If you live in Cincinnati, OH, you already know that space is at a premium. To save on indoor space, most homeowners resort to moving their laundry rooms to the basement. But is moving your washer and dryer to this space a good idea?
You have to consider a number of things before you move the laundry down there, and the most important is how to control the excess moisture. Washers and dryers generate a lot of heat and moisture when actively working. High spin speeds and hot water can drive up humidity, especially if the washer does not have proper ventilation.
Without proper venting, you risk exposing your household to unpleasant odors, mold growth, and poor air quality through increased carbon monoxide. Plus, poorly vented appliances tend to be noisy, slow, and emit toxic fumes. To prevent humidity issues in your basement, the first and most important step is to install a basement vent on both the washer and the dryer.
How to Ventilate a Basement Dryer
Installing a proper basement vent is crucial to keeping your dryer functioning optimally. It also helps prevent the risk of fire or water damage to your home. Here is a step-by-step guide for venting the dryer.
- Start by identifying the shortest route the duct will take from the dryer to the outdoors.
- Next, create a small hole about 4¼ inches wide on the exterior wall. If there are impediments on your walls, consider venting your dryer through your windows by removing a pane.
- Carefully push the dryer vent cap through the hole you’ve created. Ensure the pipe fits snuggly in the hole before securing its cap with screws. Caulk the edges so the conditioned basement air won’t escape to the outdoors.
- Finally, join the duct tubing to length and then connect it to your dryer’s exhaust outlet. If you are joining multiple sections, use foil tape to reinforce the joints and clamp them.
How to Vent Your Washing Machine
Venting a washing machine is almost similar to venting a dryer. The only difference between the two is that a washing machine vent does not move hot, steaming air like the dryer. So, you have the option of using the standard vent that goes up to the attic or vent it right through the window.
Make sure the vent has a P-trap to capture and direct any dangerous fumes out of your home. The P-trap also helps prevent an overflow. The upper section of the P-trap should always stay above the overflow level of the washing machine.
Look Out for Vent Clogs
If, after installing your vents, your clothes feel damp when you run the dryer or there’s a burnt smell, your dryer vents might be clogged. Your dryer works by pushing out hot, steaming air so your clothes can dry.
Over time, your dryer ducts or vents may clog with lint. When this happens, the dryer won’t be able to expel the moisture from the laundry. This can lead to moisture buildup, which will require more heat to evaporate. In some cases, your dryer may short cycle and shut down.
Cleaning and Monitoring the Vents
Maintaining clean dryer vents is crucial for the proper functioning of the appliance and for energy efficiency. It also enhances your safety by preventing basement dryer fires. Check your pipes for leaks as they can increase humidity levels inside your basement. This can lead to mold growth, pest infestation, and wood rot. We recommend that you install LintAlert to monitor air pressure. This device will alert you whenever there’s an obstruction that prevents airflow.
If your basement washing machine and dryer are contributing to excessive humidity and moisture in your basement, contact the experts at Ohio Basement Authority. We have the experience, tools, and resources to resolve any basement laundry room problems. We encourage you to sign up for our worry-free annual basement maintenance. Schedule a free basement inspection and get a free estimate for recommended waterproofing solutions today.