These days, it is hard to imagine any modern household without a functional dryer installed. In fact, if you are planning to buy or rent a new house, you should already find proper cutouts to install the vent for your dryer in an exterior part of your home.
However, older houses often have weird layouts that do not take such things into consideration. If you are unlucky, you might even have to install your dryer in a center room. Needless to say, venting the dryer especially in the middle part of the house is quite challenging.
The easiest way to do this is to hire a professional and have him inspect your house layout and dryer positioning. But if you want to save that expense, you can do it yourself with the right instruction. And that is where we come in.
In this article, we will give you a thorough guideline on how to vent a dryer in the middle of the house properly so that you can do this by yourself, even if you are relatively new to this sort of project.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Vent In A House?
Having a couple of vents in different rooms can have a lot of positive impacts on your house. Not only does it make it easier to install the dryer vent, but it also improves your overall living conditions. Here are some of the major benefits of having vents in your house.
Lower Air Impurities
The main reason to have vents in your house is to promote air circulation. With multiple vents, air will be free to move in and out of different rooms even if you have the windows closed. As air moves throughout the house, the dust particles in the air get blown away.
In a well-ventilated household, the air quality is much better than in a congested house with little to no ventilation.
Pollens or dust that affect the air quality inside your house is mostly invisible. With good ventilation, they will not be able to impact the quality of air inside your house.
In addition to clearing out impurities and improving air quality, ventilation also controls and lowers the level of humidity.
By driving out moisture and circulating fresh air into your house, ventilation systems can help keep the interior of your home cool and comfortable.
A house with low ventilation is often victim to higher humidity levels. Sure, you can control it to some extent using dehumidifiers, but for best results, you should also ventilate your house. In addition to ventilation, ceiling fans are also important to drive out humidity and keep moisture levels low.
If you or anyone living in the house has health issues like asthma, or allergies, good ventilation is essential. Respiratory problems can often get triggered by dampness, which is a common side-effect of having poor ventilation in the household.
By having your house ventilated properly, you will notice a drastic decline in these health issues.
As long as your house has free access to air, you will be able to breath comfortably without triggering any of these conditions. So, ventilating your home is never a bad idea.
Reduces Mold Buildup
High humidity and dampness are common issues when your house has poor ventilation.
Even if you are fine with dealing with the increased temperature and moisture that comes with higher humidity, your furniture and walls might not be able to handle it that well.
A damp home is an ideal place for mildew and mold to flourish. Before long, your antique wooden furniture will be home to mold, which will, in turn, cause dire health issues. The solution – get your house ventilated properly.
Venting A Dryer In The Middle Of The House: Is It Safe?
There can be a risk involved in venting in the middle of a house that has no direct exterior access. The main issue here is the lint that the dryer exhausts are flammable. And unless you take certain precautions, it can become a serious problem.
When you vent a dryer outside, the lint is not that big of an issue as it effectively gets blown away thanks to the wind. As a result, you can only vent your dryer to the attic or the basement if it is located in the middle. Venting down is often the better route to keep the inside of your house lint-free.
That is why it is not very safe or very practical to vent a dryer in the middle of the home. But there are some precautions you can take to make this safer. Check out these handy tips to make sure your home is safe when venting a dryer.
- Make sure both of the dryer vent's ends are free of any obstructions or blockages after it is installed.
- To prevent excessive accumulation of residual lint, keep the venting tube clean.
- Fill a small container with water and place it at the vent output. It would ensure that the exhausted lint gets trapped in the water and remains contained.
- When buying vent pipes for installation, it is best to go with flexible pipes instead of rigid ones.
You should also be aware that venting to a closed room may result in mold formation due to excessive moisture. Venting the dryer to a location with plenty of airflow is always recommended. If the room or space has decent air circulation, it will control and regulate the level of moisture.
Installing A Dryer Vent In The Middle Of House?
Ideally, you want to install a dryer vent in your half-basement. Typically, half-basements are designed for venting and, as such, have openings that are perfect for venting your dryer. In our article, we will use a half-basement as a reference for installing your dryer vent.
Here are the things that you will need.
- Two hookup periscopes to vent your dryer
- Spray foam insulation
- PVC pipe (as required)
Once you have all the things you need, you are ready to get started. Here are the steps that you need to follow.
Installing The First Periscope
If there is an existing vent on the floor, the job becomes much easier. You can place one of the two venting periscopes through the vent on the floor. However, if your floor does not have a pre-existing vent, you need to cut out the place according to the diameter of your first periscope.
In either case, you want to make sure that the periscope is at an angle of 90 degrees or as close as possible to that angle. Then you can line it up with your dryer and connect the periscope to the back of the dryer. Make sure the periscope that you get fits your dryer.
Alternatively, you can use a clamp if the connector is too small for the periscope. You can also go out to the store and replace your periscope if the one you bought does not fit your dryer. Make sure the gadget fits perfectly and lets you secure everything together.
Installing The Second Periscope
After installing the first periscope and guiding it through the vent, you want to head downstairs to your basement and find the hanging end of the periscope. Your job at this stage is to attach the second periscope to the hanging end of the first periscope.
