Can an electric dryer be vented into a garage?

If it is an electric dryer, then you can vent it into the garage. The exhaust air will be hot and moist, however.

If your dryer is a gas dryer, then NO, absolutely do not vent into the garage! The gas dryer exhaust has CO (carbon monoxide) gases in it and can kill. It would be like leaving your car running inside the garage with the garage door closed. Great for ones suicide tendencies, but not so great for those who wish to live a long and prosperous life! Why not vent through the garage and continue on to outside.

The device that Jess is writing about, a "dryer vent diverter", is meant to be used on electric dryers only.

So I'm asking myself: what kind of idiot would give this answer a "thumbs down"? Must be totally ignorant of household...

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Using a dryer vent in a garage can cause a lot of problems, which you should be aware of before installing a vent in your garage. However, not venting the hot air which is produced by the dryer can also cause problems, so must install one in your home or outside garage. Fitting the vent to the outside wall is the best way of ensuring that your home is less vulnerable to moisture and damp. Nevertheless, there are potential problems you will want to monitor after you have installed the dryer vent.

Problems with Leaks

The biggest problem that most people find with their dryer vents is that they is not completely sealed, allowing water to leak through the pipes. Correctly installing your pipes is not always the final solution to this, as pipes can move with humidity fluctuations, and also water can seep along the underside of pipes until a hole is found. Leaks in the garage can penetrate into any electrical equipment located there, such as heaters, so monitor your dryer...

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Mike wrote:

Hi –
Is it okay to vent my electric dryer into my unheated/uninsulated garage? Right now it vents into the crawl space, and that is not “up to code”.
Thank you!

Venting into a garage is fine as long you’re willing to put with lint coating your vehicles– they’re gonna get messy. But it’s far preferable to venting into a crawl space. Dryer exhaust is dirty and contains lots of ickiness: mites, molds, human skin, dander, pulverized synthetic fibers and their off-gases… not the kind of stuff you want in your nose, lungs or house.

Twitter comment from @TroyColby:

I have seen it cause mold on an entire wall in a garage.

This is a great point! Up here in Yankeeland, it’s not unusual to see dryers vented into garages. I’ve not seen the mold problem up here but houses in warmer climates would be very susceptible to mold infestation. Regardless of where you live, it’s probably a good idea to make sure your garage is well vented if...

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Cleaning the lint trap of the dryer may is not enough in some cases. I suspect you may have a problem with the vent ducting that extends from the the exhaust of the dryer to where it exits your home. The majority of dryer heat realted problems are due to poor ventilation and clogged vents. I dryer left in this condition will overheat to the point of failure. Not to mention, this creates a fire hazard and a habitat for rodents.

A simple test to determine if you have a dryer ventilation problems is to remove the vent hose from the back of the dryer and attempt to dry a load WITHOUT the vent hose attached. The air exiting the back of the dryer should be warm and forceful. If the clothes dry normally, then you need to inspect your vent ducting from where it enters the wall, to where it exits the home.

If the air flow is weak and your clothes still take a long time to dry, then you need to inspect the INTERIOR ducting of the dryer. Namely, the air blower housing. I...

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We had a setup like this when I was in high school. My dad was a contractor, so we built our own house one summer when I was 14 or 15. The home was a two-story split level, with one great room on the lower floor. The electric dryer was vented through the wall between the laundry room and the center stairwell serving all 4 levels. During winter, the humidity was a welcome addition. However, keep these things in mind:

This was in CO. Winter air in CO starts out dry. The home was mainly heated with an in-floor furnace and wood burning stoves, so the indoor air was extra-dry. The house wasn't super-tight, so there were plenty of avenues for water vapor to escape.

So, in a lot of places, this might work well. If you live in a damp place, you may end up with water or mold issues from condensation. Either way, you will end up with lint accumulating, so plan on cleaning more...

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The House Detective by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector

Dear Barry: In a past article, you said, “It is not legal for a clothes dryer exhaust vent to terminate within the confines of a building….” and you cited Section 504.3.1 of the Uniform Mechanical Code. Does this mean that the dryer vent diverters sold in hardware stores and used to provide extra heat in a home are illegal too? Marshall

Hello Marshall: Several companies are currently marketing clothes dryer vent diverters. These fixtures consist of a vent duct connection and a small water reservoir. As the dryer exhaust passes through the diverter, the moist air from the clothes dryer vents into the room, while the lint is captured by the water in the reservoir. Manufacturers such as Dundas Jafine praise these devices as sources of indoor heat in winter. Advertising claims include “No need to drill holes to vent your dryer….” and “Ideal for apartments, condominiums and mobile homes.” What they fail to...

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Last Updated May 11, 2017 16:21 PM

In my home the dryer vent is set up to vent out into an enclosed back porch. The problem is that all sorts of lint (and heat) get pumped out into that enclosed area and makes a mess.

Directly above the dryer there is a ventilation pipe that goes to the roof (also connected to the vent in the bathroom) that I could easily re-route the dryer vent into.

