How to Install a Dryer Vent

2-4 hours

A dryer vent removes moist and potentially hazardous air from your home. Here’s how to install one.

Forced heat, whether produced by natural gas, propane or electricity, dries your clothes. It's important to remove the moist air from your home via a dryer vent because it may be mixed with hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide, a byproduct of combustion.

Vent pipe is normally made of 4-inch diameter, rigid sheet metal. Flexible vinyl cannot be used because it doesn't support its weight, and lint that collects in low spots presents a fire hazard.

Seal joints with foil duct tape. Never use sheet metal screws; they will catch lint.


Cut the vent hood opening
Cut the vent hood opening  - Install Dryer Vent

• Identify and measure the location of your vent and mark where the opening will be in the interior of your home.
• Drill a pilot hole and check inside to make sure the hole is in the right place. Plug and re-drill if necessary. Use a 4 ¼-inch hole saw to cut the hood opening.

Install the dryer vent hood
Install dryer vent hood  - Install Dryer Vent

• Insert the duct pipe through the hole.
• Attach the hood to the siding with wood screws.
• Caulk around the edges of the hood to seal.

Connect to the hood duct
Connect to the hood duct  - Install Dryer Vent

Depending on the location of your vent, you may require an elbow to the hood duct. You may have one or two elbows back-to-back to the run. Attach the duct lengths to the elbow.

Secure the duct
Secure the duct  - Install Dryer Vent

• Attach straps to support the duct.
• Apply foil tape around the joints to seal them and help support the duct. Use a carpenter's level and set horizontal sections with a fall of ¼ inch per foot to prevent moisture from collecting.

Install the duct into the dryer vent outlet
Duct dryer vent outlet - Install Dryer Vent

• Insert an elbow over the dryer outlet.
• Connect the duct pipe to the elbow.
• Slide the dryer back into place and level using a carpenter's or bubble level.
• Adjust the legs and lock into place by tightening the locknut against the dryer.