Connecting the two periscopes should be hassle-free. Simply take the open end of the second tube and attach it to the visible end of the first periscope. It should give you a long line. After installation, the two periscopes should be facing opposite directions to each other.
Sealing And Insulation
The next step is to seal the periscopes so that they are completely secured. You have two options, either use a silicone sealant or use spray foam insulation. We recommend going with the latter option as it will minimize the amount of lint that gets released into the air.
Make sure you are applying the sealant or insulation outside the vent rather than inside. That way, it will minimize the airflow.
Running The PVC Connections
Once the periscope is installed and sealed, comes the trickiest part of the project, making the PVC connections. Since every house comes with different layouts, it is hard to give you a definitive guide on this subject.
That is why, we will give you two different connection options based on two different layout and scenario. Hopefully, you will be figure out the rest after reading the two options.
The first scenario assumes that your basement gives you the option to lead the PVC outdoors so that you can redirect the moisture and lint outside your house. This option is the best as you do not have to worry about any mold or mildew formation in your basement.
- The first step is to measure the opening of the periscope. Typically, a 4 to 6 inches PVC should do the trick. But if the opening of your periscope is larger or smaller, you need to adjust accordingly.
- For the next step, you want to run the PVC through the opening and lead it outside after connecting it to the periscope. Make sure that there are around 5 to 8 inches of overlap outside to ensure proper heat dissipation.
- To keep bugs or mud away from the PVC, you can attach a small flap to the outside end of the pipe.
Not every basement comes with a vent or window leading outside. If your house has a closed basement design, then you will not have the option to run the PVC outdoors. Don’t worry; it is still possible to vent a dryer in your basement, but the steps are a bit different.
- Similar to scenario A, you should start with measuring the periscope end and attaching the PVC based on that measurement. But this time, instead of guiding the PVC outside, make sure that the PVC is angled down while hanging from the bottom of the periscope.
- Then place a small container filled with water under the open end of the PVC. This would allow the excess moisture and lint to pass through the vent and discharge to the container. As a result, the fire risk involved with lint gets reduced tenfold.
The main issue with this method is that despite all the measures taken to control moisture, there is still a chance of your basement becoming too humid. Without proper air circulation to regulate moisture and temperature, there is always a risk of overheating.
Ways To Improve Ventilation In Your Home
Better ventilation in your home is essential to improving your living conditions. However, if you do not want to invest in getting your home ventilated by a professional or buying a new HVAC system, you can improve the natural ventilation available already.
Here are some easy tips and tricks to improve the ventilation in your home.
Open Windows Periodically
Keeping your window open is the obvious way to improve airflow in your home. But keeping them open all the time might be counterproductive. The trick to getting the best air circulation is to open the windows strategically and keep them closed the rest of the days.
Ideally, you want to keep your windows closed when the sun shines directly at them. This would prevent your room from heating up. Once the sunlight dies down, you should open up the window and let fresh air in.
Turn On The Ceiling Fan
If you do not have an HVAC system, you should have ceiling fans that can boost the natural ventilation in your room. By keeping the fans turned on when the windows are open, you will be able to drive away from the humidity in your room quickly.
For people who do not mind some extra investment, buying a table fan might be a good idea. You can turn it on and point it towards an open window to drive the humidity out even faster.
Use Curtains To Prevent Heat
Curtains over the windows are a smart way to prevent excessive heat from coming inside your room. Keep in mind, though, if the curtains are too thick, they can also prevent the flow of air.
The trick to get the most out of it is to open the curtains when there is a breeze, and when you want to keep the heat out and windows closed, let them down.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I hire a professional to vent a dryer in the middle of a house?
If you followed all the steps that we described carefully, then you should be able to install a proper vent for your dryer, even if it is in a center room. However, there are some calculations and a fair bit of tinkering involved. If you are not absolutely sure about your capabilities, hiring a professional is a viable approach.
In fact, we recommend you get professional help if you have never worked on similar projects before. That way, you can ensure that the fitment is up to standards, and you will not have to worry about any issues afterward. Sure, it will cost a bit, but it will be safe and hassle-free for you.
2. How frequently should I clean the dryer vents and why?
Cleaning the vents is essential if you want to keep your dryer working in its peak condition. Even though it is a hassle, the dryer can get clogged without proper maintenance every now and then. In extreme cases, small rodents can make their way down the vent and make a mess.
Thankfully, you do not have to check up on your dryer vents every week or month unless you find an issue with the dryer. One or two inspections a year should be enough to ensure the vents are working properly.
3. How to know that my dryer vents require cleaning?
There are some clear signs about when your dryer vents are clogged up and require thorough cleaning. For example, if you notice that your laundry is taking longer to dry, or if the clothes feel absurdly hot instead of warm, it is time for you to clean your dryer.
In addition, if the dryer gets hot during operation, or if you notice any weird smell coming out of it, check out the vents as soon as possible.
Installing a vent for your dryer that is in a central location does seem a bit intimidating at first. But once you read through this guide a couple of times carefully, it should become quite clear.
You can solve this problem without too much difficulty by following our article on venting a dryer in the middle of your house. Good luck.