How to Vent a Dryer That Doesn’t Have Outside Access

Venting a dryer without outside access can be a very challenging task, even for a homeowner who’s got quite a few medium-level difficulty projects under their belt. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional and ASK plenty of questions about the process! Once the Broken Arrow vent cleaning professional has explained the project in its entirety, you may realize the value of the time and hassle you save by letting the pros handle it! 

So, how do you vent a dryer without outside access? The best way to vent a dryer without outside access is to run a vent hose through a window or to run a vent hose up through your attic space to a dryer vent on your roof. Alternatively, you can vent your dryer into your home and install a vent cover. Since venting a dryer to the exterior of your home is optimal, you should consult a professional to use one of the alternative methods such as venting inside your home.

Keep reading to learn more about venting a dryer when you don’t have outside access!

The Importance of Dryer Vents

Whether you have a gas or electric dryer, if your dryer can exhaust air outside of your home it should be vented. Venting the dryer eliminates the moisture from the clothes so that they don’t mildew and rot in humid conditions. This is important for health and safety reasons on top of just being gross. Installing a vent also will significantly reduce drying time because moist air is not being recycled through the clothes instead of flowing out.

Laundry lint that is left to build up inside a dryer vent can result in higher energy bills due to more frequent drying cycles, reduce the efficiency of heating appliances (like your home’s furnace), shorten equipment lifespan, increase fire hazards and potentially damage the internal components of the appliance or ventilation system.

What Happens When Dryer Vents Are Clogged

Dryer Vent CleaningClogged-up vents may cause slow airflow through your clothes dryer, eventually leading to blockage. This can reduce the airflow needed for the proper operation of the appliances, which in turn increases your energy consumption (and costs) and wears down the motor faster.

But that’s not all! Clogged dryer vents lead to lint building up around the entire ventilation system. When this happens, bacteria can grow on it because of moisture and heat conditions.

If you’ve ever noticed a musty odor after running your dryer or noticed mold growing somewhere in your laundry room or house – chances are, your clogged-up ventilation system is responsible for it!

Mold spores are air-borne and may be present in most homes even without any visible signs. The best way to prevent these health issues is with regular cleaning of your dryer vent. A very important note to remember is that a clogged-up dryer vent can also cause a dryer fire. Ventilation systems are meant to provide proper airflow. If lint blocks the way it will overheat and start a fire or trigger smoke alarms! This is one of the most common causes of house fires in North America. In fact, 4 out of 5 home clothes dryer fires are caused by blocked vents! Make sure that dryer vent cleaning is a priority item on your home to-do list.

Things to Consider When Venting a Dryer Without Outside Access

Here are some things professionals consider when planning to vent your dryer without outside access:

What Kind of Ducting Do I Need?

The type of ducting needed depends on whether there is an exterior wall or not, what size is the exterior wall opening, and if there’s a ceiling above. A vent can be installed through a wall or an open window (if accessible) and directly vent the dryer outside of the house. If there’s a ceiling above, you’ll need to install ducting up between floors of your home and vent it out of a vent on the roof.

Where is My Exterior Wall?

Is there enough room in that area for me to vent directly outside of my house? Some houses have enclosed outdoor areas (like attached garages without roll-up garage doors, carports with low ceilings, etc.) that aren’t wide enough for venting to fit through. If this is the case see option 1: vent into the open air inside your home and install a vent cover or exterior vent hood (with vent cap, which is different than a vent cover) on the outside of your house.

Is My Exterior Wall Large Enough to Vent Directly to the Outdoors?

If you answered “no” to option 1 or 2, or if your area doesn’t have an enclosed outdoor area, venting may need to be installed indoors through an open window and vent all the way up out of a vent hood on your roof. This is fine as long as there’s adequate ventilation in that room already (for example, if there’s an existing bathroom fan that can handle it). Some homeowners choose not to vent inside at all but install an exterior vent hood with a vent cap instead. This will keep out bugs and still vent moist air.

Do I Have Access to the Vent Hood On My Roof?

Note that vent caps are round and smaller than vent hoods. Vent covers can be installed inside or outside of your home, whereas vent hoods are exterior only. Vent caps are circular holes in the roof with a screen. Vent hoods are typically squared off at the top and look similar to an AC unit on top of your house.

If you need to install ducting up between floors, make sure there’s adequate room for it through your attic space (at least 18″ clearance for 4″ diameter ducting). Otherwise, you’ll have to remove some drywall to install it which can create problems down the road. Vent hood installation is best done by professionals, but vent covers can be installed be by experienced handy homeowners.

Does My Vent Flow Directly Outside of the House?

If venting does not vent directly outside and there’s no room to install a vent inside and you do not have access to the roof, it may be possible that your dryer is vented straight up through your roof. This typically happens in homes with low ceilings over the exterior walls, such as in carports. This solution will work fine for shorter heating and drying times, but it is not compliant with the code.

The reasoning behind this is because moist air naturally rises, home moisture often gets trapped in hot humid air above the dryer. This creates a suffocation hazard and also means the dryer has to work harder. If your vent is venting straight up out of your roof, it may be possible to install a vent cover or interior vent hood on an exterior wall that directs moist air outside as well as inside.

Can I Vent My Dryer Through My Roof?

Is there an issue with venting directly from my roof? In older homes, it’s common for the vent pipe to have been used as a leader for rainwater at some point in its history so check for obstructions or cracks in your vent stack. This could mean you need a new vent stack! Some houses have vent stacks installed within a foot of the peak of their roofs, but code now requires them to be at least 4 feet away from the peak to prevent water damage and mold or mildew. If venting does vent directly from your roof and there’s no way to vent anywhere else, it may be possible to install a vent hood on an exterior wall that directs moist air outside as well as inside.

Unless dryer venting leads directly outside of your home, it will need to be vented through your attic space at least 18″ away from any exhaust pipe or chimney before venting out of a vent hood on your roof.

We hope that you have a good idea of how a dryer is professionally vented and what we can do for you! Remember that whether you choose to hire a professional dryer vent service or vent it yourself, venting your dryer properly will help you save time and money while keeping your family safe and healthy.