Can You Vent a Dryer Into the Garage?

Whether you’re attempting to capture some residual heat or just as an easy fix, here’s why you shouldn’t attempt to vent your dryer into your garage.

October 04, 2019

Photo by: Shutterstock/Benjamin Clapp

Shutterstock/Benjamin Clapp

Related To:

It might be a tempting alternative to vent your dryer into your garage, and while it may save you from having to crawl under your house or punch a hole in the exterior, it’s not as good of an idea as it might seem. The main function of your dryer is to remove moisture from textiles using heated air that’s forced through the inside. In order for the air inside of your dryer to remain hot and dry instead of hot and damp, it needs to steadily eject the humid air as it accumulates. This is where your dryer’s vent comes into play.

Your dryer vent's job is to carry hot, damp air to the outside of your home. Should you direct that humidity into your garage, you would greatly increase the odds of developing a mold problem in your home. Once a mold issue has begun, it’s often hard to detect in a garage, and by the time it’s shown up it might require extensive remediation.

Dryer vents also tend to carry a fair amount of dryer lint as time wears that's guaranteed to be ejected into your garage, covering everything in sight with a layer of slightly damp lint every time you start your dryer. It will eventually get tracked back into your home, causing lint dust to accumulate indoors.

If you have a gas-fired dryer, it’s not only a bad idea to vent it into your garage, it’s potentially deadly. Gas-fired dryers eject small amounts of carbon monoxide, and it’s critical that they're properly vented to the outdoors. Venting a gas dryer into any enclosed space can cause an accumulation of carbon monoxide that could become lethal to humans and pets. Additionally, if you own a gas-fired dryer, you need to install a carbon monoxide detector in your laundry room and ensure that your dryer lines are inspected and cleaned every year.

All dryer vents are subject to very specific building codes that can adversely affect a home inspection when you’re ready to sell. Venting a dryer into a garage or other enclosed space will more than likely show up on an inspection report as an item required for repair before a home can be sold. Here are some tips for a properly installed dryer vent:

  • Dryer vents should be constructed of rigid metal duct, no less than .016” thick, that is free of kinks and obstructions and tightly connected with sealed joints and no leaks.
  • Dryer vents should be as straight as possible and not exceed 35 feet in length. If you need to route your vent around obstacles, you need to reduce the total length by 5 feet for every 90-degree turn and 2.5 feet for every 45-degree turn.
  • Vertical runs and awkward turns should have appropriate cleanouts installed so that lint buildup can be removed and the vent can be serviced.
  • Dryer vents should ALWAYS be vented to the outdoors a minimum of 12” off the ground and equipped with a backdraft arrestor.

Dryer Vent Maintenance Tips 01:31

Keep your dryer running efficiently with these vent cleaning instructions.

Next Up

Garage From HGTV Smart Home 2013

Designed to live larger than its modest footprint and showcase locally sourced building materials, the garage offers space to store two vehicles, plus surfboards and large beach gear.

Garage Floor Coatings

Keep floors clean with heavy-duty protection.

The Organized Garage

Storage solutions allow garages to be zoned for different activities.

How to Upcycle an Old Pallet Into Garage Storage

Turn an old pallet into a place to store tools large and small.

How to Build Rolling Garage Storage Shelves

Custom garage storage can cost a pretty penny. Luckily, if you’ve got the tools, we’ve got the perfect DIY for you.

Three-Car Garage From HGTV Dream Home 2010

Modern style and ample space make the garage a family favorite.

Which Garage Flooring is Right for You?

From plain concrete to specialty tiles, the right garage flooring lays the foundation for a well-designed space.

Garage Insulation Basics

Adding insulation to a garage is the easiest do-it-yourself job in a renovation or new build.

How to Choose Garage Walls

Garage walls do more than just hold the roof up and keep the elements out. Put yours to work with the perfect material for your needs.

Make the Most of Your Garage Ceiling

Follow these tips to find just the right ceiling strategy for your garage.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.