Periscope Dryer Vent – When To Use One

If your home has a clothes dryer, it also has a dryer vent. Many homeowners don’t realize the importance of their dryer vents and often fail to maintain them properly. With that said, if you’re in the market for a new dryer vent, you may have come across a periscope dryer vent and wondered if it is right for your situation. 

The periscope dryer vent, also called a slim duct, is not suitable for all homes, but it does present a good option for those with limited space around their dryer.

Let’s explore this unique dryer vent and find out if it is right for your home. 

What Is A Periscope Dryer Vent Used For?

Periscope dryer vents are used in homes where the space between the dryer and the wall is tight or cramped. If a traditional tube dryer vent will get crushed by the dryer when it is pushed back in place, a periscope dryer vent may be the answer. 

Are Periscope Dryer Vents Safe?

The short answer is yes, periscope vents are safe to use. Because they are made of solid metal, they resist crushing, while the smooth interior promotes airflow and discourages lint buildup. These features help prevent and contain a fire should it occur. 

Periscope Dryer Vent Pros And Cons

As with most everything, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a periscope dryer vent. 


  • First and foremost, slim ducts are more energy efficient than the traditional aluminum tubing most dryers require. This is because the hot air reaches the outside of the home faster thanks to the compact design of the periscope vent. Also, the smooth interior allows air to travel unabated through the vent, enabling your clothes to dry faster. 
  • Finally, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments across the country responded to a yearly average of nearly 16,000 house fires from 2010-2014, a majority of which were caused by clothes dryers. Traditional dryer vents are made of ridged aluminum tubing, which encourages lint buildup as air passes through the tube. This lint is highly combustible, and if not cleaned out regularly, creates a fire hazard. 
  • Again, because of the smooth interior of the slim duct, lint buildup isn’t a huge concern, thus decreasing the fire hazard associated with clothes dryers. 


  • There are only two main disadvantages to using a periscope dryer vent. The first is that this type of vent is not suitable for all homes. These vents are designed for tight spaces between the dryer and the wall where the dryer’s vent and the wall vent are close together. If the vent to the outside of your home is high up on the wall or the ceiling, a slim duct won’t work. 
  • The second disadvantage is that you can’t just buy any brand of periscope dryer vent and expect it to work for your dryer. Most dryer brands have specific slim duct models that work with their dryers, so consult your dryer’s manufacturer or a reputable repairman to ensure you get the right slim duct for your dryer. 

Periscope Dryer Vent Installation

Installation of a periscope dryer vent is straightforward, assuming you are working with an existing wall exhaust. If no wall exhaust exists, you will need to cut a hole to vent the slim duct outside. 

  • Step 1: Remove the old vent tubing from the back of the dryer and the wall exhaust opening. 
  • Step 2: Slide the dryer vent side of the periscope vent over the dryer exhaust tube coming out of the back of the dryer. Secure it with a hose clamp.
  • Step 3: Extend the periscope dryer vent up to meet the wall exhaust opening. 
  • Step 4: Slide the slim duct over the wall exhaust tube and secure it with a hose clamp. 

How Much Space is Needed for The Vent

Since periscope dryer vents can be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, you have some wiggle room in terms of where the wall exhaust can be. With that said, the space between your dryer and the wall should be big enough to accommodate the slim vent. In some instances, you may be able to install a slim duct in as little as a 2-inch space between the wall and the dryer. 

Can You Put A Periscope Dryer Vent Inside A Wall

Some periscope dryer vents are designed to fit between the studs inside a wall to carry the dryer exhaust into the attic of your home. If this sounds like something you want to do, be sure to purchase a slim duct made specifically for this purpose. 

How Long Can A Periscope Dryer Vent Be

Most periscope vents telescope between 24 inches and 48 inches, although the length may vary by manufacturer. Despite the narrow profile of this type of vent, periscope vents can be used for longer runs where necessary.

Periscope Dryer Vent Maintenance

You should clean your periscope dryer vent at least once a year. Although this type of vent does not promote lint buildup, it’s still a good idea to clean it out annually to make sure it is working safely and efficiently. 

To do this, pull the dryer out from the wall, remove the slim duct, use a brush to dust out the inside, and then use an air hose to blow out any remaining lint. Reinstall the vent, making sure all connections are tight. 

Is A Periscope Dryer Vent Right For My Home

Is your laundry room small? Is there very little space between the wall and the dryer? Does your dryer have the traditional ridged aluminum vent tubing, but it’s crushed behind the dryer because there’s not enough room? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a periscope dryer vent might be right for your home. 

This type of dryer vent is recommended for use in tight spaces as it efficiently vents dryer exhaust outside and reduces the fire hazard associated with traditional dryer venting methods. If there isn’t a lot of room between your clothes dryer and the wall, consider installing a slim duct and maintaining it annually for optimal dryer efficiency and safety.

Website | + posts

Having renovated two homes and completed countless repairs, it was time to share this experience with the world. From repairing kitchen appliances to remodeling entire homes, my 30 years of experience will hopefully help you on your journey to a beautiful and functional home