Is it common practice to combine room and dryer vent ducts?


The U.S. Fire Administration reports that every year more than 2,900 home fires are started by clothes dryers, and the leading cause of these fires is a buildup of lint due to lack of simple maintenance on the part of the owner. Each load of laundry that passes through your washing machine and makes its way to your clothes dryer contains lint—mostly small particles of cloth and fiber that are loosened from clothing by the action of agitating water.

If you think that the removable lint filter in... your dryer catches all this, think again. The problem is that not all of the lint is caught by the removable lint filter, but the lint that passes beyond the filter and is trapped in crevices deep inside the lint filter trap and all along the dryer vent hose or duct as it makes its way to the outside vent opening.

Warning Signs

Here are some warning signs that dangerous lint buildup has occurred in your dryer and venting system, indicating that it needs a thorough...

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Dryer Venting Guidelines - How to avoid dryer fire hazards

Dryer venting tips and practices

All dryer ducting must be a minimum of 4" in diameter. Clean, unobstructed, frictionless ducts encourage air flow efficiency, quickens drying times, adds longevity to clothing's life and reduces utility bills. The DryerFlex meets the 4" diameter specs. Flexible transition hose between the dryer and the wall outlet should be either the foil type or the aluminum flexible duct (most preferred). Do not use the plastic or vinyl. Concealed ducting must be rigid metal (galvanized or aluminum) duct. Duct joints shall be installed so that the male end of the duct points in the direction of the airflow. Joints should be secured with metal tape (not duct tape). Do not use rivets or screws in the joints or anywhere else in the duct as these will encourage lint collection. Length of concealed rigid metal ducting shall not exceed 35 feet (25' for IRC). Deduct 5 feet from the allowable length for every...
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Going back one step:

M1502.5 Duct construction.Exhaust ducts shall be constructed of minimum 0.016-inch-thick (0.4 mm) rigid metal ducts, having smooth interior surfaces with joints running in the direction of air flow. Exhaust ducts shall not be connected with sheet-metal screws or fastening means which extend into the duct.

Note that that there is no exception for "except in slabs"


The big problem with running dryer ducts in slabs -be they PVC, metal, or anything else -is that the slab acts as a heat-sink, increasing condensation and causing lint to deposit in the pipe - the problem is worst with longer runs and changes of direction.

However because this "seems like a good idea" (perhaps a better idea than galvanized metal) some AHJs do allow the use of PVC dryer duct in slabs. Thus the run in your slab... about which you can now do nothing except suggest (if you have the nerve) the customer re-route the duct run.

As for connections, we are...

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My ERV plan is to use a dedicated duct system to bring supply air (fresh air) into the rooms near the ceiling. This makes sense to me so cooler air can mix with conditioned air from the mini-split. I would have the return air register about a foot up from the floor. I read that most installations have both supply and returns near the top of the walls. This would make for longer duct runs. Is this recommended?
I’m ending up with more penetrations through the envelope for ERV, bath fans and dryer venting than I would like. All have built in backdraft dampers. (I don’t think the dryer does) What is recommended for a product or method to improve air sealing the outside air openings? Good vent hood products, another damper?


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Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryer's filter. Fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct. Lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive heat build-up, and result in a fire in some dryers.
The LintEater® was designed for the homeowner by a leading manufacturer of professional duct-cleaning equipment. It effectively removes dangerous lint build-up in almost every type of dryer vent system, and it's easy to use with your cordless drill.

The rotating action of the Auger Brush and flexible rods will traverse the multiple turns that are common in most vent systems. The included adapters allow you to use the air from your dryer, or a shop vacuum/ blower to completely remove the lint from the vent while rotary brushing.Reduce the Risk of a Dryer Fire
Some facts and figures... Clothes dryers can be found in 81.5 million homes throughout the United States. A...

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Hiring a professional duct cleaning service is something that you should do on a regular basis. Your ducts can get very dusty and dirty over time, which can result in the air quality of your home diminishing. When a build up of dust and dirt gets into your air, it can also result in issues for anyone that suffers from asthma, respiratory illness or even simple allergies. The following are some of the tasks that a professional duct cleaning service will perform:

They will open all of your access ports or doors in order to inspect and clean your entire duct system. Before they begin cleaning your duct system, they will do a thorough inspection to make sure that there are no materials that contain asbestos present, such as register boots or insulation. If they find any materials that contain asbestos, a specially trained and equipped contractor will need to be hired in order to remove them. Once the inspection is completed, they will use vacuum equipment in order to exhaust dust...
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Developed in 19th-century England, the first mechanized clothes dryers were perforated barrels that rotated over flames. Today’s appliances are not so very different, at least in principle, with heated air blown through a tumbler. But where does the air go once it has stolen moisture from your socks, shirts, and hand towels? If you’ve ever walked or driven past a modern-day Laundromat, then you already know: For a dryer to operate safely and effectively, it must vent to the outside.

