Hopefully after reading this short blog you will share in my understanding how 2 elbows + 5 feet save lives. Relax…..this is not an Algebraic equation!
That’s right!……15 feet is the total length allowed for ducting a clothes dryer, to the exterior of a building envelope, per many building codes. As my title suggests, and what you may not know, every elbow (90 degree fitting) reduces that 15 feet length by 5 feet. More and more I hear of lint clogging in clothes dryer ducting from poor ducting practices and catching fire; burning down homes, places of business, killing children, pets, families – our loved ones.
I believe the best clothes dryer ventilation design and installation is straight out and through an exterior building envelope. This practice usually limits the ducting to less than 12”. This does require some fore thought to exactly align the actual dryer discharge with the exterior outlet device and to accommodate the electric and gas service placement relevant to the clothes dryer location within the space.
Remembering this simple rule and executing these few techniques will increase the life of the appliance by reduced run times, reducing energy consumption of the drying process thus saving $$$$ to operate, preserving our natural resources and reducing the chance of clogging lint causing fires and horrific loses as mentioned above. Further eliminating potential property and casualty insurance claims, possible insurance cancellations and increased premiums for us all.
I design and subscribe to means and methods eliminating and advising against potential hazards such as this from 25 plus years of design-build construction. I have witnessed this challenge in existing, new and retro construction of DayCare, Dormitories, Apartment’s, etc.
Just recently I reviewed this challenge in a space designed for sleep therapy by a potential tenant’s design team bringing this topic top of mind for you today. Be aware when reviewing tenant build out plans, new construction and retro fitting, space planning or potential hazards that may exist within your current building operations
Some clothes dryer manufacturers may suggest increasing beyond these limits, but if you remember, “2 elbows + 5 feet saves lives” you will share in my understanding of a safer and healthier home and work environment.
Have you seen clothes dryer venting stretching the limits?? Let us know by commenting.
Wishing You Great Success!
Brent W. Sears CCIM SIOR