Guide to Cleaning Your Dryer Vent
If you’re finding yourself with damp clothes, it takes longer than usual for a load of laundry to dry or you’ve noticed that the outside of the dryer becomes very hot, it might be time to clean your dryer vent and lint screen.
Dryer vent cleaning is an important part of your home maintenance and fire prevention. Dryer vent cleaning may not seem like a priority, but the truth of the matter is that this oversight can be very costly. Over time, lint can accumulate in your dryer ducts and, when mixed with hot air, ignite creating a fire hazard. According to US FEMA, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. It’s recommended that you clean out the vents at least every 6 months to a year to keep your dryer running properly and avoid a fire hazard.
How to clean your dryer vent
1) Turn off and unplug the dryer. If you have a gas dryer, you’ll need to turn off the gas supply valve while cleaning. If you’re unsure about how to shut off the gas, call a professional or contact your local gas company.
2) Find your vent and remove the vent clamp. Unscrew the clamp that holds the vent pipe to the wall opening.
3) Check for clogs and debris in the vent. Remove as much debris with your hands as possible. Use the hose attachment of a vacuum cleaner or shop vac to suck up the rest. You may also use a special dryer duct cleaning tool that you can purchase at hardware and home stores.
4) Locate the exterior vent opening. This is usually located outside the wall closest to your dryer or on your home’s roof. Follow the same steps as the inside. Remove any covers or flop, remove any clogs or debris you can with your hands, and use a vacuum or other cleaning tools for the rest. Check for any objects that may be obstructing the exterior vent as well and remove them as needed.
5) Reattach vent to the dryer. Sweep up or vacuum debris that fell out while you were cleaning.
6) Turn the power back on, start the dryer and let it run for a few minutes.
Remember: The dryer vent and dryer lint screen are not the same. Your dryer lint screen and trap are usually located on the top of your dryer or just inside the door and should be cleaned after each load.
If you have any doubts along the way or notice any cracks or deterioration, contact a qualified professional for an inspection and cleaning. Duraclean has the tools and qualified technicians needed to inspect and clean your dryer air vents. Call us today, you’ll be glad you did!