The dryer vent cap is the last line of defense against lint and warm moist air. Otherwise, lint and moist air may find themselves back into your home. This is dangerous because they can lead to mold or other contaminants that can damage the inside or structure of your home.
An exposed vent cover can also become a nesting ground for animals and insects, leaving your home vulnerable to unwanted guests. A vent cap also tends to collect debris and leaves which can turn your home into a fire hazard.
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With continued use, the vent cap can break and need to be replaced. Fortunately, replacing a dryer vent cap can be done in a few minutes using the most basic tools.
Importance of a Dryer Vent Cover
First, let’s talk about the importance of properly maintaining your dryer’s vent cap.
Through an unsealed dryer vent, outside air can enter the home. This will likely result in increased heating and cooling bills and will allow rain or snow to infiltrate your home.
To prevent this, you should not just install a dryer vent cap but install one that has a seal as well. There are covers available that features interior flap that serves as a closure that opens whenever the unit is pushing moist air out, then closes immediately so outside elements don’t go inside the home.
Birds and Rodents
A dryer vent without a good cap might as well be an open invitation to animals such as rodents and birds. Before you know it, you now have several unwanted guests in your home. Birds are also known to build their nests in a dryer vent pipe as well.
A good vent cover ensures that your friendly neighborhood critters stay outside your home.
One of the most important functions of the vent cover is to add efficiency to the operation of the dryer. A good vent cover can help you save significant amounts of money in energy costs. Increased efficiency means lower cooling and heating costs.
Steps for Replacing a Dryer Vent Cap
Once you have confirmed that your vent cover is broken, it needs to be replaced. Purchasing a replacement should be as simple as heading to your local hardware or home store. It’s a good thing that the steps to for replacement a vent cap is quite easy.
- Utility knife
- Tin snips
- Acrylic latex caulk
- Galvanized screws
- New dryer vent cap
1. Follow the vent pipe from the back of the unit to the direction it goes outside of the wall. Depending on your setup, you might have to go through a basement or crawlspace.
2. Find the pipe clamp that holds the duct to the metal pipe that connects to the vent cap. Using a screwdriver, loosen the clamp and disconnect the duct from the vent hose.
3. Head outside your house and using a utility knife, remove the caulking that seals the cap to the siding. Remove the screws that hold the cover to the siding, then separate the cap away from the wall of the house. You might need to give it a little tug and twist to free some of the caulk that might still be stuck.
4. Now, cut the pipe of your new vent cover and ensure that it’s the right length according to the pipe of the old one. Position the new pipe into the hole and turn the cap until its mouth is facing the ground.
5. Using galvanized screws, screw the new cover to the siding. To seal the cap, apply the acrylic caulk around the exterior of the mounting flange.
6. Go back inside the house and attach the duct over the pipe. You will need to tighten the pipe clamp in order to ensure the duct holds to the vent pipe.
TIP: Before reconnecting the brand-new vent cover to the duct, check the inside of the duct for lint and other foreign objects. Remove everything by manually pulling them out or by using a vacuum.
Easy, Isn’t It?
As you can see, replacing a dryer vent cap is as easy as it gets.
However, this is one task that you should make sure is done right. The margin for error is just that small which could lead to potential inefficiencies with your dryer’s operation.
As mentioned, buying a dryer vent cap for replacement is a breeze – even Amazon carries them. They’re relatively inexpensive as well. However, it’s best if you can take your old cover to your local home store so they can find the proper part for replacement. Hopefully, our dear readers have found this guide useful.