Damp clothes, musty smells, pests, small critters and fire hazards can all result from faulty dryer vents. If your vent isn’t the right size, type, or properly cleaned, your dryer might not function properly, resulting in the annoyances described above.
If your dryer vent isn’t working properly, it can cause excess lint build up in your vent and hose, which is a fire hazard. Did you know that every year, there are nearly 3,000 fires caused by dryers and those fires result in $35 million dollars in property losses? Not properly cleaning the dryer is the most common cause of fires too.
Keep in mind best dryer vents are those that will meet your dryer manufacturer’s recommendations, keep your dryer working efficiently, and preventing fires in your ductwork. Before purchasing anything, be sure you are fully up-to-date on your local fire codes as well as what is recommended for your dryer and your type of venting situation.
Top 10 Dryer Vent Reviews
Not all dryer vents are created equal. From smooth metal to vinyl or plastic, they come in different sizes, materials, and types. Before you choose a vent, you’ll need to know what type of dryer you have, where the ducts are located in your home, and how much space you have.
1# BetterVent Electric Dryers- Best Pick For Indoor Dryer Vent
This vent uses a double-filter system to catch lint and dust. It has a stainless steel screen that catches all the big stuff and then the polyester filter will pick up any of the fine lint and dust. The stainless steel screen can easily be cleaned with your hand and the polyester filter can be vacuumed clean or it can inexpensively be replaced when it’s full.
This is a great vent because it helps save on energy costs, as clothes dry faster, and in the cold months, the vent also returns warm air into the room. It doesn’t need any water and it also has a safety vent flap that can act as a reminder to clean the screen after every load of clothes is dried.
2# Dundas Jafine -Popular Dryer Vent Kit
This dryer vent kit uses a 4×5 inch dryer transition duct, a plastic lint reservoir, and two plastic adjustable clamps. It’s a great choice for condos, RVs, and apartments that don’t have the ability to vent their dryer outdoors. This is a great option as it is very affordable and also helps save on your energy bills, as the warm air from the dryer is coming back into your home and it also makes the dryer work more efficiently.
3# Heartland Energy Saving Dryer Vent Closure
This is meant to vent your dryer outside. It directs the warm air out of your home when it’s open and also prevents the cold air from coming in when it’s cold. It’s easy to install and can go on in less than a half-hour.
No matter what type of exterior you have, whether it’s siding, brick, masonite, or pressboard, this can be mounted to it.
4# Dryer Dock Two-Piece Dryer Quick-Connect
Dryer Dock has a quick-connect ability and allows you to connect your dryer’s vent to your home’s vent. Maintenance is quick and easy and it saves space behind your dryer. It has a quick-release system as well, allowing you to easily clean so you can maintain energy efficiency, reduce fire risk, and make sure your dryer is working properly.
It’s an easy and affordable solution to attach your dryer vent hose to your vent.
5# Deflecto Supurr-Vent Low Budget Dryer Vent Cover
If you have a problem with pests getting into your dryer vent, this one of the best outsider dryer vents. It is a 6″ x 6″ cover with a 4″ diameter opening (so be sure to measure your vent and make sure it will fit) and not only keeps out small animals and insects, but also keeps the wind, rain, and snow from coming into your vent as well. The curved louvers help keep it from being too loud and it is weather-resistant.
6# Whirlpool 4396037RP Dryer Vent Periscope for Tight Space
This Whirlpool product is adjustable up to 18″ and gives you back some of your space in your laundry room without sacrificing safety. It includes a male snap-lock fitting and an extra-long draw-band collar for easy installation. If there is excess length, you can trim it off. The ends are beveled, so it won’t damage walls or floors.
7# MagVent MV-180 – Magnetic Dryer Vent Coupling
If you never want to deal with a dryer hose again, you need the MagVent magnetic dryer vent. Instead of trying to shimmy your dryer into place without crumpling or disconnecting the vent hose, this is a magnetic vent that self-aligns and attaches to your dryer’s hose.
The installation is easy enough (less than 30 minutes in most cases) and requires only a few tools that you likely have on hand already.
8# Kelaro Flexible Clothes Dryer Duct
Kelaro dryer duct is 10′ feet in length and 4″ in diameter. It’s compatible with both front-loading and top-loading dryers and can be used with both gas and electric dryers. It’s also universally compatible with most major dryer manufacturers, like Amana, Whirlpool, LG, GE, Samsun, Kenmore, Bosch, Maytag, Speed Queen, and Electrolux.
The kit comes with everything that you need to connect it, including two 4″ worm hose clamps to make a secure connection to the wall and the dryer. The upgraded clamps are easy to use and make sure the connection won’t allow any heat or lint to escape.
9# Deflecto RVHAW4 Dryer Vent Hood
This vent hood is meant to mount to the outside of your home to keep birds and other critters from nesting in the vent or entering your home. It’s weather-resistant and the removable bird guard allows you to easily clean it regularly to allow optimal airflow. It also has a UV-inhibitor to prevent sun damage and cracking. This product includes the vent hood, bird guard, aluminum pipe, and plastic collar for installation. The damper also seals tightly when not in use, preventing any cold air from getting into your home.
