The dryer vent is important when installing a stackable washer and dryer. You are at the right place if you are unsure where the dryer vent goes in a stackable washer and dryer.
A dryer vent is usually located at the back side of the dryer. In some models, the dryer vent is connected to the exterior wall in the middle of the stackable washer and dryer. However, the location of the dryer vent varies according to the brand and model of the stackable washer and dryer.
In this article, you will find the right location of the dryer vent and how to install it. So, keep reading.
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Understanding Stackable Washer and Dryer Units and their Ventilation Systems
Individual washers and dryers occupy large spaces in the house.
You will need a separate laundry room to accommodate washers and dryers.
Giving such a large space to the washer and dryer will be hard, especially if you live in a compact apartment.
It was true in my case. A year back, I lived in a small apartment, and choosing a compact dryer and a washer was a big deal for me.
That was a time when I came across a stackable washer and dryer.
My friend used a stackable washer and dryer in his apartment, which worked well for him.
Finally, I chose a stackable washer and dryer for my apartment, which was compactable and equally efficient as a standing washer and dryer.
It was the best decision to solve my laundry issues.
While installing a stackable washer and dryer, I had to overcome some challenges.
One of the challenges was to decide where to run the dryer vent.
And I am sharing the same in this article.
If you are new to stackable washer and dryer, let’s start by understanding how it works.
A stackable washer and dryer are what the name suggests.
A fully functional washer is placed on the floor with an attachment of water supply hoses, valves, and drainage hooks.
And a dryer is placed on top of the washer, connected to the drain hose and vent.
This way, a washer and a dryer are stacked to save space in your small apartment.
A stackable washer and dryer are sold in a set. Both front-load and top-loading washing machines are used to stack.
In the case of front-loading washing machines, the dryer is placed directly on the washer.
In the case of a top-loading washing machine, an angled opening is left to open the lid of the top-loading washing machine to load clothes.
Front-load washing machines are commonly stacked with the dryer due to their efficiency.
The control panel is placed on the upper front panel for easy access.
At the end of the washing cycle in the washer, clothes are collected in the bucket and transferred to the dryer.
You can start the next washing cycle in the washer while the clothes are drying.
Locating the Dryer Vent on a Stackable Washer and Dryer: Tips and Tricks
Before installing the dryer, you must locate the dryer vent to connect the dryer to expel harmful gases.
Commonly, the dryer vent is situated at the backside of the washing machine.
Here are some tips and tricks to locate a dryer vent in your laundry area:
Refer to the owner’s manual
Owners manual is the first thing you must check to locate the dryer vent easily.
It contains all the details of the location of different parts of the dryer. It will also contain the location of the dryer vent.
Referring to the owner’s manual will give you precise information about the location of the dryer vent.
Look at the back side of the dryer.
Access the dryer’s back side and check if any vent hoses or tubes protrude outside.
Follow along where the vent hose travels above the ceiling or the wall until outside the room.
Hire a professional
Hiring a professional to locate the dryer vent will save you time, and the installation process will be efficient.
Common Locations for Dryer Vents on Stackable Washer and Dryer Units
The location of the dryer vent in a stackable washer and dryer may vary from the regular washer and dryer.
The common location of the dryer vent in the stackable washer and dryer is at the back side of the washing machine.
The dryer vent is connected to the exhaust vent at the outside wall, where dangerous gases are expelled.
In some cases, the dryer vent may be located at the side and top of the dryer, but this is rare.
However, the location of the dryer vent may vary based on the brand and model.
How to Install a Dryer Vent on a Stackable Washer and Dryer
You can install the dryer vent for the stackable washer and dryer easily if you have the right knowledge and the required tools.
Follow the steps below to install a stackable washer and dryer:
- Start by gathering the required tools. You will need elbow joints, measuring tape, metal ducts, gloves, a pipe strap, a drill, a screwdriver, and metal foil tape.
- The first step is to do the required measurement. Start by measuring the distance between the ground and the dryer. Next, measure the distance between the duct and the dryer. And lastly, you must measure the distance between the vent and exhaust outlets. Measuring the distance will help you determine the length of the pipes.
- Wear hand gloves to prevent injuries in your hands while installing. Using tin snips, cut the metal duct in the right size to fit in the elbow joints. The metal duct will protrude outside and reach the exterior vent.
- Access the long end of the metal duct and start aligning the seam. Start by aligning one end of the metal duct and attaching the seam with it to form a circle.
- After aligning the duct, push it through the elbow joint and attach it using metal foil tape. When attaching the duct to the elbow joint, it is recommended not to use screws as they pay the way for lint buildup.
- Attach the other end of the joint with the duct and bring everything together.
- Attach the U-shaped pipe straps around the duct and secure it with the screws. If you put screws in the drywall, you must make the pilot hole for each screw using a drill.
- Attach the dryer vent hose to the outlet and check if the connection is tight and secure.
If you find it difficult to follow these steps to install a dryer vent to the stackable washer and dryer, consider seeking help from a professional.
Proper Ventilation Requirements for Stackable Washer and Dryer Units
Stackable washers and dryers require enough space and ventilation around them for efficient function.
Before purchasing a stackable washer and dryer, it is a must to measure the space where you will place them precisely.
Measure the height and width of the area and purchase a stackable washer and dryer which will suit the space.
Leave at least 4 inches of space between the appliance and the wall.
You must also ensure enough space to accommodate all the hoses and vent pipes behind the washer and dryer.
Floor space must be 2×2 to accommodate the stackable washer and dryer.
And also, leave an extra one-inch gap around the appliances in addition to 4 inches for extra ventilation.
You can also store the stackable washer and dryer in the closet.
While doing so, ensure enough space to open the closet door.
