How to Install a Dryer Vent

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

2-4 hours

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.

What You'll Need

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.