How To Clean Out Your Dryer Vents?

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Michael Foster
June 07, 2024
Air Duct Cleaning
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Contrary to its name, a dryer doesn't always dry your garments completely. It could be time to clean your dryer vent ducts if you discover that your garments are still unusually moist even after a full drying cycle or if you've observed that the dryer's exterior becomes quite hot while operating.
It's not simply crucial for your clothing and time that these ducts get cleaned. Lint can build up in these ducts over time, combine with heated air, and ignite, posing a fire risk. Dryer duct fires cost millions of dollars in damages each year, as well as hundreds of injuries and even fatalities. Another sign that you should start cleaning immediately is if you ever smell burning in your laundry room.

How do you Tell if Your Dryer Vent is Clogged?

How can you tell whether your dryer vent is blocked, then? Your laundry and garments taking longer to dry are one of the most obvious symptoms that your dryer vent is clogged. The issue can be resolved by repeatedly cleaning the vent. The dryer won't be able to function at all if it is obstructed. Here are a handful of the best indicators:
  • Things take longer to dry, requiring you to run your garments through a second cycle, for example.
  • The clothes came out quite hot.
  • While drying, the dryer itself becomes warm to the touch.
  • When the dryer is in use, a weird odor emanates from it, such as a burning or musty odor.

Do Dryer Vents Need to be Cleaned Out?

To increase the dryer's effectiveness, a dryer vent has to be cleaned often. Lint and other filth and debris that are impairing the function of the dryer may be removed with regular dryer vent cleaning.

How Often Should You Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned

A good rule of thumb is to have a professional examine and clean your dryer exhaust vents at least once a year. However, you might consider extending that frequency to every six months if your home uses the dryer frequently, like one with many kids.

Can you Clean the Dryer Vent Yourself?

A homeowner may clean their dryer vent in one of two methods, one quite straightforward and the other requiring a little more effort. Let's begin with a simple method! The chances are good that you can clean this on your own without putting in a lot of work if your dryer is mounted on an outside wall and there is only a few feet, or less, of dryer vent between the wall and where it exits outdoors.
You should unplug your dryer from the transition line, the flexible duct that connects it to the wall, and take it outdoors to clean the dryer vent. If you have an electric leaf blower, you may use it inside to blast the lint outdoors by forcing air via the dryer vent. After finishing that, return outside and repeat the process with the transition line. Once you are finished, ensure you have removed all of the lint before reconnecting anything.

What Should I Use to Clean my Dryer Vent?

  • Supplies
  1. WD-40 or another type of lubricant
  2. Bucket
  3. Dishwashing liquid
  • Tools
  1. Long-handled wire vent brush
  2. Scrub brush or old cloths

How do you Clean Lint Out of a Dryer Vent?

Over 15,000 fires are brought on by lint buildup inside dryer cabinets yearly. When the exhaust vent or vent cap is blocked and airflow is constrained, dryer lint might leak out via microscopic crevices along the dryer drum's sides and fall into the cabinet. Electric heating elements, gas burners, or even a motor spark can light the lint on fire, which causes the flames to move via the lint-lined exhaust vent.
  • After removing the lint screen, clean up any last-minute lint particles with a vacuum.
  • To clean the lint trap screen, bring it to the sink and use warm soapy water.
  • Use your vacuum to clean the slot that the lint trap slides into while it dries. Reach as deep as you can with a long, thin vacuum extension. You might be amazed by how much lint you find.
If you're feeling skilled, you might be able to access some lint traps more completely by taking off a machine cover. Look for a lock or a pair of screws to provide access to this space. You could find them in the door jamb area or on an access port on the rear of the dryer, depending on the model of dryer you have. Take a picture of the item before you start disassembling it so you can refer to it while putting it back together.

Steps To Clean Your Dryer

How recently did you clean your dryer? Our professionals suggest starting now if you cleaned it a long time ago.
  • Disconnect Your Dryer
Remove the dryer's power cord from the outlet or if you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas or propane valve before cleaning the vent. Remove the dryer duct from the wall and the dryer by pulling it away from the dryer's rear. Find the outside vent outside your house, then take the vent cover off where it exits. This will make using a brush to clean it simpler.
  • Clean the Vent With a Brush Kit
Put the cleaning equipment together. One of the flexible rods should be attached to the brush. To remove all the lint, insert the brush into the vent and slowly spin it while moving it back and forth. The bush may extend to the outside exit point long enough. Up until the vent is lint-free, keep cleaning. Clean the dryer's inside and the duct after you've cleaned the vent.
  • Vacuum the Vent
Your vacuum should have a hose to gather any lint the brush missed. Clean up any remaining dust or lint by inserting the vacuum into the vent. Lint should be removed from the dryer's inside and the duct. Vacuum the external vent located outside your house. (If your vacuum is solely intended for use at home, omit this step and use the brush to clean.) The vent's external cover needs to be replaced.
  • Reconnect Your Dryer
Before you reconnect everything, make sure the ducts are in good condition. If the duct is crooked or has holes in it, replace it. Reconnect the dryer's vent and ducting. Utilize the previous screwdriver. Place the dryer back where it was. Either plug the dryer into an outlet or reopen the gas or propane valve. Run the dryer for a few minutes to check that it is connected correctly and to clear off any lingering dust.

What do You Gain From Regular Dryer Vent Cleaning

  • Energy is conserved. Regular dryer vent cleaning will increase its effectiveness and reduce the power it uses. Regular dryer vent cleaning can save energy costs by up to 30% for homeowners.
  • lower cost of maintenance. Regular dryer vent cleaning reduces the risk of overheating and clogs. It is, therefore, less prone to malfunction or a technical issue.
  • lowers the danger of a fire. Lint is a substance that easily catches fire. It can start a fire that can wreak havoc if it is allowed to build up on the vent. Lint accumulation may be avoided with regular cleaning, lowering fire danger.
  • It lessens the dryer's wear and tear. Your dryer must work twice as hard to dry your clothing if the vent is not cleaned often. Important dryer components may become worn out by this extreme strain. Regular maintenance reduces wear and tear by increasing dryer efficiency.
If your stackable washer and/or gas dryer stops working because of incorrect cleaning, you might need expert assistance. Because of the difficulties involved, performing these repairs oneself is dangerous. For instance, stackables can be hefty, but older gas dryers with metal piping and a dryer heat diverter mechanism pose the greatest dangers. The risk of gas leaks increases since they might be delicate and difficult to clean. Therefore, it is important to search for skilled experts for such problems.
The dryer becomes more effective and efficient, and the possibility of a dryer fire is considerably decreased by thoroughly cleaning the lint screen and vent inside the dryer, ventilation hose, and ventilation duct. Once you've learned to remove lint from a dryer, get dryer vent and air duct cleaning at least once a year.
Home Alliance offers dryer repairs and HVAC repair services, but as part of our house cleaning services, we will also clean and sanitize your washer and dryer. Give us a call to find out more about our expert cleaning solutions or be a member for more home repair services.