An efficient vent isn't going to save the planet, but it can save a couple of bucks on power bills. And, it can provide a little peace of mind with a safer dryer. It is surprisingly common to find the most restrictive point in a dryer's exhaust system is the exterior termination. When a dryer has to work harder to move air, energy is wasted, dryer and clothes lifespan is reduced, and accelerated lint build up creates a very real fire hazard. Selecting the right vent can make a big difference.
Peace of Mind and Energy Savings
In 2010, the National Fire Protection Agency documented more than 15,000 dryer fires in North America alone. No matter how often the screen is cleaned, lint still gets past it and builds up in the exhaust system. Coupled with a restrictive termination, lint blow back quickly creates a fire danger. You can rest a little easier knowing the Dryer Wall Vent is not restrictive.
Beyond the fire hazard that has been reduced, it is obvious that shorter drying times from efficient exhaust systems can save money. Outside of an electric furnace, an air conditioner or a freezer / refrigerator, dryers consume the most electricity on average of all major household appliances. Reduced wear and tear on the dryer itself can also pay dividends.
Safer, More Efficient Dryers
Basic Termination Tips
Most building code outlines clear guidelines for an exterior exhaust vent. The one aspect that is usually missing (surprisingly) is any requirement for airflow restriction of the termination. Because restrictive vents undermine all other code mitigations, hopefully, this will be addressed in future code in addition to these tips:
- Ensure a minimum of 3' clearance from any other building opening to the exhaust termination.
- Do not use vent terminations with any type of screen.
- Always use a vent termination with a back draft damper.
- Be sure to check the dryer manufacturer's requirements
- Plastics can deteriorate in the elements and fail, creating obstructions.