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Powered Dryer Exhaust Vents

A long vent pipe (or one with several bends or turns) connecting your clothes dryer with the outside can be problematic. Air pressure increases with distance and with each bend (in general, each bend deducts about 5 feet from the recommended maximum length), which means that your dryer cannot vent moist air as efficiently and thus decreases its energy efficiency, increases its drying time, and increases machine wear and tear. Long vent pipes also provide more surface area for slow moving lint to accumulate, which increases the potential for a fire in the vent.

When a straight shot to the outside is not an option for your dryer's vent, consider installed a powered dryer vent. These fans boost the dryerís exhaust air venting pressure in order to move the exhaust a greater distance and/or through more bends in the vent pipe. When purchasing a power dryer exhaust unit, here are some features to keep in mind:

  • Dryer exhaust contains small, moist lint particles, and so the fan motor should be protected from lint accumulation. This is typically accomplished by placing the motor outside of the dryer exhaust air stream.
  • Units that turn on and off automatically when needed are the most convenient. If you choose a model without an automatic switch, find one that can be controlled from close to the dryer.
  • The power vent fan motors come in various sizes. Match the power ventís capabilities to the length of duct and number of bends in your system.
  • Mounting location can be important because of space and noise considerations (particularly with a high powered unit). Choose between units that "push" or "pull" the air. Push units can be installed next to the dryer, while "pull" units can be installed at the other end of the pipe, perhaps even outdoors.

Do not use an a power vent designed for heating/ cooling ducts in a dryer exhaust vent. Those units are not designed for the continually high moisture and lint conditions produced by a dryer.

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