Can You Vent a Dryer Through the Roof? What You Need To Know!

Preparing new property design is a dream possibility for many, but it does not occur without its share of difficulties. Several new residence builders encounter the frequent concern of figuring out how to vent their dryer when it is not close to an exterior wall. When you’ve last but not least landed on the best ground plan, this one small problem can create into an huge disappointment.

Luckily, if venting out of the wall is out of the query, venting up may nevertheless be a answer. In a lot of situations, you can vent a dryer via the roof of your home. We’ll describe when you may well want to consider this route and go over some of the benefits and downsides of this type of dryer vent installation.

Can You Vent a Dryer Through the Roof?

If you cannot reasonably operate a duct through a wall or crawlspace to an exterior vent, you can operate a vent by means of the roof. The Global Residential Code, the normal for construction policies and regulations, only stipulates that the dryer vent have to carry the moisture outside the house the residence and not connect with other techniques.

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Disadvantages of Venting a Dryer Through the Roof

Even though you can operate a dryer vent by way of the roof, it’s not often a good thought if you have a wall-venting option. If you are caught in the middle and wondering whether you ought to go by means of the roof or the wall, take into account these disadvantages to venting a dryer via the roof:

  • Cleaning lint from the vent becomes more complicated and dangerous
  • Condensation could drain back down the pipe, creating a track of moisture that can develop mold and catch more lint
  • Steep roof pitches require long duct runs

Venting a dryer by means of the roof versus the wall usually presents a increased fire threat, especially when the duct travels up numerous flooring.

A roof dryer vent could also make you much more hesitant to thoroughly clean your duct because it is in a tough-to-entry area. In accordance to the Countrywide Hearth Safety Association, failure to clear dust, fibers, and lint from the dryer is the top trigger of house fires involving laundry tools, so having difficulty with standard servicing could turn into a severe basic safety problem.

When Would You Need to Vent a Dryer Through the Roof?

Despite their obtrusive downsides, roof vents are turning out to be a lot more commonplace with the increasing reputation of slab foundations. In excess of sixty three% of houses developed in 2019 went up on slabs. Despite their many positive aspects, these flat foundations consider absent critical venting choices and make roof venting a requirement.

Dryers take away loads of dampness from wet clothing, so they have to vent outdoors. Humidity will construct and at some point direct to mildew, pest infestations, and basis troubles if the outlet is anywhere below or in the home.

The difficulty is that some houses on slab foundations have a laundry area that isn’t towards an exterior wall. As opposed to residences with basements and crawl spaces, you can not run ducts underneath the ground of a slab residence. If you do not have an interior wall connecting to the outside the house exactly where the duct can conceal horizontally, you are going to have to vent by means of the roof.

Duct Length

To lessen the risk of lint buildup and subsequent property fires, you ought to usually keep the duct duration to a bare minimum. Despite the fact that you may possibly be capable to operate a duct to an exterior wall vent, roof venting might even now be the best selection if it gives the straightest path and shortest duct length.

If you have a steep roof pitch, you may have one more alternative to reduce the duct size even more — venting through the soffit. You can run a duct into the attic and then horizontally to the roof’s edge, ending at a downward-dealing with vent. Venting in this position can decrease the likely for leaks and make cleaning easier.


Exterior Vent Positioning

Even if you can vent by means of the wall and it’s the shortest route to the outside, roof venting might even now be the ideal alternative. The IRC limitations the proximity of a vent to a neighboring house or entryway. For instance, if you can’t placement a vent far more than 3 ft away from a door in any direction, you are going to have to vent through the roof. Roof venting could be the only selection in townhomes and other preparations that tightly pack properties together.

How Far Can You Run a Dryer Vent Pipe?

In accordance to the IRC, a dryer exhaust duct working from its connection with the changeover duct (i.e., dryer-mounted versatile vent tube) to the outlet terminal or the exterior vent, can measure up to 35 feet prolonged. The changeover duct can be up to 8 toes extended, so you get a whole prospective duct operate of 43 toes. If the manufacturer’s guidelines enable for a lengthier run, that course supersedes the IRC’s requirements.

Elbows in the dryer exhaust duct have an effect on the highest allowable length. Ducts have size limits to stop airflow restriction and dust buildup and decrease the probability of a dryer fire. Every elbow in the duct throttles the airflow, so you have to make up for it with a shorter duct.

The IRC involves a chart exhibiting each elbow sort (angle, measurement, and shape) and the equal duration to consider off the 35-foot complete. For case in point, a 4”-extensive, 90-diploma mitered elbow has a five-foot equivalent duration. With 1 elbow, you can have a thirty-foot straight duct operate.

How To Safely Vent Through the Roof

To safely and securely put in a roof venting program for your dryer, it is vital to start off by referencing the manufacturer’s guidelines and the IRC. Ducts need to have to be as quick as attainable and made of rigid, sleek metal at least 4” in diameter. The following are some important ideas to maintain your dryer vent and duct from having issues:

  • Install dryer caps to prevent water and animals from infiltrating the vent
  • Do NOT install a protective screen, as it can prevent lint from flowing out of the vent
  • Use a damper with at least two to three fins to block the vent when the dryer is off

Working with a professional for your dryer roof vent installation is the easiest way of attaining peace of thoughts. But even with the best set up, the most critical ingredient of preventing fires is regular routine maintenance.

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Dryer Roof Vent Cleaning Tips

Thoroughly clean your dryer vents at minimum after a year, but also shell out focus to indications of surplus buildup, so you can do an quick cleaning before problems arises. If it is taking outfits lengthier to dry, or if you are noticing added humidity in the laundry space, it signifies dampness is not leaving as it ought to. In some instances, you could even see extra lint buildup, scent a burning aroma, or locate an error code on the dryer telling you there’s a issue.

Cleaning a vertical roof vent is a lot more demanding than an straightforward-to-achieve horizontal wall vent, but there are simple steps you can consider to make the chore as swift and effortless as possible.

  • Turn off the breaker for the dryer
  • Remove the flexible vent tube from the wall and dryer
  • Vacuum the inside of the flexible tube
  • Stick a leaf blower in the wall port and blow air through the vent duct for a minute or two
  • Check the roof vent to confirm lint is coming out
  • Vacuum out the tube to remove the loosened dust

If you really do not have a leaf blower, you can also get on the roof and run a rigid wire down the duct to get rid of clogs. Following loosening the trapped-on lint, vacuum the fallen particles by means of the wall port.

Final Thoughts

Despite the fact that it is feasible to vent via a roof, this sort of dryer outlet installation has numerous significant weaknesses in comparison to venting through a wall. More than time, cleansing problems and elevated hearth pitfalls can grow to be a time-consuming and tense headache.

There are hundreds of information to consider in a new property. Even though dryer venting is an straightforward factor to miss out on, it can also be a single of the most critical. If you are preparing a new residence, speak with your builder to see how you can vent your dryer by means of an outside the house wall and steer clear of the struggles and pitfalls of an each day household hazard.


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