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Improper venting of gas dryers may result in a damaging fire or death by suffocation(due to carbon monoxide poisoning).
In short, the consequences of improper venting are dire.
So you will want to make sure that your gas dryer meets all the recommended venting requirements.
In this article, we will cover all there is to know about gas dryer venting requirements.
Let us dive in.
Gas dryer venting requirements according to dryer venting code including recommended gas dryer venting options
Before we look at recommended gas dryer venting requirements, there are a few safety measures that you should take into consideration.
Let us first get them out of our way..
How to vent a gas dryer [safety guidelines]
Use an independent vent
By this, we do not mean that each dryer should have its own vent.
Instead, code stipulates that any vent used for dryers should not be connected to other venting systems(think of chimneys and HVAC ventilation systems).
However, if your building has more than one dryer, their venting systems can be interconnected.
The distance of the outside vent from openings should be 3 ft.(min)
The outside vent should be at least 3 feet away from any house openings – these openings include windows, doors, and HVAC intakes.
This is because the moisture and lint particles from the dryer can be sucked into the home (and can be hazardous to your health if inhale them).
Also, the lint particles may damage your HVAC equipment.
Moreover, as you know, combusting appliances produce some level of carbon monoxide.
You do not want this dangerous gas to find its way back into your home. Do you?
Vent must go outdoors
So, do gas dryers have to be vented outside?
Well, yes..Dryer venting codes say that the duct must always terminate outside the building-It can never be inside the house – not even in the attic.
Majorly it is because the moisture from the dryer can result in mold growth and rotting of wood if your vent were to empty into your attic.
And again that means potential health issues for you and your loved ones..
Vent diameter should be at least 4 inches
According to dryer vent size code, you should use a venting tube that is at least 4” in diameter when it comes to dryer vent diameter size.
This not only allows faster removal of gases but also makes sure that the vent does not easily get clogged by accumulated lint.
That said, if your venting system connects more than one dryer, your vents may be wider.
That being so, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions(go through your owners manual).
Duct material to be used
Under dryer vent material code, at no time should you use plastic ducting-This provision prohibits even PVC vents.
What makes plastic ducting not safe and effective is the fact that it produces static electricity that would otherwise lead to attraction of lint hence faster clogging.
Besides, the heated gases being emitted by the dryer may easily light up the plastic ducting.
As a matter of fact, using plastic ducting will easily void your dryer’s warranty with most manufacturers.
So stay away from plastic ducting-the ducting inside your wall should be rigid and metallic.
Okay, you may be tempted to go for the cheaper semi-rigid ducting but just don’t- this type of ducting not only clog easily but can also crush easily, thereby blocking the exhaust pathway entirely.
Duct from your dryer to the wall
As regards the ducting from your dryer to the wall, you are allowed to use a semi-rigid ducting as it makes your dryer flexible – can be moved from one point to the other.
Even so, leave the ducting in an open place(where you can easily see it)- that way, you quickly notice if it gets crushed.
Gas dryer vent installation code – more requirements
Other than the above, there are other minor venting requirements. They include:
45⁰ elbows over 90⁰ elbows
45⁰ elbows are recommended over 90⁰ elbows – 45⁰ elbows provide better airflow.
Seal joints with clamps
All joints should be sealed using clamps.
In a nutshell, screws or other fastening devices that extend into the interior of the duct should not be used as they increase lint build up.
Also, do not use duct tape- duct tape is simply awful for ducts(Ductwork heats up then cools and that can cause the tape to fail to adhere over time).
Be careful with duct joints
Duct joints should be installed in such a manner that the male end points toward the direction of the airflow- The idea is to prevent lint build-up at the joints.
Cap for dryer vent
The vent should be capped at its exit point-it will prevent birds and other creatures from nestling inside the vent.
The recommended cap style is the angled box hood – check it out on Amazon.
How to vent a gas dryer properly
Before beginning, first consult your local housing codes.
This is because some states such as the State of Massachusetts require that installations and repairs of gas appliances be done by qualified and licensed contractors, plumbers, or gasfitters.
Additionally, some states have strict codes that dictate even the type of material you should use for venting.
Note that they only do this to increase your safety.
With that out of the way, here is how to properly install a gas dryer vent:
You will begin by determining the vent path- It should be the straightest and most direct path to the dryer(the one using the fewest number of elbows.
And be sure to use as few 90⁰ turns as possible.
Also, the distance between the dryer and the wall ducting should be utmost 8 feet.
Measure the proposed distance between the dryer vent outlet and the wall outlet vent.
Cut the ducting to fit this distance.
Slip one end of the ducting into the vent from the wall and secure it using one of the clamps that came with the ducting.
Slip the other end over the exhaust port of your dryer as shown below:
Secure the connection using the remaining clamp.
Test your dryer.
Gas dryer venting requirements – final words
To sum it up, properly installing your dryer vent is important because it not only prevents a fire hazard but it also ensures that your clothes quickly dry.
It also prevents possible carbon monoxide poisoning.