As the first step in every house enhancement project, it is necessary to determine and establish the needed components and devices according to your convenience. When designing the utility area of your dream home, installing a dryer vent is the key task that comes in two designs. They are indoor and outdoor dryer vents. Both the dryer vents incorporate the same features but with slight changes. Also, there are different dryer venting options available. Before learning about that, let’s see a brief on dryer vent.
What is the use of a dryer vent? It helps remove the heat exhausted from the dryer when the function is in progress. Dryer vents play a vital role in exhausting the heat, and if this doesn’t happen during the operation, then there is a chance for potential fire hazards that could be very dangerous.
Outdoor vs. Indoor Dryer Vents
As discussed above, both the outdoor and indoor dryer vents work similarly. However, you might have a question in your mind, whether the utility area of your home needs one dryer vent over another vent, or if you are going to use both the vents, what type of dryer vents you are going to choose for a smooth performance. Before that, you should know what indoor and outdoor dryer vents are and the difference between them.
Indoor Dryer Vents
It has a filtration system that captures the rogue lint, the filter attached to its end recirculates and reduces the heat, thus helping in capturing the vent discharge. This filtration process should be done to remove flammable substances present in the dryer to work efficiently.
Outdoor Dryer Vents
A vent hose connected to the outdoors at the back of the dryer. A vent attachment that runs from the vent hose to the outdoors is attached to a basement window. The vent air released circulates towards the outside, releasing the flammable materials to avoid fire hazards.
Outdoor vs. Indoor Dryer
Both the dryer vent’s function is to protect from overheating, but it cannot be interchangeable or exchanged. It is also recommended that the indoor dryer vents be used with only the electric dryers and not with gas. When using gas dryers, the exhaust which is thrown outside may contain carbon monoxide, which is hazardous to humans. On the other hand, any dryer with any power source is suitable for outdoor dryer vents.
An indoor dryer can be installed in apartments or other residences that generally don’t access the outside window. However, indoor vent dryers limit the emission of heat and flammable materials more than outdoor dryers could cause harmful hazards to the environment. But when you check an outdoor vent, the release of lint and other residues are passed onto the ground, whereas in the indoor, it is captured inside the vent hose.
Again, regarding the installation costs, installing indoor vents will be less than the outdoor vent installation. But, at the same time, when you are replacing the filters or parts, the additional cost will be more expensive than the outdoor vent. It is to be noted that either indoor or outdoor vents should not be connected to the plastic dryers to avoid hazards.
Dryer Venting Options
Dryer vent tubes are available in plenty of materials. Most of the pipes will be round, and the diameter will be 4 inches. Most pipes are flexible, and some are rigid. The following are some of the dryer vent alternatives:
1. Aluminum Foil Duct
Aluminum Foil Ducts are most commonly used in the United States. This dryer transition duct is connected from the appliance that runs outdoors through the main duct. This is made up of shiny metal, which is flexible enough to bend the foil duct in any shape as you wish. The length of the duct will run from 1 to 8 feet, which is more than enough for most of the installations. The only thing is you should check whether this aluminum foil duct is approved by the dryer and by the local code of the dryer you use. This foil duct has a ribbed texture, and the transition ducts should not be concealed inside the walls. Unfortunately, it is considered one of the worst ducts regarding lint trapping.
Note: It is also recommended to clean the aluminum foil duct once a month to avoid fire accidents.
2. Rigid Metal Duct
The rigid metal duct is mostly available in aluminum and steel that has a smooth interior finish for the air to flow in low friction. In this way, the rigid metal duct can collect a smaller amount of residues as time passes. In short, lint accumulation is harder in this type of metal duct. It is the only dryer duct that you can install inside the wall.
3. Semi-Rigid Metal Duct
The advantage of using a semi-rigid metal duct is its flexibility and durability. This metal duct is used for transition ducting, and it gets installed with clamps in it. It should not be concealed in walls or floors, and the metal used is semi-rigid, which is similar to an aluminum foil duct. Because of the smooth nature, the debris collected or the lint can move freely via the duct.
4. Slim Duct
The periscope duct or slim duct is an aluminum duct designed to perform the transition ducting, usually in very tight spaces. It comes in a rectangular shape in which the two ends are connected to the dryer and the outlet of the vent. The slim duct allows you to push the dryer closer to the wall. The flexibility of the slim duct is that it can be adjustable to the length of about 27 to 48 inches. It is constructed using rigid metal, and the slim duct’s upside is that the interior’s finishing will be smooth, and the downside is it will be hard to access.
5. Plastic or Vinyl Duct
It is similar to an aluminum foil duct, but instead of having a shiny metallic finish, this duct seems to be white by nature. The ribbed interior finish of the plastic duct easily catches the lint that could catch fire. They have thin walls, and generally, modern buildings do not use plastic ducts because they could easily catch fire with the collection of lint. Hence, this is considered as one of the least safe dryer vent piping options for users.
Installation of dryer vents is so simple, but at the same time, it is to be noted that it could cause frustrating or costly issues. The style to be selected during installation is determined by the type of machine you use and the location of your utility area. As mentioned above, there are plenty of materials available, but choosing one among them wisely gives a longer life to your dryer vent. Finally, for an optimal function of your dryer, try to create a safe path for the flow of lint, residues, and hot air, thus protecting your home from damage.