Larger Size Laundry Solutions/Problems

My brother-in-law, Bill Bowman, told me that a good friend of his had died recently and that the he didn’t attend the funeral.  I asked him why he hadn’t gone, and Bill said “He’s not coming to mine, so I’m not going to his!”

A beautiful Christmas gift Dec 2008 in Pismo

So, you absolutely love the new larger, energy efficient laundry units, but they don’t quite fit into the laundry space. The biggest problem is with the dryer.  The most critical part of any dryer is the venting system.  This carries moisture out of the dryer on air flow, to the outside of the house.  Heat is just a helper.  The heated water vapor is more easily transported on the air current.  You can get the dryer as hot as you want, but if the air flow out the venting is restricted, you will have drying problems such as: too long to dry or clothes wet at the end of a cycle.  The other problem you could have that you may not even know, is robbing you of precious energy.  The dryer may be detecting that the clothes are not dry, and simply extending the drying time, using up electricity and/or gas unnecessarily. The reason this happens may be that the depth of you new dryer (measured from front to back).  The dryer venting is typically 4″ round.  It is important that you use a good elbow or gently curve the dryer venting from the back of the dryer to the exit point at the wall.  Most venting is not rigid, and you can easily crush and restrict by pushing the dryer too far in.  This may be for aesthetic reasons, or to allow opening/closing of a door. A couple of ways you can overcome this.  First, measure your new laundry equipment carefully.  Make sure that you have the space you need, and plan for any changes ahead of your purchase.  There are is a product made by a couple of different companies that will give you and extra 3 inches to work with.  It is approximately 30″ long and 3 .5 inches deep (the width of a 2×4 wall stud).  It installs recessed into the wall space behind the dryer, and allows the flexible dryer vent duct to be kind of folded into the wall space.  The existing dryer ducting is connected to this product either at the top, or at the bottom.  It does require some “remodeling” of the laundry wall, but is sometimes the only way you can functionally install your new laundry pair.  They also have room for the gas connection, although as a retrofit, this will add a fair amount of work to the installation of the product, and as long as the gas line is not causing a problem, leave it as is. There are also “telescoping” dryer vent connectors that only require a depth of 2 1/2 inches, which saves you 1 1/2 inches off the normal 4″ sizing.  Because they are wider, the air capacity is the same as a 4″ inch round dryer duct.  Their downside is that the installation can be a pain, and because of acute angles, they do somewhat restrict air flow. An extreme option, though sometimes the only option, is to install a custom vent that aligns with your new dryer precisely.  You slide the dryer into this vent that would typically stick out from the wall only an inch.  These require precise installation, and would not be recommended without looking at other options. One of those “other options” would be re-routing your dryer vent system so that it enters the laundry area at a point that both allows you to connect without restriction, and allows your dryer to be pushed back far enough to not cause any door or aesthetic problems.  If you have a dead space or closet behind the laundry, you might be able to utilize this space as an access point for a close-in dryer vent and/or gas connection.  If your vent goes down and out, maybe you could go up  and out.  This would typically fall into the category that will get you a free estimate from a contractor like us to find out what you options and costs are. Please feel free to email me from our website:, with any questions you have, or if you might need a Duct Weasel service on your dryer vent system, pretty much anywhere on the Central Coast.  Chow!  Rich Johnson