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Can A Dryer Vent Be Vertical [Going Up Or Down]?

Drying clothes without access to a wide area for hanging your clothes can be a challenge if you live in an apartment. That's why a dryer that can finish the job is a must-have. Instead of going to the nearest laundry shop, you can set up a dryer at home instead. But what if there's no other way for the ventilation to go but up? We've gathered the information you need from experts so you don't have to!

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You can set up a vertical vent for your dryer if there are no other options available, especially when you are living in an apartment. Although it is highly advised for vents to go downward and horizontally most of the time, you can still build a vertical dryer vent. But keep in mind that the vent must not exceed a distance of 35 feet. 

Some people don't have access to a lot of options when building a dryer vent. If the only way for you to create the vent is by making it in a vertical position, we've listed out things you should consider before doing so. Keep reading this post to find out more!

Dryer duct - Can A Dryer Vent Be Vertical [Going Up Or Down]

Factors To Consider When Building A Vertical Dryer Vent 

Man cleaning dryer vent in home.

Dryer vents are must-haves to assure all the steam coming from clothes dryers goes out of the house. When a tremendous amount of moist air accumulates inside the house, mold will start building up. Other than that, it may also cause structural damage to the house.

Although you can build a vertical dryer vent in case you have no means to build the lateral vent pipe, keep in mind the following factors before building one:

Pipeline Insulation When Running Through an Attic

Attics are the closest to the roof, thus making it less conditioned than the rest of the house. That's why insulating the vent pipe will help prevent the effect of condensation. Areas with extreme temperatures are prone to air that's more condensed, causing water to build up around the pipeline and cause damage in the long run such as corrosion.

By insulating the vent pipe, you can prevent the effects of extreme temperatures and humidity on the material so you won't have to keep going through constant repairs and changes. 

Here are some options you can choose from to insulate a pipeline when running it through an attic:

Mineral Wool

Cutting Mineral wool with utility knife

Mineral wools have a variety of categories from slag fibers to glass. However, the most recommended type of mineral wool is basalt or stone wool that comes as a mat or shell.

Shell foils are suitable for insulating smaller diameters while attic ventilation ducts are to be insulated using rolled mineral wools. These materials are fire-resistant, non-combustible, and can operate at high temperatures up to 1832 °F.

Foamed Polyethylene

This material has foil-coated and foam parts that promote protection against moisture and can help in insulation. Its conductivity depends on the thickness of the material and can last up to 10 years. 

Foamed polyethylene is elastic and easy to install. It's known for being resistant to chemical and biological effects, strength, and reusable purposes.

Click here to see this foamed polyethylene on Amazon.

Expanded Polystyrene

Extruded expanded polystyrene. Insulation for the foundation. Texture, close-up. Construction industry.

Although expanded polystyrene is more expensive, it is known for improved insulation performance compared to regular styrofoam. It retains heat better and can be used for a longer period of time. 

Commonly used on round pipes, this material, however, melts when applied using regular glue so you have to use a special glue that suits the material.

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam

Popularly used in the industrial sector, sprayed polyurethane is getting more and more common in household usage due to its easy application process. It is used to insulate air ducts.

Since you just need to spray it all over the pipeline, it can insulate even the most complex pipe configuration. The downside of this material is it is more expensive compared to other insulation materials, and a good spraying skill is a must to not waste too much content.

Click here to see this insulating spray foam on Amazon.

Securing The Vent Hood With a Vent Cap

People who live in areas that experience rainy seasons are least likely to choose a vertical vent. This is because the vent needs to be connected to the roof in order to release the air coming from the clothes dryer.

However, in case there is no other way to build the vent but vertically, you can still do so but make sure that the vent is protected from the rain without compromising the airflow.

To install a vent cap, cut the vent pipe and insert it in the hole you created. Seal the edges with caulk and then connect the vent cap to the vent pipe. 

Click here to see this dryer vent cap on Amazon.

Location of The Vent In The Roof

Since dryer vent ducts can have lint and dust buildups over time, you have to install the dryer vent ducts in the part of the roof that is easier to reach in order for you to maintain it. Regular cleaning of vent ducts can prevent clogging and will help the dryer reach its maximum performance. 

Although experts advise that you clean the vent ducts once a year, below are some signs that your vent ducts need some cleaning:

  1. You spend a longer time drying clothes, sometimes it even takes more than one spin before the clothes totally dry.
  2. Your dryer feels hotter than it should be.
  3. There is a musty smell around the laundry room.
  4. The laundry area feels more humid than usual.
  5. You find it difficult to open the vent cap.

In addition to reasons why you should have your vent ducts checked, maintaining the hole where the vent emits the air can prevent serious problems such as a high increase in electric consumption or worse, a fire due to a clogged airway.

Importance of a Dryer Booster Fan

Most of the time, the slow drying time is not caused by the dryer but by the vent pipeline. Clogged vent pipes are caused by moisture and lint buildups, which over time prevent proper airflow in the pipeline. Good thing there is an alternative way to lessen drying time and prevent lint buildup. It is by installing a booster fan to your dryer vent line.

In case you need to extend the vent pipe to more than 35 feet, using a booster fan can help in maintaining the airflow of the vent line. Moreover, a booster fan does not just increase the airflow in the vent duct. It can also reduce the lint buildup in the vent pipes.

Experts advise using booster fans for those living in apartments or condominiums to improve proper airflow in the vent line. 

Just like any other equipment, a dryer booster fan also needs maintenance. It is recommended to have it cleaned up once a year to achieve its full performance. 

Dryer duct

How Many Elbows Can a Dryer Vent Have?

One of the main concerns of homeowners is if it's possible to not have a straight pipeline from the dryer to the ducts. Dryer vents can have back-to-back two elbows that do not exceed a 90-degree turn. Bending the pipeline is necessary when it's not possible to build the dryer vent's exhaust pipe on a straight line.

Does The Length of a Dryer Vent Affect Drying Time?

The answer is yes. The longer the vent is, the longer the drying time can be. Long pipelines for the vent may affect the dryer's performance, making drying time longer than expected. That is why it is highly recommended to keep the pipeline no more than 35 feet long.

What Happens If Your Dryer Vent Hose is Too Long?

Close-up of clean dryer vent tube

Besides a longer drying time, a longer vent hose can also cause lint buildup over time since it will take longer for the vent to release the moist air coming from the dryer. Manufacturers often provide their recommended hose length to achieve the machine's maximum performance.

Wrapping It Up

You can definitely use a vertical dryer vent at home, as long as you take into consideration how you install the pipeline in an unconditioned area, how you insulate the pipeline, and how you maintain the duct and airway. 

No matter what you choose, you can either do it all yourself or have a professional install the dryer vent for you to make sure everything will be installed properly. But keep in mind that safety is the most important thing so be smart and always choose what's best for your home. 

For more laundry-related topics, check out these posts:

15 Wall Decor Ideas For Laundry Room

11 Laundry Room Color Scheme Ideas