Dryers are great appliances. Long gone are the days of clotheslines and clothespins; nowadays, you just toss your laundry from the washer into the dryer, choose the appropriate cycle, and your clean clothes are ready to be folded in an hour or less.
Dryers aren’t without their issues, though — lint buildup in the vent hose can hamper their efficiency or even cause a house fire. The vent hose connection point on the back can also cause your dryer to jut out from the wall much farther than your washer, which takes up space and looks aesthetically unpleasing.
SnugDryer — a HY-C dryer vent wall plate under our Gardus brand name — was created to solve these issues: improving the safety, efficiency, and alignment of your clothes dryer. But the question is, does it actually solve these problems?
How much space does SnugDryer save? How does it help alleviate lint buildup? Which situations are best-suited for a SnugDryer — and who may not be a good fit for one?
While we are the manufacturer of SnugDryer, we want to answer all these questions as clearly and objectively as possible to help you figure out whether or not you need one.
By the time you’re done here, you’ll understand how SnugDryer works, its pros and cons, and you’ll be able to decide for yourself whether your dryer setup should or shouldn’t include one.
Three Pros of a SnugDryer Dryer Vent Wall Plate
1. It Helps to Reclaim Lost Space
Some dryers are installed in a closet area with doors that close in front of the appliance. Others are installed in a dedicated laundry room that may measure anywhere between 50 and 100 square feet. These situations are by no means uncommon, and they result in a pretty tight fit, with the washer and dryer taking up to a quarter of a laundry room’s space.
SnugDryer helps your dryer sit closer to the wall and in line with your washing machine, allowing for an even, aesthetically pleasing fit. A dryer utilizing SnugDryer can save five inches of space or more, which can make all the difference, especially if the washer and dryer are set up in a closet (where the doors have to be able to close without getting stuck on the machine).
2. It’s Designed for Easy Installation
If you’re even a bit DIY-inclined, you shouldn’t have to pay a contractor to install a SnugDryer for you. As long as you have access to a drill and are nimble enough to move your dryer out and get behind it, you should be able to install a SnugDryer on your own.
The kit comes with all the hardware you need — four screws and four drywall anchors. Of course, it also comes with the housing (two plastic panels and a rubber gasket) and the cylindrical hose connection piece.
Perhaps most importantly, though, the box that your SnugDryer comes in will act as your measuring tool. Just cut the template out from the box and trace it carefully against your drywall with a pen or pencil. As long as you’re precise, installation should go smoothly.
3. It Increases the Efficiency and Safety of Your Dryer
The biggest problem with a clothes dryer is the accumulation of lint in its venting. This lint accumulation problem is often the result of flex pipe; over time, as a dryer gets bumped into or pushed toward the wall, the flexible pipe connecting the dryer to the exhaust vent gets crushed. This causes the lint to collect near the dryer’s exhaust port, which could lead to a fire.
SnugDryer utilizes a non-flexible plastic connection port, eliminating the easily-damaged flexible pipe altogether, allowing lint to be sucked safely away from the exhaust port.
Not only will keeping the port clear and lint-free exponentially decrease your risk of a house fire, but it will save you money, too; clogged dryer vents can add up to $25 a month to your energy bill.
A clear dryer vent also means that your dryer will run more efficiently. A dryer that can’t cycle air properly will take much longer to dry your clothes. SnugDryer helps facilitate proper airflow, ensuring clothes dry faster.
Three Cons of a SnugDryer Dryer Vent Wall Plate
1. It’s Best Suited to New Construction
As with any other project requiring ductwork or venting, SnugDryer is most easily installed before drywall is put into place. That’s not to say that a retrofit installation isn’t possible — folks who buy SnugDryer do it all the time. But it is more difficult.
Obviously most people looking for a solution like SnugDryer aren’t typically looking to install one on a home they’re building; rather, homeowners are most often looking to upgrade the efficiency of their current dryer setup.
That said, if you happen to be in the process of building a home, be sure to talk to your builders about SnugDryer. Now’s the best time to install one in your future home if you’re interested.
If, on the other hand, you want to retrofit your existing dryer vent connection, you certainly can. But be sure you’re aware that…
2. It May Not Be DIY-Friendly
While SnugDryer is designed for easy installation, a self-install may not be for everyone. Homeowners’ DIY skill sets are all over the map, and it’s important to understand whether or not you’ll be able to tackle a SnugDryer installation on your own or if you should leave it to a contractor.
Installing your own SnugDryer will require you to pull your dryer out and get on the floor behind it. You’ll also need to be able to measure precisely where your dryer vent connects with your drywall and the ductwork on the other side.
You’ll need to be comfortable with putting drywall anchors and screws into your wall. But the thing that may turn most homeowners off to a self-install (especially DIY novices) is the requirement to cut a hole in your drywall.
If everything isn’t measured out accurately from the start, you could wind up cutting out the wrong part of your wall. Cutting improperly poses two problems: for one, you’ll need to repair the damage you caused with the first cut. For another, you’ll need to try again, which poses the risk of even more damage.
If you think you can handle all these caveats, you may be able to install a SnugDryer on your own. If you have doubts, though, err on the side of hiring a contractor.
3. It’s Not Suited for Every Dryer Setup
We manufacture SnugDryer, and of course, we like it when we sell them. But trust us: SnugDryer is simply not suited for some washer and dryer tandems.
Take basements, for example. Any dryer sitting with its back facing the concrete foundation would not benefit from SnugDryer at all. SnugDryer is meant to plug into a vent system enclosed in the drywall behind it, and in an unfinished basement, the dryer exhaust vent is almost always mounted well above the dryer. In this case, a flexible dryer vent hose is the only way to go.
More generally, if the dryer connection point in your ductwork isn’t already at the same height as the exhaust port on the dryer itself, SnugDryer may be more trouble than it’s worth. These cases can require cutting out large sections of drywall to adjust the position of the ductwork inside the walls.
If you really want your dryer to be flush with your wall for aesthetic purposes or you want to up your dryer’s efficiency, a project that intensive may be worth the financial investment. If not, though, you may simply have to rely on a dryer vent hose instead — after all, situations like that are what they’re made for.
Is a Gardus SnugDryer Dryer Vent Wall Plate Right for You?
By now, you should have a good understanding of what SnugDryer is, how it works, and the problems it’s meant to help solve. We’re confident that, for the right homeowner, SnugDryer can save space, increase your dryer’s efficiency, and even make your home safer. But ultimately that decision is yours.
If you find that your ductwork doesn’t line up with your dryer’s exhaust port or you don’t feel too comfortable with tools or drywall work (and you don’t want to pay a contractor), SnugDryer may not be the right fit for you.
But if you’re handy, if your home’s blueprint makes sense, or if you’re willing to make some adjustments (or pay a contractor), a SnugDryer is a great device to help improve your laundry room setup. You’ll end up with a dryer that fits the way you want it to and dries clothes with out-of-the-box efficiency.