion-resistant. It’s the best dryer vent hood for bathrooms or laundry rooms where you have a lot of moisture and heat that you need to disperse since it can hold up better in those conditions. If you end up with a defective product, you can fall back on the limited lifetime guarantee for a replacement.
What We Didn’t Like: The damper is the biggest flaw of this product. Because it relies on the air pressure coming from your dryer to lift, lint buildup can clog the entrance and cause the flap to stay in place. It’s also not effective at repelling insects since it doesn’t have a mesh screen. You can install a wire mesh yourself, but you may need to take the entire unit apart and put it back together to make sure it stays in place.
8# Lambro 289W Dryer Vent Seal Reviews
One of the more affordable vent seals on the market, the Lambro 289W Dryer Vent Seal has a simple yet efficient design that disperses heat and keeps out drafts. It’s easy to install with your existing vent seals, and it provides good enough airflow to remove any lint from your dryer while avoiding buildup.
What We Like: The best feature of this product is its overall design. Vertical vent seals are sometimes difficult to maintain because their flaps open too easily with a strong enough dryer, but this model uses a sealed construction so even strong internal air pressure won’t be enough to force it wide open. It’s also built in a way where cleaning out any lint buildup from the mouth of the vent only takes a few minutes. You can easily reseal it again with no noticeable dips in performance, even during the winter.
What We Didn’t Like: The main issue with ordering this brand is that build quality seems to differ depending on your location. Some users report that their unit arrived with no defects and they could install it immediately; while others say that the welding of the plastic joints was weak and had to be reinforced with caulking and glue. If you do order this product, inspect it thoroughly before installation to avoid any potential issues.
9# Deflecto DEFUBGWL Clothes and Bathroom Exhaust Vent
For a cheaper alternative to outside dryer vent covers, the Deflecto Universal Bird Guard is a cost-effective product that you can easily install, maintain, and replace. It can fit 3” to 4” dryer and bathroom vents, with a durable plastic construction that can tolerate moisture and heat while keeping out birds and rodents.
What We Like: The screen guard design is the best feature of this product since it can stop rodents and birds from ever getting inside the dryer vent cover. Large mice and birds can ignore gravity dampers and flaps since their weight is enough to lift them out of the way, but a screen guard can keep them out while allowing the airflow from your vents to remain unobstructed.
What We Didn’t Like: While efficient, this design has some drawbacks. The biggest one is that since you need to screw the entire unit over your vent cover, you’ll have to undo the screws each time you have to clean up lint buildup. This can be an issue with houses that use vinyl siding since it’s a material that doesn’t hold up to cracking very well. If you’re looking to integrate this with a plastic or wooden wall, you might have to make a steel or concrete frame around your vent that can hold this guard in place.
10# Deflecto Vent Guard
If you want a vent hood that can seal itself against outside drafts and tiny insects, then the Deflecto HR4W 4-inch Vent Hood is a superb choice. While it isn’t made of metal like other vent hoods, the plastic construction is light enough to install yourself and durable enough to resist most weather. It doesn’t require a lot of work to install and even less effort to maintain.
What We Like: This low maintenance is where this product really shines because similar designs will require you to remove the unit in its entirety to clean it out. This model’s insect/bird guard can be detached within seconds, allowing you easier access to clean any lint buildup. A gravity damper is another safeguard against outside air and animals if you ever forget or lose the guard.
What We Didn’t Like: Because it has a smaller mouth, this vent hood can be prone to frequent lint buildups. If you’re going to use this with a clothes dryer, you need to check it every two weeks to make sure that nothing is clogging the airflow. The detachable guard can sometimes accumulate tremendous amounts of lint that can quickly block airflow, so it would be wise to monitor the temperature in your dryer so you know when to clean it out.
11# Imperial 4″ metal Screen Vent Cap
Louvered vent caps are some of the most aesthetic additions you can make to a house while still keeping a focus on the functional aspect. Imperial’s Louvered Vent Cap blends form and function in one durable and affordable package, it’s a great solution for properties aiming for a classic look that doesn’t sacrifice utility for looks.