A couple of questions about this:
1) Is it a generally accepted practice to vent a dryer up through the roof, or does a dryer vent have to generally be at a level or downward slope?
2) Is it okay to use the same vent line as the bathroom or am I asking for trouble?
3) Is there a recommend maximum distance for venting a dryer that I am going to exceed going from the first floor of a home to the roof?

Answers 5

I would not do this for exactly the reasons you've asked about:

1) By sharing the bathroom vent pipe, you're...

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Clothes dryer venting into the attic.

My dryer vents in my attic. What can I do to have it vented outside to prevent lint buildup and to make it less of a fire hazard? -Cindy

Hi Cindy,

You’re right to be concerned. In addition to being against most building codes and a potential fire hazard, venting a dryer in an attic can result in moisture problems which could lead to rot or mold in your attic. Check out our video on Dryer Vent Safety for more information.

If your laundry room has access to an outside wall, cut a hole and install a standard dryer vent. Be careful you don’t cut through any studs, electrical wires, or pipes in the process. If venting outside isn’t an option, you can vent the dryer out of the attic through the roof using a special roof vent to keep rain out.

When venting dryers for long distances, use rigid metal pipe with as few elbows as possible. Attach the sections together with metallic duct tape—rather than sheet metal...

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Massive amounts of water vapor are belched into the air each minute a clothes dryer is working. © 2017 Tim Carter

Clothes Dryer Venting TIPS

Exhaust air must go outdoors Use smooth galvanized 4-inch pipe NEVER exhaust in attic or roof overhang - SEE BELOW Roof vent hoods for no-snow areas CLICK HERE for Tim's FREE Newsletter - It's funny!

DEAR TIM: My husband wants to vent our clothes dryer directly into our garage in an attempt to keep our cars warmer in the winter months. I think dryer vents should be directed outdoors. Can you settle this clothes-dryer-vent debate? Where would you vent the dryer and what are the top things you would avoid when installing a clothes-dryer vent? Cindy R., Redondo Beach, CA

DEAR CINDY: I get asked so often to referee these marital debates, I am thinking of buying a white-and-black striped shirt. Your husband should be congratulated for thinking of a way to use the waste heat from the clothes dryer, but his proposed method will...

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Electric dryers use electric heating coils to supply heat to dry clothes. They also use electricity to power the motors which control the dryer drum and blower(s). Electric dryers use a 240-volt current, which amounts to two times the power used in ordinary households.

A gas burner generates the heat in a gas dryer, but electricity still powers the motors within the appliance. As such, gas dryers require access to a 110-volt electrical outlet and a gas hookup, the latter of which can be expensive to install ($500-$600). These units also require extra venting to the outdoors, which means gas dryers need more space than electric dryers.

Energy Efficiency

Gas dryers are more energy efficient than electric dryers, but much depends on the model of the appliance and determining efficiency has been difficult over the years. It is worth noting that gas dryers tend to dry clothes faster than electric dryers do, meaning they do not have to run for as...

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How cold does it get in the winter where you live? Venting a dryer to the garage (especially in winter) means that you're pumping humid air into a cold place . . . which almost guarantees condensation and mold.

Another concern is the passing of fumes (from say, a car running) in the garage back into the home through the vent opening. Personally, for only 200$ I'd get it done properly.

+1, mold is bad. Wet wood also rots, which leads to structural problems eventually. Get that humid air entirely outside the building envelope, especially if you are in an already humid climate.

The risk of fumes from cars, etc. entering depends on whether your house has a positive pressure relative to the outside, or negative pressure. Negative pressure is created by pumping air inside your house to the outside via running a kitchen range hood, bathroom exhaust, or warm air rising up your chimney (all very common). Positive pressure is created by forcing air in from outside, which...

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Converting a Clothes Dryer to Use Solar Heated Attic Air For Drying


The Renewable Energy site for Do-It-Yourselfers

Dryers are a major energy user in homes. A Canada study shows that dryers typically use 930 KWH a year to do 416 dryer loads (2.23 KWH per load). Nearly all of this heat energy simply expelled outdoors (wasted). In addition, as the dryer vents air outside, it pulls fresh air into the house which has to be heated or cooled (depending on season) to room temperature -- this can easily add another 300 KWH plus per year. Its amazing to me that this very large energy sink does not get more attention.

Randy's setup is simple and effective, and it appears that it can save a serious amount of energy.


If you can't do Randy's solar dryer, here are some other options for saving clothes drying energy...

The details from Randy:

Modifying the Dryer

Here are some pictures on how I...

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Tip: Vent Dryer Inside in Winter

Save some money on heat this winter. Vent your electric clothes dryer inside in the winter! Not only will you recover all the heat normally pumped outside but you'll be adding humidity to the air.

