I live in a two-story condo/townhouse. My dryer is downstairs in the kitchen and I'd like to move it upstairs. Right now, the exhaust vent runs up through the wall and under the upstairs bedroom floor before it exits through the vent in the back of the house. Where I want to move it to will require me to move the vent to the front.

What things should I consider for this project? I have a pretty good idea on everything else like plumbing and whatnot (much easier said than done, I know), but what about the exhaust vent? How should I run the duct beneath the floor? In the event that I choose to use the existing exhaust vent in the back, how long can the duct be before it loses effectiveness? Anything details anyone can give will be appreciated. I also know I am probably not giving enough info, but I don't know what all to ask, so I can just add on to the question as we go along.

Note: I've cleared this with the association. All I need to do is tell them exactly how I am going to do it.

  • If you run a long vent hose through the floor, you need to make sure it won't collect water from condensation.
    – xpda
    Sep 26, 2011 at 3:55
  • 2
    Can you put your dryer on an outside wall? The shorter the vent hose, and the fewer the turns, the better. Less energy, faster drying, fewer fires.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Sep 26, 2011 at 4:51
  • The dryer manual should specify limits on vent ducting length, and how to calculate corners. I've heard 30' as a rule-of-thumb, but older dryers can't push as far. Check the manual.
    – Scivitri
    Sep 26, 2011 at 16:37
  • washer/dryer on second floor is not always a good idea... If the washer leaks/floods, it will affect all the floors below. Washers/dryers can create a lot of vibration, which may be annoying/problematic on upper floors (depending on the structure of the floors/house). It may not apply to this situation, but it is a good thing to keep in mind if others are thinking about moving their washer/dryer upstairs.
    – Tester101
    Sep 27, 2011 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


You want the shortest distance possible, and for everything except perhaps the dryer connection, you want to use rigid metal tubing rather than the flex tube. The rigid tubing will resist the airflow less and collect less lint. The better airflow from rigid tubing and shortest distance will make the dryer more efficient. If too much lint builds up in the vent, you have a fire hazard in addition to longer drying time.

I'd also suggest having the exhaust somewhere you can reach with a small step ladder to make it easier to clean the vent. So I'd run it down through the floor rather than up through the ceiling, if possible.

Finally, when you install the vent opening in the side of your home, make sure it's weather tight. If it's vinyl siding, you can get a removal tool (it's a flat blade with a hook on the end that pulls two pieces apart). Take off a few pieces where you're working, securely attach the vent, seal around the edges (not sure if Tyvek tape is good enough, they make a rubber adhesive membrane for window openings), install a few pieces of J channel like you have around windows and doors, and cut (measure twice) and reinstall the siding. Vinyl siding screws should remain loose (should be able to slide a fingernail underneath) so that it can expand/contract with heat/cold.

  • 1
    +1 on solid rigid metal piping. Flex pipe is a lint trap and can be dangerous.
    – Cody C
    Sep 26, 2011 at 14:33

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