The question: If you have a choice, is it better to vent an electric clothes dryer located in a cement block basement through a window or through the wall of the house? Is there a 'best practice' to follow here?

I'm doing some renovations on my 1942 Cape Cod. Previous owners, at one time or another, vented the electric dryer in the basement through an adjacent window right above the dryer and also through the wall of the house above the window. I know this because old vents exist in both places. I'll be replacing the horrible old wood window above the washer and dryer with glass block. I can easily incorporate a block with a built-in dryer vent when I do. I will also be siding the house, so that old vent will go away. I would think that, given a choice, the window is the way to go rather than piercing through new siding.

But if you are a pro or just someone with DIYer experience here I'd be interested in your take. I just want to this once by doing it right.


  • 1
    As a non pro, the best practice is the shortest straightest distance from the dryer to the outside. The second best is the easiest shortest distance. The vent should be cleaned every so often to remove dryer lint.
    – crip659
    May 25, 2023 at 21:31
  • Be sure to add a screen on the outside.
    – Gil
    May 26, 2023 at 1:38
  • To piggy-back on @crip659, whenever a dryer vent is going up, an in-line vent lint trap is recommended for the vent itself. Its also never recommended to use the slinky-like expandable hose for the vent since these are highly flammable, whereas galvanized steel vent piping is not.
    – JW0914
    May 26, 2023 at 12:43
  • @JW0914 I'm assuming you're talking plastic spiral ducting, not metal spiral ducting.
    – Huesmann
    May 26, 2023 at 13:00
  • @Huesmann the semi-rigid one is fine the plastic foil one is flammable
    – JW0914
    May 26, 2023 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


To consider:

  • If water leaks into the wall where the vent comes out of the siding, that's not great. If it leaks where you installed it in glass block in the foundation, it's probably not a big deal.
  • If you mortar the vent into the glass block and have to replace it later, it will be a pain.
  • If the steam from the dryer is ejected below the bottom of the siding, it may get behind the siding if it's something loose like vinyl or aluminum. It won't be much but it may start to grow mildew, mold, or algae.

I would install it in the window and make sure the steam is thrown well away from the wall and downward so that it has more time to disperse before rising again. Maybe a foot of vent pipe with a 45 degree elbow down and a removable screen at the end to keep critters out but allowing the thing to be cleaned. Install it in a way that will let it be replaced relatively easily if it rusts or someone breaks it.


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.