Related: 15 Laundry Rooms We Love

In recent decades, it’s been common practice for homeowners to use flexible vinyl or metal tubing in dryer vent installation. The ridged design of these ducts, however, tends to pose a fire hazard: In short, they trap lint. For that reason, experts now instead recommend the use of rigid or semirigid hose; either can be found easily and purchased inexpensively in the diameter appropriate for your appliance (for most dryers,...

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Flexable vinyl ducting should NEVER be used for dryer venting. They are a fire hazard!!
The packaging is clearly labelled:
Despite the warnings, in my 28 years of inspecting homes, I have seen many dryers that were connected to vinyl ducting. Often the duct was partially melted by the heat from the dryer. Read also USFA stats on dryer fires below.

Flex pipe is an accordion type of dryer vent that can be pulled out to the required length. This duct is easy to install (no joints, no elbows required) but the ribs slow down air flow considerably. Lint can get past the lint screen and cake the ducting. Flex tubes are especially prone to this. If the flex duct is not removed and cleaned regularly the...

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Imagine waking up to see that your house is on fire—and then to find out later that the fire could have been easily prevented. The culprit: Your clothes dryer! According to the National Fire Protection Association, this common household appliance was the cause of more than 15,500 U.S. home fires in 2010.

Lint and other debris can build up in your dryer hose and vent duct, reducing air flow, backing up exhaust gases and eventually creating a fire. These hazards can be avoided by thoroughly inspecting and cleaning your dryer vent every year. (This is particularly true if your dryer vent duct was not designed or installed properly.) Not only are you reducing the risk of fire, you’re also putting money back into your wallet by improving the dryer’s efficiency.

So how do you know if your dryer vent system is clogged and perhaps a ticking “time bomb”? Check out our list below of 5 Warning Signs that it’s Time to Clean Your Clothes Dryer Vent.

1. Drying time for clothes...
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Ditto on all the "bad idea" answers above.

Besides the lint buildup/carbon monoxide/having to put a "Y" fitting in place/ etc there is a sizing problem. The pipe coming off the back of most portable air conditioners is 5" diameter and most dryers have a 4" diameter pipe. So not only would you be restricting the outlet simply by using the standard 4" outlet for a dryer but you also want to add it to an existing line that I assume you want to also use.

Also if set up in a window the unit vent has no return air stopping flap on it. A typical dryer vent has one and this will restrict the air flow.
Therefore air would tend to go from the AC to the dryer regardless of the outlet.

So here is what I recently did. I purchased from HD (but look in Lowes or any store that handles ductwork) an external vent that looks like a dryer vent except the diameter is for a 6" pipe. (I don't think a 5" one is common and the 6' one is less restrictive.) Into that I installed a 6" to...

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Laundry rooms are often quite cold because of drafts that enter through the exhaust vents. The photo below shows a washer and dryer side by side and it is clear that the dryer (the right most appliance) has a large cold spot. A large appliance like this will act as a heat sink and thoroughly chill a small laundry room. If the dryer door is left open (unlikely with this front loading dryer because there is a light inside and you have to close the door to turn it off), a large draft would have been created.

The problem in this example is a dryer vent, shown below, which allowed air to flow into the laundry room when the winds were blowing at this side of the house.

Here is another vent that can't close because a rodent screen is in the way.

The most common reason for flaps like this to jam is the accumulation of lint in the flap hinge area, which was the cause of the cold dryer below. The lower section of the dryer is 50F and was the...

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Be sure to scroll down... there may be more than one question on this page!

Dear NH,

I am looking for some information about clothes dryer venting installation. I live in Vermont and currently vent my clothes dryer into the basement via flexible hose. The reason for this is my house is low to the ground and the dryer/washer (combination unit) is located close to a walkway outside, where an outside vent cover would be unattractive.

This causes a smell at times in the basement due to the moisture content. To run it to the other side of house would require a run over 25 feet. My house is single story and I was wondering if there is a type of vent that could go up to the roof and outside.


Adding any moisture at all to a basement is a bad plan. Basments usually don't need any help being damp and smelly!

If your dryer is powered by natural gas or propane, it is dangerous to vent to the inside! The exhaust gas is blown out with the...

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