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How to Vent a Dryer Through a Basement Window

Dryers need some way of ventilating the warm, moist air created by the drying process. Many homes have a mounting hole and ductwork where a ventilation hose can be hooked up for outdoor venting. However, some houses, especially older ones, don't have these external ventilation methods. In this case, a window is the best option. If you have one available, a basement window could be the least-visible location. Venting a dryer through a basement window can be done in a few steps.


Dryers need a way of venting to the outside of a house.
  1. Remove the window glass. If it is a multipaneled window, remove one panel of glass.
  2. Cut the plywood to the measurements of the glass panel you removed. Make sure the plywood is thin enough to fit into the window frame where the glass sat.
  3. Measure to determine the center of the plywood. Mark it with a small dot. Place the center of your hole saw attachment on the dot. Press the drill's trigger and cut a 4-inch round hole in the plywood.
  4. Insert the round outlet of the vent hood into the hole. The fit should be tight. The end of the outlet where it joins the vent hood should be flush with the surface of the plywood.
  5. Load the caulk tube into the caulk gun. Snip off the applicator end at an angle. Press the caulk gun trigger to lay a bead of caulk around the edge of the vent hood, on both sides of the wood. This seals the gap, blocking air, debris and insects.
  6. Insert the wood into the window, with the vent hood on the outdoor side of the wood. Seal all the edges of the wood with caulk.
  7. Attach a vent hose elbow to the indoor side of the outlet, where it comes through the wood. Point the elbow in the direction of the dryer. Attach the elbow to the vent hood using the foil tape. Apply the foil tape smoothly and tightly for a secure seal. Attach the hose to the elbow and seal it with foil tape.
  8. Attach the remaining elbow to the other end of the hose. Seal the hose and the elbow together with foil tape.
  9. Attach the elbow to the dryer vent on the back of the dryer. Seal the hose to the dryer vent with foil tape.
  10. Test for air leaks. Turn on the dryer. Run your hand along the hose, focusing on the areas sealed with foil tape. If you feel air coming from any portion of the hose, cover that area with more foil tape.
  11. Check the vent hood flap. Go outside while the dryer is on to verify that the flap on the dryer hood is opening with the force of air coming from the dryer.

Things You Will Need

  • Caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Drill with 4-inch hole saw attachment
  • Metal vent cover with 4-inch diameter opening
  • 2 vent hose elbows, 4 inches in diameter
  • Foil tape
  • Metal vent hose, 4 inches in diameter
  • Plywood, proper thickness and size to replace the window pane

Tip

  • A clean lint trap will aid the venting process and lower the risk of fire.

Warning

  • No dryer air should ever vent inside a house. The air is hot and humid and contains particles and debris -- dryer lint will quickly accumulate inside your house, and the moisture can cause problems.

About the Author

Kim Sarah has been a writer since 2000. Her work has appeared on NECN, WCTR-TV3 and in the "Torch" university newspaper, among other publications. Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Worcester State University and a Master of Arts in journalism from Roosevelt University. She is also studying nursing and computer science at Indiana State University.

Photo Credits