8 simple Steps to Clean Your Dryer Vent
If you’re currently cleaning your laundry room, then it is highly suggested that you also clean the vent of your dryer. Cleaning your dryer vent not only allows for cleaner air in the home, but it also keeps the home from being a fire hazard. The US Fire Administration reports that dirty dryer vents are the #1 cause for dryer fires. The annual cleaning process should take less than two hours, and reaps benefits that last for years to come.
Learn How To Do It
1) Gather supplies
Dryer duct cleaning kit
Wet vac with 5hp
2) Remove dryer from wall
To remove the dryer from wall, you will need to unplug everything attached to the dryer. Start by unplugging the dryer's power outlet. Next, if you have a gas powered dryer, turn off the gas valve, and remove fittings. Lastly, disconnect the exhaust duct located at the rear of the dryer. Since this duct is made of sheet metal, it's best to wear gloves to avoid getting cut.
3) Vacuum dryer
Start by vacuuming the exhaust pipe. Using the vacuum attachment to reach deep in the dryer is recommended. Next, vacuum the drum of the dryer, then remove and vacuum the lint trap.
If you have a dry/wet vac, use the blowing technique instead of the vacuum suction only method. Start by removing and blowing out the lint trap. Then vacuum the dryer drum and dryer exhaust.
4) Set up cleaning kit
It's time to clean the vents hidden in your walls. To do so, use the dryer vent cleaning kit you bought from your local hardware store. These kits have a brush that you will attach to flexible rods. These rods often reach up to 20 feet. (similar process to chimney cleaning)
Attach the rods together, be sure to use your tape on the connections to ensure they don't detach in your vent while cleaning. Next, grab the rotating brush and attach it to the rods, this brush goes in the vent first. Lastly, attach your power drill to the back end of the rods.
5) Use brush & drill to clean vent
Insert the brush into the vent duct that was attached to your dryer and turn the drill on. Use a push-pull motion as you go, and you will start to see debris, lint, and dirt exiting the dryer vent. It's important to ensure the brush is spinning in a clockwise manner. If it spins counter clockwise, you run the risk of attachments becoming removed and it getting stuck in the vent.
6) Examine the exterior vent
The exterior vent should be either near the ground, or on the roof of you home. Once you locate the exterior vent, insert the brush and attachments through that vent hole, using the push-pull motion and engaging the drill in a clockwise setting.
7) Reconnect dryer
Plug the dryer back in and reconnect the duct back into the dryer vent. Turn on the gas valve if needed. It's important to ensure you have a good seal on the dryer vent duct.
8) Inspect vent flow
Cleaning is done and dryer is reconnected. Now let's visually and audibly inspect the outside vent. This is a great litmus test as-to the success of your cleaning. First, turn on your dryer then go outside and inspect the exhaust dryer vent.
Are the flappers opening 25%, 50%, or 100%? Can you hear proper vent flow? If so, You're good to go!
Tips To A Safe Dryer
Remove dryer lint from the lint trap every time you do a load of laundry. Not only will this help you maintain a clean dryer vent, it will keep your machine running smoothly and will decrease the risk of house fires. Waiting twenty minutes between drying loads allows vents to cool down, reducing collection of lint and clogs. To avoid household disasters, never go somewhere without turning off your dryer and make sure there's room for ventilation. If you have a dryer hose that is unnecessarily long, reduce to an appropriate size.
How to Know if Your Dryer Vent is Clogged
You may have a clogged dryer vent if there are certain signs. Getting it cleaned right away will avoid bigger problem. Here are some signs:
Clothes take longer than normal to dry
You’ve noticed burning smells
Clothes are remarkably hot to the touch
Laundry room getting hot while using the dryer
Heavy fabric-softener sent while drying
The lint flap outside isn’t opening
The dryer tells you there’s a problem
More than a year since cleaning your dryer vent
There are certain types of ducts made from vinyl, foil, or plastic that are more prone to clogging up and more susceptible to dryer fires. The ideal thing to do is replace those vents with a rigid metal one. Although this might not be possible, it is very important to always keep the vent clean so it doesn't catch on fire.
How Often Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent?
Industry standard tells you to clean your dryer vent once a year, however if you have pets or a large family, dryer vents tend to accumulate more dust and dirt, so it’s wiser to clean them more often.
Let’s Work Together
Seattle Dryer Vent Cleaning
3217 S Orcas St
Seattle Wa 98118
Office Hours: We're open 24 hours
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