Dryer Vent Best Practices

Most practices fires are caused by clogged ducts, filters, and vents due to maintenance neglect and improper installation.


According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), there are around 16,000 clothes appliance-related fires each year in the US, with most of them caused by clothes dryers. Most practices fires are caused by clogged ducts, filters, and vents due to maintenance neglect and improper installation.

How to Prevent Dryer Vent Fires

1. Clean the lint tray after every use

2. Make sure the dryer duct and vent are professionally installed

3. Have your dryer duct and vent professionally cleaned and inspected annually

How Dryer Vents Should Always Be Installed

Standard Dryer Vents should always exit to the outside

Dryer Vents should not exit into ‘bucket’ systems (see photo below), crawl spaces, basements, attics, or other indoor areas. Also, Dryer vents should always exit to the outside.  See more about Condensing dryers that do not require vents below.

Note on Condensing Dryers (that do not require a vent)

Condensing dryers are becoming increasing common and have been sold in Europe for decades.  Condensing dryers do not need a vent and may be safer than a traditional dryer- however because they produce condensate or water, it is recommended to install a hose directly to the washer drain (rather than having to empty out a bucket).  Also, These dryers may take longer and consume more electricity than a standard dryer and some people complain that they don’t dry clothes as well. Also, Condensing dryers may not accommodate the larger loads that a standard dryer can.  If you are considering putting a dryer in a location without a vent we recommend consulting an HVAC contractor about installing one before opting for the condensing dryer.

Dryer Vent Hoods should never have screens

Screens are not allowed on the dryer vent hoods practices because they allow the accumulation of lint. Also, Luckily these screens are easily removed. If screens are present and lint debris has accumulated it is recommended to have the entire duct professionally cleaned.

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