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A dryer is an essential home appliance that makes drying clothes faster and easier, especially if the weather is not cooperating for air drying. Have you ever wondered if you can vent your dyer into your crawl space? In this article, we have researched and asked the experts the exact question, and we will tell you what we found out.
It is not recommended to vent to your crawl space as this can cause moisture and mold that may damage your crawl space. To avoid any issue, vent your dryer outside as this prevents damage and inconvenience in your house.
Continue reading as we tackle more details about why it is a bad idea to have your dryer venting in your crawl space. We will also talk about other types of vents on dryers, even ventless ones.
Is it OK to vent dryer under the house?
There are multiple ramifications if you choose to let your dryer dump its air into the crawl space. Not only will it cause damage that's expensive to repair, but also cause inconvenience to you and the other tenants in your home.
Venting your dryer in the crawl space can make your house extra hot, especially in the summertime. As you vent out under your house, the hot air will rise and would then, in turn, raise the temperature of your house.
You might think of doing this during winter to make your house warmer, but this will not work as a heater. Rather than keeping you warm, it would only inflict damage to your crawl space.
Also during the winter, moisture in your house is increased, as all the doors and windows are closed, moisture from cooking and your heater are accumulated inside. If you add more moisture from the dryer, condensation might occur inside your house.
The damage would not only be present in your crawl space but also throughout your house. Places like the kitchen and bathrooms would be very vulnerable to mold and mildew as these are already places that experience the most dampness and moisture.
Your ceilings and wooden walls are also susceptible to damage caused by moisture, especially hot air rising from the crawl space. Portrait and family pictures can also be damaged, especially if they are not tightly sealed in your picture frames.
Crawl spaces are commonly very dusty. By venting your dryer to your crawl space, the vented air can also bring dust into your house that can make your walls and other stuff dusty, lint build-up on clothes can also be significant.
Here is an article we previously wrote about moisture and dampness in your crawl spaces titled, "Should A Crawl Space Be Damp? [With 4 Moisture Reduction Solutions]." It might help you best manage crawl space moisture.
How to properly vent a dryer?
Venting your dryer properly does not only help prevent the damage brought about by moisture but also helps in preventing other hazards such as fires.
Clogged vents due to dirt, lint, and other foreign objects can block the passage of air which can make your dryer work extra hard. These conditions if left untreated can cause short-circuits that can start a spark in your dryer.
One proper way of venting your dryer is by always checking the ducts and lint filters if there is any blockage of airflow. Regular cleaning will help your dryer run smoothly and safely.
As we also mentioned, the best way to vent the air from your dryer is by venting outside. Make sure that your dryer is connected to an air duct that spews the heavily dampened air directly outside and not in your crawl space.
You also need to make sure that your ducts are clear of obstructions as well, regular checkups and cleaning are important as these are part of your overall preventive maintenance for your house.
Periscope dryer vent
For small cramped spaces, a periscope vent can help you properly vent your dryer. This is because these can be installed in any type of position,
A standard foil tube would be damaged especially if it will be installed in a place where there is no ample space between the dryer and the wall if you try to force it in.
Periscope vents are usually made up of smooth metal, a property that helps air escape smoothly. And because of the shorter space, air escapes faster and more efficiently than regular tubing ducts.
Wondering how you can vent a dryer in your basement? Check this article that we have previously written tackling the same topic titled, "How To Vent A Dryer In The Basement."
What does four-way venting on a dryer mean?
As the name suggests, a four-way venting dryer can vent in four different ways, from either side, the bottom, or the back.
This is a good feature on your dryer as it gives versatility of placing your ducts in any position of the room since the vents of the dryer can be on any side. Dryers with this feature also work very well in small rooms.
What is a ventless dryer?
Some houses are just not built to accommodate vented dryers, meaning there are no systems where you can plug your dryer and let the air from it vent outside. So here, ventless dryers offer a solution.
Instead of expelling air immediately like a vented dryer, a ventless one recirculates its air in its drum until it absorbs all the moisture. With its heat exchanger, it then condenses the absorbed moisture and stores it in a container that needs to be occasionally emptied.
Are ventless dryers a good idea?
These can be a great option when living in an apartment or condo as housing like these does not provide you with access to a dryer vent.
Either way, you can still prevent humid air and moisture from wreaking havoc in your home so it does the job. The only downside of ventless dryers is that they take longer in drying your clothes compared to vented ones.
Can you use PVC pipe for dryer vent?
Currently, it is still a common sight to see PVC pipes for dryer vents, but experts strongly advise against these ars PVC pipes can melt due to hot air passing through these vents.
In fact, manufacturers do not permit their use of venting a dryer as they can be fire hazards. As the hot air deforms the pipes not only block airflow but also trap lint from the dryer.
A lint build-up can trigger a charge enough for a fire to break out. Since lint is combustible, the spread of a fire is easy, especially if you are doing this while tending to other chores at home.
We advise you to use solid metal as a pipe for your dryer vents, as we mentioned earlier, airflow is more smooth and faster, and they are also more sturdy as they can handle hot air better.
Another alternative is flexible aluminum pipes as they are lighter and easier to install than metal pipes, they are also better when it comes to fighting against rust.
Even though building codes still permit PVC for piping dryer vents, let us air in caution to prevent any untoward accidents that can harm us or our loved ones. Let us always prioritize our safety.
Additionally, as solid or flexible piping is more expensive than PVC, just treat it as an additional investment in your safety, as a burned house is more expensive to fix than buying metal or aluminum pipes.
It is not advisable to let your dryer vent spew its air to your crawl space as the ramifications for this can end up with you having molds and mildew, not just in your crawlspace but also in other parts of your house. This can also damage the integrity of your house, especially if your crawl space is not sealed.