Your clothes dryer may be working too hard. A vent hose that’s longer than needed requires extra effort to dry your clothing and expel the humid exhaust. In some cases, an extra-long dryer hose can pose a safety risk. Follow these steps to cut your dryer’s vent hose. (Doing this could possibly extend its lifespan, save energy, and reduce lint build-up in the system.)
4 Steps to Shorten Your Dryer Vent Hose
A dryer vent consists of three main parts. Outside the house is an exhaust that allows air to escape while keeping critters and exterior air out. The vent connects to a rigid duct that may have an elbow. The rigid duct may be fully exposed, or a wall may conceal the ductwork, depending on your home setup. A flexible connecting duct joins the vent system to the clothes dryer. (Hint: The connecting duct is what you’ll cut for this quick DIY!)
Disassemble the Existing Hose and Vent
Before making any cuts, you’ll need to access the ends of the connecting duct.
Examine the vent system and note how it’s assembled prior to any tinkering. Take reference pictures if you like.
Pull the dryer away from the wall enough to allow you to work comfortably.
At each end of the flexible duct, cut the foil tape or loosen the vent hose clamps by turning the fastener screw counterclockwise with a screwdriver.
Detach the connecting vent duct at both ends.
Measure and Mark the Hose and Vent
When you’re shortening your dryer’s flexible duct, remember to leave enough extra hose so you can reattach it before sliding the dryer back into place.
Measure the length of connecting duct that you need and add a few inches for the overlapping connections and to make re-installation easier.
Grab your painter's tape and mark a cut line by centering and wrapping the tape around the duct. This will act as your guide and keep sharp metal burrs to a minimum.
Cut the Hose and Vent
Next, it’s time to shorten your dryer vent hose.
Poke a hole into the duct with the tin snips and cut around the piece. Discard the excess length.
Alternately, you can drill a pilot hole with a drill as a starting point for your tin snips.
Remove the painter’s tape after finishing the cut.
Photo: Benjamin Clapp / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images
Now that your vent hose is cleaned out and cut to the proper length, it’s time to put everything back together. Use only vent hose clamps or approved foil tape on dryer ductwork.
Slide one vent hose clamp over the end of the rigid duct leading to the exhaust vent.
Slip one end of the flexible duct over the rigid duct end.
Twist the fastening screw on the hose clamp clockwise with a screwdriver until firmly attached. (You can use foil tape to connect to the rigid duct.)
Move the dryer back to its original spot in your home, but not exactly to its final destination. You’ll still need to leave enough room to complete the final steps.
Attach the other end of the connecting duct to the dryer’s exhaust port using a vent hose clamp the same way as previously described.
Settle the dryer back into its home while taking care not to kink the flexible hose.
Shortening Your Dryer Hose Yourself vs. Hiring a Pro
Shortening your dryer vent hose is a simple project that can yield significant benefits. If you already have tin snips, the cost can be as little as $5 to $10 for a roll of foil tape and a pair of vent hose clamps. Although this is a simple project, you may consider hiring an HVAC repair pro near you if pushing around large appliances isn’t your ideal way to spend a Saturday afternoon.