And also, make sure you can comfortably open the washer door for easy loading and unloading of clothes.
Also, check the local law and plumbing code to ensure you install a ventilation system according to them.
Choosing the Right Dryer Vent for Your Stackable Washer and Dryer
Choosing the right dryer vent will ensure efficient venting of the stackable washer and dryer.
Here is the brief guidance on choosing the right dryer vent for a stackable washer and dryer:
Type of dryer vent
Different types of dryer vents are based on the material used to build them. Plastic, metal, and flexible dryer vents are available on the market.
You can choose based on your budget and requirement. Metal dryer vents are a common choice because they are durable but expensive.
In comparison, plastic dryer vents are cheap but prone to breakage.
Based on these factors, you can choose the type of dryer vent.
Size of the dryer vent
The size of the dryer vent is a significant factor when it comes to choosing the right dryer vent.
Consider referring to the user manual to know the ideal dryer vent size for your stackable washer and dryer.
To give you an idea, the ideal size of the dryer vent is 4 inches in diameter for most dryers.
However, newer models require up to a 6-inch diameter of the dryer vent.
Based on your requirement, choose the right size of the dryer vent.
Length of the dryer vent
The length of the dryer vent plays an important role in efficient dryer function.
Ensure the dryer vent is not too long, as it may block the airflow to the dryer.
To avoid this, you must choose the shortest route for the dryer vent.
According to the local plumbing code, the dryer vent length should not exceed 25 feet.
The length of the dryer vent will be determined based on the unit’s location and outlet vent.
So make sure you don’t plan the outlet vent so lengthy.
Check for ventilation
Check if the dryer vent is capable of providing enough ventilation support.
While I was planning for the dryer vent, a professional suggested installing a larger and quality dryer vent for efficient function and ventilation.
Follow the instruction in the owner’s manual.
Apart from all these factors, consider referring to the owner’s manual to check the ideal requirement of the dryer vent for your stackable washer and dryer.
Troubleshooting Dryer Vent Issues on Stackable Washer and Dryer Units
Here are the common dryer vent issues:
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Dryers produce carbon monoxide when operated.
These carbon monoxides are emitted through the dryer vent.
Carbon monoxide accumulates in the long run if the lint trap blocks the dryer vent.
At some point, the accumulated carbon monoxide will start leaking into your laundry area.
To fix this issue, you must clean the dryer vent regularly.
Ensure the dryer vent is not too long, which may cause the issue.
Mold and mildew
The dryer vent system has more chances of mold formation and mildew.
Mold and mildew formation causes bad odors and health issues.
When I confronted this issue in my dryer vent system, I fixed the issue by hiring a professional cleaning service to clean my dryer vent.
Long drying time
If the dryer vent is clogged by lint and debris particles, the airflow will be restricted in the dryer vent system.
Due to this, a dryer will take a long time to dry clothes.
You can fix this issue by cleaning the dryer vent regularly.
High utility bills
If there are faults in the dryer, its efficiency will be affected.
Blocks and clogs in the dryer cause several issues by restricting the airflow.
In all such cases, high utility bills will result.
Maintaining Your Dryer Vent on a Stackable Washer and Dryer for Optimal Performance
Properly Maintaining the stackable washer and dryer will increase its lifespan.
Follow the steps below for the proper maintenance of a stackable washer and dryer:
Stackable washers and dryer doors are closed tightly to avoid water spillage.
After every usage, the washer and dryer are wet.
Not cleaning the moisture in the washer and dryer after every wash will lead to mold formation.
To avoid this issue, clean the washer and dryer with a dry cloth after every wash.
Use a high-grade detergent.
People often make the mistake of using low-grade detergent to save money.
But little did they know that it would cost them expensive repairs.
I once made this mistake, and my stackable washer and dryer went into expensive repairs.
You can avoid this mistake by using a high-grade detergent suggested by professionals.
At the same time, be careful not to overload the detergent, which will leave residue on the clothes.
Avoid overloading the washer and the dryer.
Overloading the washer and dryer will put pressure on the motor, which will work hard to manage the overload.
In the long run, the motor and the drum of the washer will wear out, leading to expensive repairs.
To some extent, you will have to replace the entire unit.
Understand the load capacity of the unit and load it accordingly.
Clean the lint screen regularly
It will get clogged if you continue to use the dryer without cleaning the lint screen.
A clogged lint filter will block the airflow and is capable of causing fire hazards.
Inspect the fill hoses
Fill hoses are prone to breakage and will cause leakage in the run.
It is important to fill hoses yearly once for any breakage.
In such a case, replacing the fill hoses is the right choice.
Leaking fill hoses cause water damage and hinder the efficiency of the unit.
Stackable washers and dryers are the best choices for people who live in small apartments. A dryer is stacked above the washer to make the unit fit in a compactable space. Like any other dryer, a stackable dryer also needs a vent installation to expel dangerous gases.
A dryer vent system is installed in the exterior wall. Suppose your dryer is placed in the basement. In that case, you can install a dryer vent system from the basement to the exterior wall in the shortest way possible.
You can also run the dryer vent through the attic to the house’s roof. Consider hiring a professional to install the dryer vent if you are not experienced in working with an electrical appliance. Maintain and clean the washer and dryer regularly to avoid issues.
Is stacking the washer and dryer a good idea?
Stacking a washer and a dryer is a good idea only if you live in a small apartment. Otherwise, stackable washers and dryers have no advantage over regular washers and dryers.
Is it better to have the washer and dryer stacked or side by side?
It is better to have a stackable washer and dryer if you have limited space for the unit. If space is not your concern, you can buy a side-by-side washer and dryer.
Reference: Washer-dryer Wikipedia