10# Indoor Dryer Vent Lint Trap
This dryer vent trap is meant to be used indoors and only with electric dryers. It has a patented stainless steel screen and water drawer to capture lint and dust and this screen never has to be replaced.
Not only does the screen filter out particles from the air, but it also recycles the heat from your dryer, saving you money on your energy bills and lessening your impact on the environment.
Different Types of Dryer Vents Duct
Not all dryer vents are created equally. The proper term for them is vent ducts, and they come in different sizes, styles, and materials. The most common ones include
This is the most common type of vent duct and connects from the dryer to the main duct that runs outside. It is made of aluminum foil and is expandable, usually to up to 8′ (check your local codes to make sure this type of duct is allowed and what length you can have). It’s held in place with dryer clamps or large hose clamps, which can easily be removed to clean the tube.
This type of duct is also made out of aluminum and is flexible like aluminum foil duct, but it’s more rigid. This type of duct shouldn’t be concealed in floors or walls and should only be used to connect the dryer to the outside vent. It also uses dryer clamps or hose clamps to connect and can easily be cleaned by removing these clamps.
These are also known as periscope ducts. They are for tight spaces and instead of being a tube, they are narrow rectangular ducts that allow you to push the dryer close to the wall. They are adjustable and can be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
Rigid metal ducts are used for concealed duct installation. Concealed ducts are the ones that run inside the walls, floors, or ceiling. They are made of galvanized steel or aluminum and the interior is very smooth, so air flows through easily and no lint or dust is caught inside. They can’t be vent, so they are installed with elbow fittings allowing the ducts to turn at 45- or 90-degree angles.
This is similar to an aluminum foil duct, but instead of metal, the duct is made of plastic or vinyl. Most building codes no longer allow this type of duct any longer, however.
TO KNOW WHICH TYPE YOU NEED, CHECK YOUR OWNER’S INSTALLATION MANUAL AND FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER’S RECOMMENDATION.
Differences Between Gas and Electric Dryers
Both gas and electric dryers use heat, tumbling, and air to dry your clothes. The main difference is where that heat comes from. Electic dryers use a heating element to heat the air while gas dryers use a gas burner to heat it. In an electric dryer, currents travel through the heating coil, which heats the air. The warm air is then sent into the dryer drum by a fan or blower.
A gas dryer, on the other hand, uses an igniter to burn the gas (either propane or natural gas), which warms the air. The air is then pushed into the dryer drum using a blower or fan.
Both types of dryers require a vent to the outside. If your dryer isn’t properly vented, you could end up with a laundry room full of mildew, lint, dust, and hot air. There are some ventless electric dryers, which are often found in apartments, but most dryers need to be vented to the outside.
Dryer Venting Dos and Don’ts
Even if you have no idea what you are doing, venting your dryer is easy enough that with some written instructions, Youtube videos, and basic tools, you can figure it out. If you have basic DIY skills, it’s a job that you can handle on your own. Here are some dos and don’ts when venting your dryer.
Dryer Vent Installation Safety Tips
If you want to take on this task yourself, make sure you follow some simple safety guidelines. Dryers vents that are installed improperly can be a fire hazard, so you need to make sure you do things safely.
- Check the duct and exterior vent for lint build-up.
- Do not put a screen on the dryer vent, as lint will build up and plug the vent, creating a fire hazard.
- Ensure that your ducting is at least 4″ in diameter to allow maximum airflow.
- The hose must be foil or flexible aluminum, never plastic or vinyl.
- Any concealed ducting (such as behind walls or under floors) much be rigid galvanized steel or aluminum ducting.
- Install joints so that the male end of the duct points toward the direction of the airflow.
- If you are installing concealed metal ducting, it should not exceed 25′ and you need to deduct 5′ from the length for every 90-degree elbow and deduct 2.5′ for every 45-degree fitting. Check your local codes and the dryer manufacturer’s recommendations for this.
- Make sure you understand fire safety codes and store a fire extinguisher near the dryer.
- Keep the area around the dryer clear of anything that is flammable, like cardboard, clothing, or cleaning products.
- Use the correct plug and outlet for your dryer. An electric dryer requires a special cord and outlet. You should also keep your dryer in good working order. A gas dryer should be inspected annually to make sure that the gas line and the connection to the dryer are working properly and there are no leaks.
FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions
Still have some questions about dryer vents and in what direction you should go? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about dryer vents.
The best dryer vents are those that will meet your dryer manufacturer’s recommendations, keep your dryer working efficiently, and preventing fires in your ductwork. Before purchasing anything, be sure you are fully up-to-date on your local fire codes as well as what is recommended for your dryer and your type of venting situation.
Dryers do require regular maintenance and cleaning, so don’t forget about your dryer’s vent and ducts during your seasonal cleaning each year. Keep your vents clean and clear so your dryer can work to its full potential and you can keep lint from building up inside.
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