The hazards of improper installation of dryer vents
A dryer is more than just the main appliance. It is an accumulation of heat, vents, filters, and electronics. As such, a proper respect should be given to the various parts of the machine. However, it is common that the machine does not get such, specifically in terms of the dryer vent. And while the dryer vent may look as a harmless oversight, not installing the vent properly and poor maintenance of the dryer vent can cause some serious damage to your home. Here are a few things which could result from improper dryer ventilation installation.
Overheating and Fire
Have you ever noticed that the dryer vent gives off only hot air? I know that this may should a bit rhetorical, but there is a point. If the heat is escaping is not getting through the vent do to cramping the vent hose or through tears, then the heat has to go somewhere else. Since there is not an outlet for the heat, the heat can accumulate at the back of the machine where the wires and the electronics are stored. The best case scenario for this situation is that the components will get overheated and that the machine will simply stop working. Yet, this is the best case scenario. As the machine also stores the lint and such in the same location, there is amplified risk of fire.
Damage to the heating element
Because the heating element may get overheated, the possibility of ruing the heating component of your appliance is high when the vents are not properly installed. This means that even if you get your vents in order later, you may not be able to dry your clothes efficiently. Yes, it may dry your clothes eventually, but your drying time will be increased resulting in higher power usage and higher electricity bills.
Think about it. When you put your clothes into a dryer they are wet. When you take them out they are dry. The water has to go somewhere. Basic science will tell you that the water becomes a vapor and that the vapor is then transported away from the clothing. This of course is done by the vent. If the vent is not properly installed or if there is damage to the vent hose, the moisture can accumulate in unwanted areas. The most common of places for accumulation to occur is under the house or in the basement. And as these places are prone to dampness, it may be difficult to know that there is a problem with the vent. To check the dryer vent for improper installation, have the dryer running, and look under the house for any signs of air escaping the vent. Run your hand along the hose and feel for any air leakage. Should you find any tears, holes, leaks, or loose connections (if you have to use elbows and such to get to the exterior of the building), replace the dryer ventilation hose.
Moisture accumulation in a house can result in rotten floors, damaged electricals, mold accumulation, black mold, bacteria accumulation in insulation, rotting of the foundation, cracking of cement and other structural elements, and other major issues.
Yes, improper installation of a dryer vent can encourage vermin to nest, especially during the winter. As vermin typically seek out warm spaces, if the out vent is located too close to the ground level and if the exterior vent is not properly maintained (keeping out debris which can be used as nesting material), vermin may find the dryer hose area ideal for roosting.
How to properly install your dryer vent
To avoid all of the above problems, take the time to install your dryer vent properly.
- Ensure that the dryer hose and the dryer outlet are compatible. Do not try to force it to fit.
- Reinforce the connection with electric tape or a special made fitting to keep from air leaks
- Avoid excess on the dryer vent hosing.
- When installing elbows and fittings ensure that there is no slippage once the hose and connector are fastened
- Keep the exterior vent unit clean of debris
- Install a vent cover
Need help to maintain or install a dryer?
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