Cleaning dryer vents has many benefits and should be done at least once per year. It is important to keep the dryer vents clean to keep your family safe from dryer fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 2,900 home fires a year started by clothes dryers. These fires can be prevented with regular cleaning of the dryer ducts.
The lint filter does not always catch all the lint from clothing. Whatever goes past the filter goes inside the dryer ductwork and gets built up. Eventually, the built-up lint will get too warm which can ignite the lint and cause a fire. If you clean your dryer ducts, you will prevent a possible fire at your property, improve the efficiency of your dryer, and have cleaner lint screens.
How to know if your dryer needs cleaning?
There are various signs that your dryer may have a clogged vent. Here are a few:
- Burning smell
- Clothing is taking longer to dry or doesn’t completely dry
- Laundry room gets humid
- Lint filter is filled with more lint than usual
- The dryer gets too hot
- Burning smell when you turn on the dryer
If you currently own a foil, plastic, or vinyl dryer duct, you should think about replacing it with a rigid metal duct which is less prone to fires. You should also clean your dryer duct regularly to avoid fires and keep the dryer working optimally.
How often should you clean your dryer?
It is recommended to clean your dryer vents at least once a year. However, if you have a large family or pets, you should consider cleaning the vents more frequently to help prevent fires.
You can always call a professional company to get your dryer duct cleaned, however, you can do the cleaning yourself as well. To fully clean your dryer, you will need some equipment. A few essential things you should have on hand are a vacuum that has a hose attachment, cleaning kit for dryer ducts, a power drill, a broom and dustpan, and duct tape.
Steps for Cleaning the Dryer Duct
The steps for cleaning your dryer vents should be as follows:
Check for where your duct begins and ends. Look for an exhaust that connects to the ductwork usually thorough an aluminum elbow. This is where the hot air gets through the pipes and exits your house through the opening you have outside.
- Make sure that your dryer is unplugged, and your gas is turned off. The gas should be disconnected properly as a gas leak can be a serious issue. Call a professional if you are unsure of the process.
- Take the vent pipe away from the duct wall and remove the duct cover from the exit point so that you can see the entire ductwork and clean it. Use the dryer vent brush kit to get this part cleaned. Based on the length that you need, connect the proper brush and the handle of the right size so that you can clean the dryer duct.
- Use the specialized brush and push it down the duct as far as possible. Also, spinning it counterclockwise will help loosen any dirt that has lodged into the duct. Repeat the process as many times as necessary until the lint is removed.
- Use a vacuum to get rid of all the lint. Clean both ends of the duct to make sure all debris is removed. The lint trap housing should also be cleaned very thoroughly. Keep repeating the process until all the lint is gone.
- Finally, put all of parts of the dryer you’ve disassembled back together and plug it in. You should always do a trial load to make sure everything is in working order. Once the dryer is hooked back up, avoid any soft-style vents that connect to the wall duct. Even plastic tubes are not a good choice. Always use a rigid 90-degree elbow at the exhaust end of the dryer.
Are you in need of dryer vent cleaning at your home? To prevent fires, it is recommended that your dryer vent gets cleaned at least once a year. ServiceMaster S&R Systems can help. We provide air duct cleaning that includes the removal of dust and debris from the air ducts and component parts. Our highly skilled technicians remove the buildup with specialized brushes and vacuuming.
If you’ve faced a fire at your home, we can help with our fire damage restoration services. Our professionals will help prevent the spread of soot and smoke to minimize damage once the fire has been put out. Our fire damage restoration services are available in Aurora, Naperville, and Joliet and the surrounding areas of Kane, Kendall, and Will Counties. For more information about our dryer duct cleaning and fire damage restoration services make sure you call (630) 896-0030.