Many clothes dryers are designed with a vent on the back side of the dryer. This limits how you can orient the appliance. Sometimes this forces users to place the dryer in such a way that the vent has to bend, reducing its efficiency. With three-way venting, you have the option to break out vents in the bottom and side of the machine. Even better is a four-way venting appliance, which offers options on both sides and gives you a full range of orientation options.
Using Three-Way Venting
Most dryers require the owner to purchase a special kit in order to install an alternative vent. These kits come with instructions that may be specific to your manufacturer, so you should always reference those first. It may require you to disassemble some of your internal dryer parts. Then you can strike the knockout panel from either the right side, left side or base. Use a hammer or chisel on the edges of the panel. In many cases, you will need to remove the old duct and replace it with the ducting and elbow joints from the kit. Contact the manufacturer if you have questions about the process.
Improper dryer venting can easily become a fire hazard. But a safe installation is easy to accomplish. One important consideration is to keep the ducting as straight as possible. Multiple bends can create lint build-up. If lint accumulates to a great degree and a spark from the dryer lights it up, a serious fire could result. Furthermore, ducting that extends further than recommended by the manufacturer can increase drying time and make your appliance more expensive to operate.
Three-way venting prevents the need for creating bends and long ducting lengths to reach venting points. It prevents inefficiencies and fire hazards. But there are other tools you can use to prevent these problems. A periscoping vent tool allows you to directly vent to an outlet that is just slightly offset. Telescoping assemblies can pass venting through a tight space.