Dryer not venting outside? Here is what to do

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Dryer not venting outside? We have some tips to help.

Plus, we shall tell you about how to safely vent your dryer indoors (if the building code in your area allows).

But first, for your safety (think CO coming from the unit) and that of your property (think the fire hazard due to the lint build up), dryers are best vented outside.

Something else: your dryer is likely not to dry as well as it’s supposed to if the hot, humid air isn’t blown outside (and away).

Besides, layers of dust and moisture formed behind your dryer (very likely!) provide a sweet environment for harmful mold to breed.

What’s more, the dust and excess humidity could also cut short the life of your machine!

See? A dryer not venting outside could be a serious menace.

However, there’s no sense in leaping directly into panic mode just because the clothes dryer in your newly purchased home is not really venting outside as there are a couple of solutions that work fairly well.

We look at them next:

Dryer not venting outside: Possible workarounds

We suggest a few ideas if you absolutely have no otherwise but to vent the dryer to your house interior…

1.     DIY indoor dryer vent

You can consider a DIY dryer vent but you have to play your cards right because of the dangers we have previously highlighted.

The ‘innovation’ is quite simple and it involves putting an exhaust pipe into a bucket (or any other ideal container) full of water (Check this instructable for the steps).

The water will double up as a lint trap and a condenser.

The only downside is the messy cleanups but it’s better to live with this than overwhelming heat, suffocating humidity, and mammoth lint deposits everywhere.

Perhaps the most important step is making sure that the laundry room (or wherever you vent it in the house) is properly ventilated at all times if you take this route.

Safety Tips:

  • Empty the lint bucket between laundry loads and refill it each time with fresh water.
  • Dry the surrounding thoroughly immediately you notice some moisture/ window condensation in the area.


2.     Vent dryer inside with an indoor dryer vent kit

Amazon sells this Indoor Dryer Vent kit and it can come in handy if you don’t fancy DIY projects.

The Bettervent indoor dryer vent system perfectly captures the lint from the dryer with the company’s patented double filtration system.

The pre-filter wonderfully takes care of the largest lint particles while the finer lint dust is eliminated by the equally effective polyester filter.

As you can see, it doesn’t rely on water so you have no terrible cleanups to do.

It has attracted tons of positive reviews from buyers and is widely considered the best indoor dryer vent lint trap for those living in confined spaces and unable to vent their clothes dryers to the outside.

The other benefit of these kinds of kits is the energy savings they bring in the colder months as they return the nice heated air into your room, alleviating some of the load on the central heating system.

More Tips:

  • Please note that these two methods are recommended for owners of electric dryers only. Venting a gas dryer indoors is too risky because of the carbon monoxide and nasty gas fumes.
  • Additionally, to keep your loved ones and property out of the harm’s way, resist the temptation to leave the dryer running when you head to bed or as you move out for errands.


3.     Upgrade to a ventless dryer

While most of us here are used to the large, vented machines, there are nations where ventless dryers are the real deal.

In fact, you’ll be on the wrong side of the law if found with a venting dryer in countries such as Switzerland.

Well, this could be your long term solution for those residing in small apartments if you look at the myriad benefits these compact devices have.

For example, you can run it from practically anywhere in the room as long as you have an electric socket nearby and good air flow.

Another thing: The ventless condenser drying method is considered gentler on your clothes because it doesn’t over-dry (sometimes causing shrinkage and other damage) like conventional drying techniques.

In a nutshell, budget for eventually purchasing a ventless dryer if you find the other two suggestions a bit awkward.

You may take a look at this example to get a better feel of what we are speaking about.


4.     Hire a contractor to vent your dryer outside

I have said it time and again: Venting inside can be a major safety issue and is subsequently outlawed in some jurisdictions.

If your home is in such an area, you must seek ways of venting outside.

One way, and this is safer, is to consider running some form of exhaust hose from your dryer all the way out via the nearest window.

If this doesn’t work, hire a contractor to explore ways of venting the dryer outside.

It may cost a pretty penny but the peace of mind makes it worth every coin.

Obviously, a more permanent solution would be relocating the dryer if it’s currently located in an odd spot.


Dryer not venting outside : Frequently asked questions

This section answers some of the questions folks commonly ask about alternative dryer venting options.

Is it safe to vent an electric dryer inside / does a dryer have to vent outside?

As explained earlier, it’s possible to vent electric dryers inside the house but you have to be careful because of potentially hazardous humidity and lint menace.

We recommend that you create enough air circulation in the room where you’ll be venting it and superb ventilation.

Another option would be to add accessories such as the Bettervent indoor dryer vent  for healthier indoor environments.

Can you actually use a dryer minus a vent hose?

In most cases, the humidity and air must be channeled somewhere for your wellbeing and safety so using a dryer without a vent hose is not quite a good idea.

But if your circumstances force you to, there are measures you can implement to reduce the risk including keeping the area well aerated (open doors and windows) and the use of an appropriate lint trap for clothes dryers.

Is dryer vent air bad for me (for a dryer without vent to outside)?

Yes, somewhat. But its nature, the air exhaled by the vent is not going to kill you (lol).

However, it generally contains hazardous link particles and dust which could worsen respiratory conditions such as asthma and more.

For this reason, try to vent it or adopt some of the mitigating measures we have mentioned above if you can’t punch holes on the walls.


Wrapping it up

A dryer not venting outside can be the root cause of health problems and damage to property (or the machine itself) as a result of too much moisture and lint.

It’s therefore important to try and vent it, if possible.

Otherwise, there are hacks you can put in place such as the use of lint traps and proper ventilation to lower the associated risks if it’s difficult to vent it.

Try them or consider upgrading to a ventless system as discussed above.

Keep in mind that these are just general tips and it’s important to follow all your manufacturer’s recommendations on safe use when making these types of decisions.

More reading:

Brand new Samsung dryer not heating [causes and fixes]

Common electric dryer problems [causes and fixes]

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