When installing a new dryer, the most obvious choice for venting is to cut a hole in the wall (or floor) and vent to the outside. However, if you’re a renter and can’t make a hole in your walls, you’ll need to think of new ways to vent your dryer.
Read on for a full breakdown of how you can vent your dryer without a vent to the outside.
Location is everything when you’re venting your dryer by yourself. You need to pick a spot close to the window that’s easy for you to access. Your dryer shouldn’t block walkways or be easy to trip on.
If you’re having trouble finding a good spot, you could put your dryer in a close location and then move it when you need to dry your clothes. This way, you can store your dryer out of the way and then get it to the window.
It would be best if you also considered how hard it is to get to the location. You don’t want to hurt yourself by pushing the dryer around your living space.
The window itself should be low enough to the ground that you won’t have to stretch to put the vent duct out of it. It should also be open to the outside with no issues. If there’s a screen, it should be removable.
Once you’ve selected a spot, it’s time to get the materials.
Measure your dryer and make sure you have all the things you need. It’s recommended to write down the measurements for your dryer and any other items you might have to modify in the process. This will also help any sales associates you talk to so they know what you need.
The best place to look for materials is home improvement or hardware stores. Not only are these the places that’ll sell the items you need, but their associates could help you with any questions you have.
There are dryer vent kits you could get from home improvement stores and then assemble. These can be very inexpensive, durable, and easy to install with the right know-how. They come with all the physical components you need to run a vent for your dryer.
You’ll need the tools and gear to install it. These tools include wrenches and screwdrivers. Most basic tool kits should have them, or you can pick them up while you are out.
Check the kit you’ve purchased and look for any specific tools you might need. When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to ask a store associate for help. They can help you find the tools you need and give you advice on the process.
If you’re a more experienced DIYer, you could collect your own supplies for this process. You’ll need:
- A duct
- A lint trap (or exhaust coupling)
- Collars for the vent
Double and triple-check that they are the size of your dryer. You don’t want to modify the vent gear and then find out it isn’t the correct size. This is another excellent reason to write down all the information about the size of different parts.
Once again, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s better to ask for help than deal with a severe issue down the line.
After you’ve got the kit and the tools, you need to attach the duct to your dryer. This should be a relatively simple process of fitting the tube over the vent and tightening it down.
If you purchased a kit, there should be directions. If not, there are a lot of great options for vent installation videos on YouTube. These will give you a visual explanation of what you need to do.
Make sure everything is appropriately sealed and latched down. You don’t want to give the fumes and lint a place to escape.
Before starting your dryer, you should check that everything is sealed correctly. Give the duct a gentle tug to make sure it is tightly fastened. Wiggle the collar and make sure it doesn’t come loose.
Once everything is checked, you can give your dryer a test run. Don’t put any clothes in for this; you don’t want to deal with wet clothes if something goes wrong.
Listen for any air that might be escaping from the vent ducts or unexplained rattling.
Now that everything is secure, all that’s left to do is put the vent out the window and run your dryer!
Make sure the duct is secured. Otherwise, it might whip around and come loose from the window. This could hurt anyone standing nearby and let those fumes and lint dust into the air inside.
These tips will get your dryer vented outside safely. However, there are some cases where venting is impossible, and you need to get a dryer. Ventless dryers are a great option, especially for renters.
You can purchase a dryer without a vent, though it’s harder to do in America than in Europe. European dryers aren’t typically manufactured with a vent and are better than vented dryers in all kinds of ways. However, European dryers require smaller loads and take longer to finish.
Dryers without vents have all kinds of perks, like energy efficiency, working in small spaces, and being more clothes friendly. Some countries have even banned vented dryers.
Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of these dryers in more detail.
Ventless dryers use less energy than vented dryers. This is because they function differently.
Vented dryers draw air in from the outside and heat it before pushing it out through the vent. Ventless dryers heat the air inside the dryer continuously.
Vented dryers use up a lot more energy, especially in seasonal extremes. For example, if it’s the middle of summer and your air conditioner is running, the dryer has to pull in the cooled air and heat it back up to be used.
Ventless dryers don’t pull air into the dryer that wasn’t already there, avoiding this issue. They use less energy to create the same effect. Some even come with a sensor to detect when clothes are completely dry and automatically switch off.
Ventless dryers tend to be smaller than vented dryers. This is the most common complaint with ventless dryers and why they’re less popular with families. You might have to do multiple loads for the same amount of laundry you did before.
If you’re doing smaller loads more regularly, this shouldn’t be a problem for you, and it can reduce the overall work you have to do. Smaller loads mean less time putting clothes away and more time you can be putting towards anything else.
However, this doesn’t help if you are trying to dry something particularly large or bulky. Something like a large throw blanket may be a tight squeeze, or you might have trouble getting a pillow into the dryer.
Since ventless dryers produce less heat, it is easier to run gentle loads. You can dry your clothes at lower heat.
This gradual drying process is vital to the longevity of your clothes. If you’re having issues with clothes wearing out quicker than expected or clothes frying in the dryer, you might want to look into getting a ventless dryer.
Vented dryers can overdry clothes, and while it does give them the “right out of the dryer” feeling, that can be pulling moisture out of delicate fabrics.
However, this has a significant drawback. A load of regular clothes that could have taken 40 to 50 minutes in a vented dryer could take upwards of an hour and a half to two hours. That means a bulky item could take multiple hours to dry.
Does a Dryer Have to Vent to the Outside?
Dryers don’t have to vent to the outside, although most American dryers do. All American dryers have vents, and while you don’t have to vent to the outside, it’s highly recommended. You need to get rid of the fumes and lint, so they don’t contaminate the air.
The United States has a very different dryer culture than the rest of the world. American dryers tend to be larger and can hold more clothes. They function differently and are less energy-efficient than ventless dryers.
A side-effect of this is that you have to vent your dryer to the outside. Venting it into your garage won’t do. Fumes can quickly accumulate from the higher heat drying process, and you can’t release those into your home. They need to go somewhere, namely outside.
You might also want to read: Can You Vent a Dryer Through the Roof?
Dryers in the United States are almost exclusively vented, and many apartment complexes don’t allow modifications for venting. You can come up with creative answers in a little bit of time and elbow grease. However, ventless dryers can be a good option if there are no other options.