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How to install a dryer vent in 6 easy steps

After purchasing a new home or a new vented dryer, you may be wondering how to install a dryer vent. Connecting a dryer vent is a relatively simple process, while laying all new ductwork may require the help of a professional. If your space is already equipped with venting hookups, read on for a step-by-step guide on how to install a dryer vent. If you’re in need of dryer parts and accessories for your installation, Whirlpool brand has the items that can help in the process.

How to hook up a dryer vent: installation

Supplies

  • Heavy metal exhaust vent (rigid or flexible, usually 4 inch diameter)

  • Vent elbows (if applicable)

  • Foil tape or vent clamps

  • Tin snips

Tools

  • Tape measure

  • Screwdriver

  • Vacuum

  • Protective work gloves

Dryer icon

Step 1: Clean the venting system

Before you begin, you’ll want to start with a clean dryer. Remove any build-up of trapped lint in your dryer before installing your new dryer vent. 

 

Start by disconnecting any existing ducting from the dryer exhaust outlet and the wall. Then, remove as much lint as possible by hand. Be sure to clean out the connective ducting as well as the opening to the dryer exhaust outlet and vent hood duct on the wall. When you’ve removed as much as you can by hand, use a vacuum to suck up any remaining lint. Don’t forget to clean outside, too. Remove the vent cover from the exhaust hood on the outside of your home and clean the dryer vent using a vacuum hose.

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Step 2: Measure from outlet to outlet

Grab a measuring tape to measure the distance from the dryer’s exhaust to the location of the vent outlet grill on the exterior wall. Be sure to measure the exact path the venting will take, accounting for twists and turns. 

 

Try to keep the vent path short, straight and direct for the most efficient venting. Your dryer product specifications can help you confirm the required vent length and number of elbows. If your vent path seems indirect or unnecessarily complicated, consider contacting a professional to help improve the path for you.

Vent duct icon

Step 3: Choose your venting

Before installing, you’ll have to decide whether you want rigid or flexible metal venting. Both of these options come in 4-inch diameter tubing and can effectively vent dryer exhaust. However, each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. 

 

Be sure to follow the recommendations in the owner’s manual while choosing. Still stuck? Read on for the differences between semi rigid dryer ducts vs flexible dryer ducts.

Scissors cutting vent duct icon

Step 4: Trim venting

Make sure your vent hose is short, supported and has very little slack once it’s fully installed behind the dryer. If the ducting is long or snaking back and forth after installation, use your measurements to determine how much you need to trim for a snug fit. 

 

Use tape or a marker to mark the distance between the dryer exhaust outlet and the wall on your dryer’s vent duct. Make sure to add about half an inch to ensure some overlap. Then, put on your protective work gloves and use tin strips to cut your way around the mark.

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Step 5: Attach dryer venting

You’ll want to decide between vent clamps or foil tape to secure the dryer venting to the dryer exhaust outlet and wall vent. 

 

If you’re using a vent clamp to secure venting, place the vent clamp loosely on the edge of the vent hose and slide the edge of the vent hose over the wall outlet. Use a screwdriver to tighten the vent clamp and give it a slight tug to ensure it’s securely in place. Then, connect a second vent clamp to the opposite end of a vent hose, connecting the vent to your dryer exhaust and using a screwdriver to tighten the clamp. Using foil tape to secure the dryer venting follows the same steps as vent clamps, substituting foil tape in place of the vent clamps.

Installation tip:

Foil tape is the only kind of tape meant to withstand the heat dryer venting emits during a cycle, so don’t settle for alternatives like duct tape. Avoid using anything that would protrude into the venting, such as screws, to secure the hose as lint can snag on screws and build up over time.

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Step 6: Reposition the dryer

Slide your dryer back into place, guiding it to avoid kinks in the venting. Be sure to adjust your dryer so that the venting is as straight and sturdy as possible.

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Does a dryer have to be vented outside?

While dryers can be vented inside or outside, it is generally recommended to vent your dryer outside. Venting a dryer inside may increase the risk of mold in your home and can reduce air quality by aggravating asthma and other breathing problems.

Semi rigid dryer duct vs. flexible

Semi rigid ducting is made of solid material wrapped in insulation that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, whereas flexible ducting is bendable and versatile. Semi rigid often comes at a higher price tag, but it can stay cleaner, trap less lint and maintain its shape better than flexible ducting. Flexible ducting is generally less expensive than semi rigid ducting, but is more prone to kinking and sagging. If you’re attaching a dryer in a tighter space, flexible ducting may be less of a hassle to work with, while semi rigid ducting can be helpful for more complicated venting paths.

Replacing a dryer vent

Replacing an existing dryer vent follows the same steps as outlined above, along with the added step of removing the damaged or non-sealing dryer duct first. To remove a dryer duct, begin by unplugging the dryer if it is electric, or turn off the supply valve if it is a gas dryer. Then, carefully pull the dryer away from the wall to give yourself some space and disconnect the dryer duct from the back of the dryer. If you used vent clamps to secure the dryer vent, you may need a screwdriver to help you disconnect.

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How much does it cost to install a dryer vent?

The average cost to install a dryer vent varies based on location, materials used, placement and labor costs. To install a dryer vent yourself, the cost ranges between $150 to $250, whereas hiring a professional may be around $140-$275.

See your cart at checkout to determine if you qualify for installation of your new appliance. Whirlpool can supply the parts needed for installation, and if you decide to install it yourself, our checkout will identify compatible parts. Be sure to contact our customer service if you have any questions regarding installation: 1-866-698-2538 or visit the Delivery and Installation page.

Shop for Whirlpool® dryers and accessories

Whirlpool® dryer vents are an essential laundry accessory to use alongside your dryer. Find the right dryer vent for your home with proper installation to get the ventilation your dryer needs.

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