If you decide to install a dryer vent into a garage you should be aware of potential problems you will encounter.
Although the idea of venting a dryer into a garage promises less demolition and drilling inside and outside the house, it’s not as good as it seems.
As you may know, the key purpose of your dryer vent is to push out the moisture from your laundry into the atmosphere, with the use of heated air.
But, more importantly, a dryer vent should be safe for your house and your health. This article will explain everything in detail.
Can you vent a dryer into a garage?
Table of Contents
- Can you vent a dryer into a garage?
- The 9 best ways to vent a dryer and keep it safe to use
- 7. Empty pockets are a must
- Is it dangerous to vent a dryer into a garage?
The garage is certainly one of the best places to put dryers, which usually tend to make a lot of noise. The dryer won’t disturb you, and you will relax peacefully.
However, remember that you should use dryers only if your garage has a proper vent. Otherwise, it’s a bad idea. And a potentially deadly one.
Specifically, condensation and hot air must be pumped outside.
In case your garage doesn’t have a hole or a window to attach the vent, the best way to vent a dryer is to call a handyman. He will easily make a small hole in the garage or improvise, using a garage window.
It’s very important to select a good handyman because venting a dryer indoors is a crucial item for inspectors and their reports; a home can be sold only if it meets the mandatory conditions and standards.
So yes, venting a dryer into a garage is feasible but you must eliminate hot air outside. Otherwise, the garage will become humid, causing problems such as mold, growth, and rust.
It’s certainly not a pleasant situation, especially when you use the garage to store different kinds of things.
Below you will find some of the risks related to venting a dryer into a garage. It’s important to be aware of these dangers in order to consider your options carefully.
1. Mold growth
Mold is a fungus that loves warm and moist places. The main role of the dryer vent is to release hot air and moisture outside the appliance.
You can clearly tell what would happen if this hot hair and moisture were to be released indoors.
It’s not unusual for the moisture to create wet spots inside the pipes, but also outside and around the pipes. These wet spots can create a serious mold problem in your home.
You should be aware that a wet lint often sticks to the inside of the vent pipe, causing mold.
They also make dryer vent cleaning very difficult, and since good cleaning of dryer vent demands professional assistance, it translates into more money from your home budget.
Mold issues aren’t just foul-smelling and visually unappealing, they provoke allergic reactions, issues with breathing, and several other health problems.
That is why your dryer vent system needs proper airflow so that it doesn’t quickly become a breeding ground for these nasty bacteria.
2. Carbon monoxide poisoning
Unfortunately, clothes dryers are responsible for many cases of poisoning inside the house. A huge percentage of those poisonings is caused by gas and carbon monoxide, which are very dangerous.
As such, venting a gas dryer indoors might have deadly results. As you probably know, gas-fired dryers pump out a certain amount of carbon monoxide. It is crucial for gas dryers indoors to be properly vented to the outdoors.
Otherwise, it could cause a serious hazard to the whole property, because an accumulation of carbon monoxide can quickly become fatal for all family members.
That is why you should think about installing a carbon monoxide detector in your laundry space and protect your family.
You might be wondering how to know if your dryer is leaking carbon monoxide.
That’s the real danger of this gas. Carbon monoxide has no specific smell so it’s really hard to detect a leak. This is why you should be very careful and take all needed precautions.
The 9 best ways to vent a dryer and keep it safe to use
There are some “rules” you should consider when you want to be sure that your dryer vent works well. These apply both for your safety and that of your family, and also to make sure your dryer keeps working properly.
1. Hose size
The first rule is that all of the dryer hoses you use for your venting system need to be 4 inches in diameter.
If dryer hoses are smaller than 4 inches, they can cause clogs.
Make sure to avoid plastic or vinyl transition hoses and only use hoses made of aluminum. They are the safest and most persistent of all.
2. Proper cleaning
Every expert in this field recommends that the cleaning of dryer vent systems is done professionally, every year. Regular cleaning is the key because it prevents clogs and other similar problems.
Since we’re talking about clogs, the first thing that will give you a red flag is your wet clothes. When your dryer vent system is clogged, your laundry doesn’t dry properly. This leads to higher electric bills but also to damage to your dryer system.
Clogs can cause serious problems to the pipes, which can also lead to fires and other hazards. This is why plastic and vinyl pipes are not recommended. Today, experts recommend aluminum tubing in order to avoid accidents with fire.
The only way to keep your dryer vent system functional for a long time is to hire professional help, at least once a year. This way you will avoid additional costs, potential fires, and problems with mold growth.
3. Hose joints
Hose joints should be secured with metal tape.
Masking tape or duct tape will work on other parts of the system, but not for these hose joints. Metal tape is perfect for shielding and covering thermal insulation, and it doesn’t oxidize.
4. Venting systems
Every dryer needs its own venting system so never vent it through the chimney or any other system.
If you aren’t sure how to make a venting system for your dryer, feel free to consult some professionals.
Since the venting system is fundamental to avoid the major risks related to a dryer output, it’s important that it’s safe and built to last.
5. Dryer type
This might seem obvious, but many people don’t even know if they have a gas dryer or an electric dryer inside their house.
However, it’s fundamental to know which of these two devices you have in the house because venting your gas dryer inside a home is very dangerous and requires additional precautions.
If your dryer is new, or if it came with a new house, the first thing to do is to check which type of dryer it is.
It’s pretty simple to check: pull your dryer from the wall and look behind it. If it has a power cord, it’s an electric dryer. If it has a power cord and a stainless steel connector, you have a gas dryer.
6. Lint screen checkups
No matter if you use dryer pads or sheets, the lint screen is going to get dirty.
Every few months you should clean your lint screen using water, a toothbrush, and liquid soap. This way you will help your dryer “breathe”.
7. Empty pockets are a must
You should check each pocket before you do laundry.
Cocktail napkins, notepaper, or receipts are paper products that will get past the lint screen, go under the drum and become a fire hazard. Dryer pads and sheets are also on this list.
8. Check the area around the dryer
Alcohol, paper products, motor oil, flammable chemicals, spot removers, finishing oils, gasoline are just a few of the things that people usually keep in the basement or garage.
However, these can easily become a fire hazard if something goes wrong, so make sure you keep them away from your dryer.
9. Additional safety tips
In case of an emergency like a fire, you should be in your house and awake. That’s why if you’re planning to go outside or fall asleep, you should never run your dryer.
If clothes have flammable chemicals on them, dry these pieces outside. Otherwise, you could cause serious damage and provoke some accidents.
Is it dangerous to vent a dryer into a garage?
As you can see, having your dryer vent into your garage is one of the possible solutions.
However, there are additional steps that need to be taken in order not to create damage to your property or even worse, cause a deadly situation.
The most important thing is to determine whether you have a regular or a gas dryer. As we’ve already explained, gas dryers should not be vented into the garage without a proper venting system because of the dangers that come with a gas leak.
On the other hand, regular heated air dryers are not life-threatening when vented into the garage but come with a different set of problems. The biggest problem is the effect of moisture on your garage walls and everything you have stored inside of it.
The bottom line is that yes, you can vent dryers in a garage but you should call an expert and install a proper venting system so that water vapor or carbon monoxide don’t accumulate inside, but are pushed through the roof and into the atmosphere.