How to Vent a Dryer in the Middle of the House

How to Vent a Dryer in the Middle of the House

No matter where your dryer is located, venting it is just as important as setting the dryer up itself. A dryer’s vent directs moisture and heat away from the dryer and out of the house. If you install a dryer without a vent, you run the risk of moisture building up leading to mold, mildew, and water damage.

To install a vent dryer in the middle of the house, you need to vent it downwards so that the air and moisture is going through the floor and out. Since you don’t have the convenience of putting the dryer against an exterior wall, you’ll need to angle a periscope dryer vent so that it is pointing down at a 90 degree angle.

Underneath the floor, you’ll need to install another periscope dryer vent facing the opposite direction as the one above-head connected to the dryer. Seal the periscope vent using a spray foam sealant and your new venting set up should hold and keep moisture and hot air out.

Unfortunately, if you do not have a basement or crawlspace beneath where you plan on placing the dryer if it is in the middle of the house, you won’t be able to do this. Let’s explore how to vent a dryer in the middle of the house more closely.

Is it Safe to Vent a Dryer in the Middle of the House?

While not as safe as venting a dryer using an exterior wall, venting a dryer in the middle of the house is safe if precautions are taken. If you need to vent a dryer in the middle of the house, the issue of lint becomes more of a problem than when using an exterior wall.

That is because lint is flammable. When a dryer is vented outside, lint freely blows and effectively gets “out of the way”. While venting a dryer in the middle of the house, however, you won’t have the luxury of venting outside in every case. Instead, your best option is venting downward to the basement.

There are a few things you can do to ensure safety when venting a dryer in the middle of the house, such as:

  • Make sure both ends of the dryer vent are unobstructed
  • Clean the venting tube to get rid of excess lint
  • Place container of water at the output end of the vent
  • Use flexible vent pipes

Keep in mind that venting in the middle of the house increases the risk of mold and mildew inside. That is because the moisture has nowhere to escape, it simply diffuses into the air. If possible, vent the dryer downwards into an open space that has airflow to reduce the risk of mold.

What Materials Do You Need?

You will need to gather a handful of materials before you can vent your dryer in the middle of the house, including:

  • Two dryer venting hookup periscopes ($20-$30 each)
  • A spray foam insulation ($3.50-$8.00)
  • PVC pipe ($3.00-$7.00)

If your house has a half-basement, you are in luck. In that case, you can use the PVC to further vent the heat and moisture leading out of the house. Many half-basement homes have opening for the purpose of venting, and if yours dose, run the PVC from the second periscope to the outside and it will be perfect.

Let’s get into the steps that you need to follow to vent a dryer in the middle of the house.

1. Place the First Venting Hookup

Put the first venting periscope through the floor over an existing vent if possible, otherwise, cuts will need to be made. Place the periscope so that it is at as much of a 90 degree angle as possible.

Line it up with the dryer and connect the back of it to the periscope to make sure that it fits.

2. Install the Second Periscope

Head downstairs and look to make sure that the first periscope is hanging properly. Now, take the second periscope and attach them together by connecting the top open end of the second one to the bottom open end of the first one that is connected to the dryer.

When you are done, the bottom opening of the second periscope should be facing the opposite direction as the top one connected to the dryer upstairs.

3. Seal and Insulate

You could use a silicone sealant, but your best bet is to seal the periscope downstairs by using spray foam insulation. That will come in handy when the dryer is running to minimize air flow and lint particles in the air.

4. Run PVC

This step depends entirely on your house’s layout. Let’s split this step into two alternate parts: A and B.

PVC Connection A

For the A scenario, let’s assume that you have a half basement or basement that has space for you to run PVC leading outdoors. If you do, that is great because it will minimize chances for mold and overheating.

Measure the opening of the periscope. Often times, all that you will need is 4”-6” PVC to make the connection. Connect the PVC and run it all the way to the opening leading outside. Allow for 5”-8” of overlap outside to make sure the heat is going out properly.

For good measure, attach a mesh or flap to the end of the PVC pipe to help keep unwanted bugs from entering the pipe.

PVC Connection B

The B scenario refers to your basement not having access to outside venting. In that case, you should still attach PVC, but you won’t be running it outdoors.

4”-6” PVC piping will still do the trick. What you should do is position the PVC hanging off of the bottom open end of the periscope so that it is angled down.

If you have room for it, consider leaving an open container of water beneath the PVC. That way, if and when excess lint makes its way through the venting, it will land in water. By doing this, you will reduce the fire risk associated with venting your dryer indoors.

Related Questions

How long should a dryer vent in the middle of the house be?

A: Your dryer vent should be no longer than 35 feet in length.

Can you clean dryer vents to keep them in good shape?

A: Yes, you can. Inspect your dryer once or twice a year, or more if there are performance problems. Generally, venting issues are caused by buildups of lent. Remove the excess lent by using a prod or long object to carefully push it out.

How much does it cost to vent a dryer in the middle of the house?

It costs between $70 and $200 to vent a dryer in the middle of the house. The cost is mostly determined by the materials that you choose.

Summing It Up

Venting a dryer in the middle of the house is not always ideal, but it is possible. Make sure that you use two dryer vent periscopes. Sealing the periscope that is beneath the floor is key so that there is no air leaking.

Once your dryer is vented in the middle of the house, follow up by inspecting it once or twice a year to get rid of lint buildups. It also wouldn’t hurt to put a container of water at the end of the length of PVC for fire safety.

Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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