How to install a dryer vent

Man replacing the dryer vent using a tool.
(Image credit: Getty)

Learn how to install a dryer vent to ensure maximum performance of your tumble dryer. Without one, your tumble dryer may be at risk of both moisture and lint build-up, causing it to not dry your clothes properly and even causing wear and tear. 

The good news is that installing a dryer vent yourself could be a simpler process than it seems. If you’re installing a dryer in the same location as the previous one, it can be as easy as reusing the same foundation already there, but if it’s a new vent installation, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

So, before you get started with your electrical home improvements, plan ahead and gather your resources. We’ve consulted an expert who fixes dryers for a living for their guide on installing a tumble dryer vent to keep your best dryer in good working condition. Follow these steps and have your dryer vent installed in no time. 

What you'll need

Wall vent
Large hole saw (if installing a new vent)
Dryer duct tubing
Clamps or aluminum tape
Vent elbows
Caulk gun
Exterior caulk 

Things to consider when installing a dryer vent

Opt for a short vent length: You should keep in mind that a shorter vent length will minimize potential clogging and improve overall drying performance. The smoother, less restrictive vent run – without any turns or bends – will help your clothes dry faster. This will allow for a shorter run time, too, which means there will be less wear on your clothes. 

Check for lint: Lint build-up can lead to safety issues. As Jason Carter, appliance technician at Simply Swider, explains, ‘You should consider using a lint catcher and regularly check for lint to prevent accumulation, especially if venting the dryer into a room or area.’ 

How to install a dryer vent

Carter notes, after successful dryer vent installation, ‘you should clean the vent cover and walls regularly to maintain efficiency and reduce drying time.' You should also ensure the area around the dryer is well-ventilated to prevent moisture damage. Planning ahead is key for the proper installation, as it can vary from model to model. For most types, you should find the most direct route for your dryer bent to go and ensure you have the amount of ducting necessary. You can check the manufacturer's recommendation for the length of the duct.

1. Choose a durable vent material

Carter advises ‘to choose a durable vent material instead of flexible plastic tubes, which clog quickly.’

2. Drill the vent hole

Measure the hole size according to the vent and mark where you will drill with a pencil. You should consider drilling a smaller pilot hole before you commit to one location. The easiest way to do this is with a hole saw. 

What the expert says...

Carter notes, after successful dryer vent installation, ‘you should clean the vent cover and walls regularly to maintain efficiency and reduce drying time.’ You should also ensure the area around the dryer is well-ventilated to prevent moisture damage. 

3. Install the vent hood 

After you’re happy with your vent hole and its location, you should apply a bead of exterior caulk around the edge of the hole. Insert the vent hood pipe through and attach it with aluminum tape. You should make sure to seal any gaps between the hood and the wall with caulk.

4. Connect the duct

Route the vent through, avoiding any turns or kinks. Carter recommends ‘there should be no more than two 90-degree bends’ in the vent. Use clamps or tape to hold it in place.  

5. Test the dryer 

Once the duct is securely attached, you should test the dryer out. After a few dry spins, check to make sure there are no kicks or the possibility that the vent has become disconnected. Run the dryer to monitor performance.’ 

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Writer

Louise is a contributing writer at Top Ten Reviews. With experience in home eCommerce, Louise worked in PR and communications before joining Future in April 2022. She now writes across Real Homes, Ideal Homes, Livingetc, Homes and Gardens, and Gardeningetc. 

Bringing bags of bedding expertise from her time working for luxury bedding and homeware brands, Louise specializes in sleep content, so you can wind down well. From buying guides and reviews to features and news, Louise is your go-to for getting a great night's sleep. Aside from helping readers get essential shut-eye, Top Ten Reviews’ also allows Louise to write content on vacuums, cleaning and other household need-to-knows. Tidy room, tidy mind, right? Oh, and she certainly won’t snooze on sales, deals, and discounts, or great designer dupes - there’s nothing better than a top-brand bargain in her eyes.  

When she’s not shopping for or trying out the latest home buy, Louise will be at one of the galleries around London. With a BA in Contemporary Art, Louise loves viewing exhibitions and getting inspired for her next artwork. Otherwise, you’ll find Louise decorating the bare space of her newly-rented East London flat, if not in her bed - which is no surprise given how comfy it must be.

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