Published on June 3rd, 2013 | by Henri


Best way to vent a dryer

Q.    A few years ago, I recall reading about a particular dryer vent that you recommended as being very efficient at stopping drafts and a great alternative to those sold in most home centers. Can you please supply this information again? I can’t find it on the Web site.

A.    I generally recommend an aluminum wall jack with a spring-activated flap. Many dryer vent jacks have a loose flap that may get stuck open or are made of plastic with louvers that are quite fragile and break off.

If your house has a basement or crawlspace, consider venting the dryer down instead of the conventional way. That goes for bathroom vents as well. Install the vent through a band joist instead of the usual practice of venting them upward through the roof, a wall, or into the attic (a particularly bad choice!).

Venting them downward uses the laws of physics to cut down heat loss as the stack effect in the house forces the flap to stay shut until the fan is turned on. (I earned a federal and a state award for that suggestion.)

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