Laundry dryers are some of the most useful household appliances that save us valuable time and effort. But they are also prone to damage and most often the main cause of an issue with a laundry dryer are its dryer vents.
They can get blocked over time and that is why we need to check and clean them regularly to ensure they function properly.
Dryer vents can get clogged with lint, dust and also dead bugs over time. Having debris stuck inside the vents of your dryer vent compromises its optimal performance and leads to some serious structural damage inside your property.
Therefore, dryer vent cleaning is important as it can prolong the life of your clothes dryer, save you a lot of costly repairs and even protect you from health issues. The recommended dryer vent cleaning frequency according to experts is twice per year.
Regularly cleaning the dryer vents of your clothes dryer as well as checking them for potential issues will definitely ensure the efficient performance of the dryer and guarantee you perfectly dried clothes. But there are other important benefits of regular dryer vent cleaning as well and we are going to discuss them below.
Why is regular dryer vent cleaning important?
Lint is a soft fleecy material made up from fabric fibers. It falls from the clothes while they are being dried in a laundry dryer or washed in a washing machine.
Allowing lint to stay for long in dryer vents is one of the things you really don’t want to do, if you want to save yourself future costly property repair and health issues.
Lint accumulation is one of the most common causes of dryer duct fires. The reason for this is that when left to stay inside the ducts for too long, it comes into contact with hot air at one point and it catches fire.
Fire accidents in dryer vents not only lead to serious property damage but they are also the cause of injuries and even deaths.
How to know if you have a damaged laundry dryer?
One of the signs that your clothes dryer is damaged is when you notice your clothes are still damp even after a complete drying cycle. Another sign is that the surface of the laundry dryer is hot to the touch when it’s operating or there is an unpleasant burning smell.
To avoid spoiling the quality of your clothes and increasing the risk of fire accidents in your home, you need to regularly check the condition of your clothes dryer vents.
Some of the most common reasons for clothes dryer failure are clogged dryer vent ducts. Lint accumulation is the main culprit for these clogs. Below we will present to you one of the most effective dryer vent cleaning techniques.
Dryer vent cleaning
There are some easy steps everyone can do to clean their clothes dryer vents. Before starting you need to determine what type of power supply your clothes dryer has – electricity or gas.
Electric dryers have grounded 240 volt electrical outlets and their plugs are larger in size than the conventional plugs. They also have three or four prongs.
Gas dryers have standard 110 volt electrical outlets with three prongs and they also connect to gas valves. If you have a gas-powered clothes dryer, then before starting to clean it first you need to turn off the gas supply.
Also, while putting back into place the gas dryer unit, you should avoid disturbing the flexible gas line.
How to clean out lint from the dryer vent by yourself?
1.Prepare your supplies
Things you need for dryer vent cleaning:
- Power drill
- Vacuum cleaner (with a hose attachment)
- Dustpan or broom
- Electrical or duct tape
You can save yourself time for searching separate dryer cleaning tools and choose to buy a complete dryer vent cleaning kit instead, which can be found at most household stores.
2. Find the location of your dryer vents
Dryer ducts most commonly connect to an exhaust pipe with a diameter of 4 inches that is connected to a ductwork located inside one of the walls of the clothes dryer room.
The hot air generated from the dryer travels through the exhaust pipe and it’s released through a vent placed on the outside wall of the building.
Your job is to find the outdoor exhaust vent of your dryer and check if there is any accumulated debris inside. Check also the screens, if your exhaust vent has any. Make sure to remove any visible objects that obstruct this vent.
3. Unplug your laundry dryer
After learning where the vents of your clothes dryer are located and what their condition is, it’s time to turn off your dryer. After unplugging your electrical dryer from the power outlet you need to remove all kinds of clamps and metal tapes that connect its dryer vent pipe to the exhaust vent.
If you are going to do gas dryer vent cleaning, then you need to turn off the gas valve. Be careful while removing the vent pipe from the vent inside the wall as it can be broken during this process.
4. Vacuuming the vent pipes
Cleaning your dryer vent with vacuum cleaners is probably one of the most effective cleaning techniques for removing all of the debris that has accumulated inside the dryer’s ducts.
So, get your vacuum cleaner and by using its hose attachment clean the inside of the dryer vent. You need to remember that you need to vacuum it both from the inside of your laundry dryer room and from the outside of your home.
So, after you are done removing all of the debris from the inside vent you need to clean the outdoor exhaust vent as well. Handheld vacuum cleaners are perfect for this purpose. If you are not able to clean the exterior exhaust vent of your dryer, then you will need to clean the debris in a manual way.
While vacuuming the ducts of your dryer make sure to remove the dirt both inside and around the hole of the ducts.
5. Brushing the vent pipes
For this step it’s good to have a dryer vent cleaning kit as it contains a dryer brush. Get your power drill and attach a dryer brush rod to it.
Now place the brush end inside the dryer vent you want to clean. Insert the brush as far as you can and don’t forget to be careful when positioning the hose attachment.
If you can’t push the brush to the other end of the dryer vent, then you need to insert the brush from the outdoor exhaust pipe.
Reconnect your dryer to its power supply and reattach it to the exhaust dryer vent located on the wall and you are done.
When to contact a professional company?
Even if it doesn’t look like a task that’s difficult to accomplish, dryer vent cleaning can be challenging, especially if you don’t have much experience or the right cleaning tools. You may do some damage to your property or even hurt yourself, if you don’t know what you are doing.
So, if you are not sure whether or not you can successfully handle the clean-up of your laundry dryer vents, it’s always recommended to use the services of a professional cleaning company.