Dryer Exhaust Vent Required?

Did a new construction inspection a while back and got an email today asking me if I noticed there was no dryer exhaust vent installed at the laundry area in the garage. Obviously, I overlooked the fact there was no dryer exhaust vent installed. My question is are dryer exhaust vents required? If so, is there a code in IRC requiring a dryer exhaust vent system be installed?

Thank you in advance for any and all help I receive.

M1502.4.7 Exhaust duct required :cowboy_hat_face:


Thank you.

It is much more difficult to spot something missing than something done wrong. I’ve seen plenty of houses missing dryer ducts over the years. Try to create a mental checklist for systems/areas that you inspect. It will help you to recognize when something essential is absent.


A couple things I’ve learned the hard way about dryers:

  1. Years ago, I bought a home with the laundry room on the second floor. The dryer vent went into a duct in the wall and there was a dryer vent on the exterior. I also had a home inspect with no dryer issues noted. After I bought the home and went to clean out the lint in the line, Irealized the vent went no more than 6” into inaccessible attic space and no vent to the exterior.

  2. Now when I inspect homes, I note where the laundry room is and make a second trip outside to verify the exhaust vent is where it should be, after I look into the vent, if accessible. Then I go into any rooms between the vent and the outside wall to look for any funny business. Like this: https://search.google.com/local/posts?q=Golden+Triangle+Home+Inspection,+LLC&ludocid=17051583020584915559&lpsid=3177206420659155075&source=sh/x/localposts

  3. Maybe not the plan in TX, but ventless dryers are very popular in Europe. All the moisture goes to a tank that either pumps to a drain or is pulled and emptied manually by the user. First time I saw one was in a hotel in Germany. I had no idea why the dryer wouldn’t turn on until the next guy walked in, moved his clothes from the washer to the dryer, pulled the tank, emptied it in the laundry sink and started the dryer. Putting exterior vents in buildings circa pre-1776 probably has something to do with it!

Hope things work out in your favor!


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One thing I’ve noticed here in southern Georgia is that on slab on grade homes being built, the final dryer exhaust is one of the last things to be finished. The metal and/or pvc vent apparatus is installed from the interior finish to some portion of the slab, but the builders don’t “finish” the venting system until the home is nearly done. This is when there is a hold cut in the slab where the run has been placed, and a finish louver system is installed. It is strange to me, but this seems to be a habit around here. ??

I do not have a photo readily available of what I have come across at times. I have seen the dryer vent terminating in a plastic box about the size of a shoe box. The box has water in it and is apparently a manufactured item intended to collect lint in the water that is supposed to be maintained at a certain level. Well I do not always find water in the container. It might have evaporated or emptied at the time of sale of the home. I usually recommend a more permanent method of exhausting the vent, but let the buyer know that it may not be a big deal. Do not want a dryer vent to break a deal. Eh!

I have a prompt in my report asking me where the dryer vents to. I just had an inspection yesterday where a new constructed laundry room had no dryer venting installed. I reported no dryer venting present, made a comment in my report, and recommended installing a vent to the exterior for venting the dryer. I also look for and inspect the exterior vent cover. For bathroom venting, I will turn them all on before I enter the attic to see/hear if any are venting directly into the attic space…usually covered with insulation.

Clothes Dryer Venting – Required-EPA.pdf (15.1 KB)