Save Money With a Louvered Dryer Vent Installation
Most outside dryer vents cost you more money in the long run. Many simply have a hood, but no way to keep the outside air from coming into your home. They are also a target for birds and small animals to set up nests, especially in the cooler months. One way to prevent birds and small animals from calling that hole in your wall home, and prevent air drafts when the dryer is not in use, is to install a louvered dryer vent. Louvered dryer vents stay in the closed position until you start the dryer. The air from the dryer duct pushes the louvers open when the dryer is in operation. Louvered dryer vent installation is just as simple as installing a standard dryer vent.
Tools and Materials For Louvered Dryer Vent Installation
Plastic anchors (if installing into brick siding)
Remove The Existing Dryer Vent
Unplug your dryer power cord. If you have a gas dryer, turn the gas valve to the “Off” position. There is a lever handle on the pipe behind the dryer. The lever should point away from the pipe in the 'Off” position.
Pull the dryer away from the wall enough that you have access to the dryer duct connection to the outside vent on the wall. Do not pull it out too far and overstretch a gas flex line or the dryer duct. Look for the screw on the clamp securing the dryer duct to the outside dryer vent. Loosen the screw with a Phillips screwdriver, and pull the dryer duct off the outside dryer vent pipe.
Go outside and score along the perimeter of the outside dryer vent where it meets the wall with a utility knife. This cuts through any old caulking and paint. Remove the screws securing the outside dryer vent to the wall with the Phillips screwdriver or a nut driver. Pull the dryer vent away from the wall.
Scrape any old caulking from around the hole in the wall with a putty knife. Remove any birds nest residue or other debris from the hole. If you have brick siding, scrub the brick around the hole with a stiff brush to remove any loose chips.
Louvered Dryer Vent Installation
Insert the pipe end of the louvered dryer vent into the wall until the flange of the vent is flush against the wall. Mark the louvered dryer vent mounting holes onto the wall with a pencil. Pull the dryer vent out of the wall.
Drill 1/2-inch deep pilot holes at the mounting hole marks with a drill bit half the diameter of the securing screws, if installing into wood or vinyl siding. If you are installing the louvered dryer vent onto brick siding, drill a hole the same size diameter as the plastic anchors with a masonry bit. Tap the plastic anchors into the holes in the wall with the handle of the screwdriver, if installing into brick siding.
Slide the pipe end of the louvered dryer vent into the wall, lining up the dryer vent mounting holes with the mounting holes on the wall. The louvers should be pointing toward the ground. Secure the louvered dryer vent to the wall with the securing screws and Phillips screwdriver.
Run a bead of silicone caulk around the seam between the dryer vent flange and the house wall with a caulk gun. Apply a dab of caulk over each screw as well. The caulk keeps water from seeping between the dryer vent and wall.
Go back inside the house and slip the end of the dryer duct over the louvered dryer vent pipe. Tighten the clamp screw with the Phillips screwdriver. Slide the dryer back into place. Turn on the gas, if you have a gas dryer. Plug the dryer power cord back into its outlet.