Running a dryer vent to the exterior of the home can be tricky, particularly in older homes. All dryer manufacturers have specifications on the maximum distance a dryer should be vented to minimize the risk of excess lint building up, which creates a fire hazard.
Adhering to these specifications also maximizes the efficiency of the dryer, lowering the energy needed to operate the machine. Sometimes, the most direct route to vent the dryer is through a window, which is a practical approach and is really quite easily accomplished. Here we will discuss the steps needed to complete the project.
Step 1 - Remove Existing Glass
Ideally, the glass that is to be moved should be the smallest piece possible. Make sure you are wearing good gloves (leather works great) and eye protection. Most cuts happen despite being careful. You will want to remove the glass carefully, slowly prying away any materials that frame in the glass, then pushing it out.
Step 2 - Install Plexiglass
A lot of home improvement stores can cut plexiglass for you. First, you will need to cut the plexiglass to the dimensions that you need to fit in the space where the glass was. You will also need to cut a round hole in the plexiglass, slightly more than 4 or 4 1/8 inches. If the store cannot cut it for you, you can make the cuts yourself with a few basic tools. Use a ruler or straight-edge to measure the length and width needed to replace the window pane, and a compass to mark the plexiglass with the needed diameter.
Permanent marker or wax pencil work well. You can also use a can or other round object to use to trace the circle, just make sure it isn't too big. Score the glass with a utility knife using your markings as a guide. You can continue to make passes over your marking with the utility knife to cut out the hole (if it is a relatively thin piece of plexiglass).
You can also use a drill to create a starter hole, and carefully cut it out with a jigsaw. Test fit the dryer vent pipe in the hole to make sure that it is big enough to accommodate the pipe. Once the plexiglass is the right size and the hole is cut, you can install the plexiglass. Fit the glass in the space from the original pane. Replace any forms that were holding the original piece in. Caulk around the new pane to make sure any air leaks are sealed.
Step 3 - Install the Vent Pipe
Attach the dryer vent pipe to the dryer as directed by the manufacturer. Guide the other end of the dryer vent pipe through the hole in the plexiglass. You can use any number of materials to ensure it doesn't slide back through the hole. Apply caulk around the pipe at the glass to ensure there are no air leaks there too. Let the caulk cure for 24 hours. Any materials that were used to secure the pipe can be removed after the caulk is cured, and the new vent is ready for use.