What We Like: This model is more than just pretty: it’s made of a durable poly-plastic material that’s UV-and weather-resistant for extra longevity. You can also paint over the default white coat so it blends more with the design of your house. The louvered vents swing open and shut via the internal airflow of your dryer, but you can also pop off the blades and clean them if they ever get built up with lint.
What We Didn’t Like: A drawback to this product is the mesh screen that’s included with the unit. While it does an outstanding job at keeping away small animals like mice and other insects, it’s also prone to heavy lint buildup, especially with bigger dryers. They built the screen into the vent cap, so you’ll have to remove the whole thing when you need to clean it. Since you can pop out the blades to reach the vent, getting rid of clogs shouldn’t be a problem – but owners looking for low maintenance vent caps may want to consider getting another model.
12# Calimaero 4″ Exhaust Wall Vent
The calimaero Cowled Square Exhaust Wall Vent is a top-tier model that’s an excellent replacement for plastic vent covers, since it’s more durable against weather and the heat from your vent. It’s easy to install with its pre-drilled holes and included screws, with a simple yet elegant design that can keep your ducts lint-free.
What We Like: Dryer vents can generate a lot of noise, especially those that use a gravity-assisted flap to remove air and debris. While this model uses the same damper, it’s cushioned around the edges so it generates almost zero noise when in use. If you live in a quiet neighborhood or dislike the usual clamor that exhaust vents create, this is the model for you. We particularly like that the cushioning doesn’t impede airflow or lint dispersal, though you should still check it every month to see if there are larger bundles that get caught.
What We Didn’t Like: Despite the efficiency of its gravity damper, this model doesn’t have an in-built mesh screen to keep out insects or a screen guard to block animals like rodents and birds. If your area has a lot of these, using this model might not be enough to keep them at bay. You should either buy a separate screen guard for animals to put over this vent hood or install some mesh wiring inside the tubing to keep tiny insects out.
How Do You Install A Dryer Vent Cover Properly?
Because dryer vent covers have different designs, they won’t always be installed the same way. The best way to check how to install your specific product is to check the package or the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, you can get a professional contractor to install it for you, though most of the models we’ve mentioned are user-friendly enough to install yourself.
Replacing A Dryer Vent Cover In Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding can be difficult to work with since it’s less durable than brick or concrete. If your house uses this kind of material, here are the steps you need to take to replace your dryer vent cover:
- Remove the old dryer’s screws with a screwdriver or a power tool. That should be enough to get it to pop off. If it’s been caulked shut and sealed to the wall, you can use a utility knife to cut through.
- Assemble and attach the tubing (if there is any) and slide it with your existing pipes. Make sure that your tube will always go over existing tubing, not inside of it. This prevents lint from being caught on the edges.
- Insert the front plate and screw it securely to your siding. For fresh installations, you can cut a rough outline of your siding to make the surface flush with the plate of your dryer vent cover. The critical thing to remember here is that you should bend no part of it to fit, since that can cause leaks in your system.
And it’s that simple! You can use silicone or some other sealant if you don’t want to deal with any gaps, but remember that you’ll have to remove those when you need to maintain or replace your dryer vent.
If you’re trying to install an outdoor dryer vent cover on your own, here are some things you can do to avoid damaging your house, yourself, and your vent cover:
- Use all essential safety equipment like gloves, ladders, and goggles.
- Avoid installation during poor weather.
- Make sure that you have enough lighting to see if everything fits in place.
- If it’s your first time installing a dryer vent cover, you should have an extra on hand if the installation doesn’t go well. This is particularly important for plastic models.
- Clip off any sharp or protruding edges so they don’t get caught in the tubing or siding.
Awareness is the best tool you can use to avoid injury! Installing a dryer vent outside cover can be difficult, but it should never be dangerous!
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Picking the best dryer vent cover is an investment that goes far beyond the initial price of the product. Properly installed and maintained, dryer vent covers can help extend the lifespan of your dryer, keep your home warm in the winter, and prevent any pests from going inside your ducts.
We’ve given you plenty of models for almost any kind of dryer vent in our list, but it’s ultimately up to you to check which one works best with your ductwork. Always check the compatibility of your tubing with the vent cover you’re getting by making measurements before going to the store. If you aren’t sure about getting it done yourself, hire a professional for the job to avoid any problems down the line.