Kludging a Dryer Vent

I wrote previously, about one of my basement windows, which looked like the following at the time:

Pretty embarrassing, huh?  Yikes.  I’m not too proud of that one.  The dryer vents through this window, and because of it, this has been a major source of cold air infiltration into our basement.  It’s probably looked like this for the past 10 years or more.  This is a double window setup.  From the inside, this awning-style window doesn’t have any latch or anything keeping it closed.  Previous owners have nailed the thing shut (which, I guess, is probably about as secure as a window latch would be).  The exterior storm window doesn’t shut either, also to make space for the vent. The result is that there are huge gaps allowing exterior air directly into the basement.

I decided that since we’re trying to sell the house and all, that I’d better do something about this.  The best way to fix this would be to find a way to vent the dryer directly out the side of the house (as opposed to through the window), but I didn’t want to mess around with that.  So I just wanted a way to make this more secure, more energy efficient, and less ugly.  And I also wanted it to be easy.

Here’s the play-by-play:

This little wooden frame allowed me to screw the vent cap in place from the outside – previously it was just floating around unsecured.

Note: if I was doing this over again, I probably would have removed the paper facing from the insulation for about 1″ in all directions around the vent.  I don’t think this is really a problem since dryer vents don’t get very hot, but I’d probably do it anyway.

So, you know… not exactly the most attractive finished product.  There’s nothing stunningly beautiful about a piece of plywood.  I am a little sad about losing the window in the basement, but there were enough cobwebs here that not much light was getting in anyway.

I consider this a temporary fix – at some point someone (else) should replace this with a proper window (or concrete blocks).  But considering this only took me about 2 hours, and only used materials I already had laying around the house, I consider it a big improvement – especially in terms of energy efficiency.  No more drafts coming through this window…  now the rest of the windows…. well that’s a post for another day.

9 thoughts on “Kludging a Dryer Vent”

  1. @InspectorReuben – Well I did consider several options that involved copious amounts of spray foam… At one point, I even had a shopping list together and one of the items was "10 cans of spray foam."

    We've got our fingers crossed that we'll be able to sell our home here within a month or so. If we do, we'll def be giving you a call when we do an inspection on a new home.

  2. @Inspector Reuben – oh no. No way I'm letting anyone who has seen this blog inspect my house. I can see the report now. "Well, you can't see it from looking at it, but I know from your post on 8/14/2008 that the wiring here is all wrong." No way. You've seen too many of my how-to posts. You'll be my first call when we find something to buy.

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