The house I bought has dryer vent that runs from the dryer into the ceiling. Besides being an eyesore it is also loose/flimsy.

enter image description here

I'm redoing the laundry room and would like to make this more attractive. So far I've thought about enclosing vent in drywall. I'd appreciate any ideas. As a side note, I think it must vent through the roof because I can't find any air movement around the house while the dryer is running.

  • 2
    Do NOT enclose it. you want access to it for cleaning/replacing as needed. If anything, maybe enclose it in a cupboard so you can still easily get to it.
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 5:41
  • 1
    @DA01 is spot on. When we moved in to our house, the dryer vent went down through a crawlspace with no access panel. I had to cut through the floor to clean it and eventually replace it. You definitely want it to remain accessible. Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 3:26
  • 1
    Update: while demoing the bathroom (next room over) I learned the walls are 2x6 so I was able to run a new dryer vent withing the wall (in far left corner of photo) and vent outside for a much better solution. Also, got a dryer vent cleaner (basically a brush with long tube that attaches to a power drill. Worked great on old vent -- never put the drill in reverse!!!
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 3:37
  • Here's the finished result newyuma.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-laundry-room-makeover.html I did enclose the vent in the wall. This is perfectly sound. Most all new construction runs the vent between walls or floor joists. I bought a duct cleaning brush, which hooks up to a power drill.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


Before you do anything, you must figure out where it goes. It really has to vent outside. If it vents into the attic, you are going to have serious issues, including the potential of mold and rot as the hot, moist air is vented into an unconditioned space. It is (usually) against building codes to vent into the attic for this reason.

If it is venting through a roof or soffit vent, or out a wall, you're probably okay. It's best to keep runs as short as possible and with as few bends as possible. Dryer lint building up in the pipe can pose a fire hazard, so the shorter and straighter it is, the less chance there is to have anything build up, and the easier it is to clean out if needed.

Assuming it's vented properly, then I think boxing it in with drywall is a great way to go, and in fact is exactly what I did (in the corner):

enter image description here

You should also consider an in-line lint trap (I probably would have put one in if I knew about them):

enter image description here

I'd also recommend using straight vent pipe where possible, as it is smooth inside which reduces the opportunity for lint to attach and block the pipe. The rigid stuff you have is alright (way better than the white plastic crap) but it is still ridged inside.

enter image description here

  • how do you clean it when it's boxed in drywall?
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 5:42
  • 2
    @DA01 good point. I used straight (smooth) vent pipe, so I don't expect I'll have much issue except for the elbow at the top. However, I would probably use a dryer vent cleaning brush (which is basically a 4" wire brush on the end of a 10' or so fish line).
    – gregmac
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 6:38
  • good call on using the rigid smooth pipe. I guess I'd agree that that would be OK. As long as you could access the input to inser the brush, that should be acceptable.
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 6:41
  • 3
    Inline lint traps are only recommended when using booster fans, and can only be used without a booster on very short runs (less than about 6-8').
    – Tester101
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 11:46
  • 2
    @DA01, rigid/smooth vent pipes are enclosed all the time in construction. I should probably do a blog review of this cleaning brush kit: amazon.com/Gardus-RLE202-LintEater-10-Piece-Cleaning/dp/…
    – BMitch
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 12:52

Greg has a good answer. However as an alternative and something people can do in less attractive rooms (think basement) -

  1. Use rigid ducts.
  2. Buy some fancy strapping - I have a bundle I bought from a HVAC wharehouse.
  3. Install duct minus strapping
  4. Paint them with an auto-primer (this can be bought in big box spray paint section for $5). Put flooring paper behind them so that spray paint doesn't touch wall.
  5. Next day paint with a color. We have been doing oranges or lime greens and people love it (do the same thing for metal beams). You can certainly be more neutral.
  6. Spray your straps separately.
  7. Install straps.

Now you have something that looks cool/different and something that you can get to if you have a problem. I really don't like my dryer ducts in the middle of a wall because if you have a problem you are redoing drywall.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.