Simply disconnect the venting pipe to the outside and install a separate 4 inch aluminum flexible vent pipe. Bring the pipe up behind the dryer and extend it over the top so you can reach it. Put a knee high stocking over the end to catch the lint. Be sure to insulate (like stuff an old towel) in the opening to the outside for the rest of the season.

Source: My Dad had showed me this years ago.

By Jim from Cleveland, OH

Question: Venting a Dryer Inside

What are the dangers of venting an electric dryer indoors?

Kathy from OH


By Harry (Guest Post)

June 26, 20080 found this helpful

Putting a nylon over a vent pipe can cause a fire.
Never vent a dryer into a house....

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I've been venting my dryer indoors during the winter for six years in two small houses and my folks have been doing the same for about seven years and neither of us have had any problems. Keep in mind that the locations in question have been Calgary, Alberta and Bozeman, Montana and both locations have extremely dry air in the winter. I live alone, so I do laundry infrequently; my parents do laundry considerably more often, but their house is large enough to handle the extra moisture. It's also worth noting that home humidifiers can pump more than a gallon of water per day into large houses in extreme winter climates and the "gallon of water per load" statistic applies to large loads of laundry that have been lightly spun; a fast-spinning front-load machine gets clothes fairly dry, right out of the washer. Since we're talking about saving resources, you *do* have a front-loader, right? ; )

The only time I've had an issue has been when the outside temperature is below -20C...

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Maybe I am not communicating the nature of the problem in a very effective manner.

-To vent a clothes dryer (especially gas fired!) even BPI standards require metal ducting only, and not PVC.

-The ducting must be insulated after it leaves the house in order to at least minimize condensation of all of that warm moist air as it passes through the cold garage (oh, by the way, the outside temperature has barely gone above 0 degrees Fahrenheit in the past few days).

-Only a non-combustible insulation must be used, such as fiberglass, but air moves through fiberglass

-if the warm moist air from the dryer leaks out of the vent pipe, then it will condense in the fiberglass

-fiberglass insulation wrapped around a duct is very prone to damage, so it must be protected from damage

-if any of the moist dryer air leaks from the pipe, it will condense and wet the fiberglass; if the fiberglass is protected by any sort of sleeve or boxed in chase, the...

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Turn off the breakers and gas valve.

The breakers can be turned off at the main breaker panel. The location of this varies from home to home, but they are usually found in the garage or basement for houses and in utility closets or bedrooms for condos and apartments. The gas valve can be turned off at the supply valve for the dryer’s gas pipe, or at the main gas service shutoff valve.


The location of the main shut off valve varies from home to home.

In many homes, the gas valve can be turned off by using a 12 to 15 inch (30.5 to 38.1 cm) adjustable wrench. Turn the valve until the tang (handle you attach the wrench to) is perpendicular to the pipe. If you are unsure of how to turn off the gas valve, contact your gas...
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Originally Posted by

imported_John Smith

What makes you think heating isnt a form of air conditioning?

It is, but you were the one who said they were not HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) contractors, that they were just ACR (Air Conditioning and Refrigeration), and since you let the heating out, I figured the heating was left out.

Okay, so here is another question for you: Being as you left out the "V" (Ventilation), are or are not ACR (as you called them) contractors also the ones who install and work on ventilation systems?

If they are, by any other name they are still HVAC contractors and that is the building industry wide accepted name for them.

If they are not ventilation contractors too, then who is?

Are you telling me that ACR *includes* "H" and "V" in all but the name? If so, then referring to what they do as HVAC is CORRECT.

Just trying to figure out why you are saying they do not do that work and that they are ACR but...

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It is -6 F, -20C here today. The house is so dry (RH 30%) my bath towels dry minutes after a shower. Rather than having my dryer blow moist, heated air outside I am venting it indoors into my basement so I save the energy and humidity.
When the dryer blows air out of the house, cold air must be sucked in to make up the difference. The heating system has to work hard to heat up the cold air and that takes energy and costs money.

My dryer hose is easy to disconnect. I just unscrew a hose clamp and pull it off. I shove a towel into the opening to the outside and put a stocking over the hose to catch any lint. Easy.
This simple change saves energy, adds humidity, and smells nice, too.

Is your dryer hose disconnected now?

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Ignites; Won't Stay On

My GE gas dryer ignites but will not stay on. It seems like it is running in the fluff or low heat mode all the time. How are the temp sensors tested and which sensor is for which range?

First check the exhaust vent to the outside do you have a strong flow of air?
Is the lint passage free of lint? Are the blower vanes clear of lint?

A simple test for the sensors, I would bypass the wires to the thermosensor and operate the dryer. If the heat now stays on the sensor is usually bad. Also if the flame backs up the safety thermo can kick out to protect against fires. Usually due to plugged lint somewhere.

Dryer Heats for 30 Secs; Coil Dies Out

My Montg Wards dryer heats for 30 secs then heating coil dies out. Dryer keeps turning but not heating so takes more than 2 hrs. to dry a load. To complicate matters, I removed some screws from back of machine and when I tried to return them to original condition,...

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