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How To Clean a Dryer Vent
A lack of regular maintenance could put your home at risk of having a fire if you don’t understand how to clean a dryer vent.
Do you know how to clean a dryer vent? When’s the last time?
A lack of regular maintenance could put your home at risk to get a fire if you don’t regularly clean your lint filter and dryer vent. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration reports that every year clothes dryers are the cause of more than 2,900 home fires. And, aside from being a fire hazard, a dryer vent that is filthy can increase drying spike and time energy costs.
Here’s How To Remove Dryer Lint:
When’s the last time you cleaned your dryer vent? If you don’t know how to clean a dryer vent, A lack of regular maintenance could put your home at risk of having a fire.
Signs of Lint Buildup
Is the laundry taking longer to dry? Have you got to run the load twice? Is the top of your dryer hot to the touch after every use? Instead of a faulty dryer, ductwork that is clogged may be the culprit. The removable dryer lint filter captures the majority of the line as it passes through a load of laundry. However, pieces of lint can sneak past the filter and get stuck in crevices along the dryer duct. Whenever there’s a buildup of lint, airflow is restricted, which can lead to overheating. If the air in the duct becomes hot enough, it create a dryer fire and can ignite the lint.
How to Clean a Dryer Vent Duct
Instead of employ a professional, a DIY cleaning job saves money. Include a vacuum with dryer vent brush kit a hose attachment, screwdrivers and UL-listed metal foil duct tape.
The first thing you need to do is locate where the duct starts and ends. Most dryers will have a brief 4-inch diameter exhaust in back that connects through an aluminum elbow to the ductwork. Air leaves your house and goes through those pipes.
Gently disconnect your dryer by unplugging the power cord from the outlet or turning off the gasoline or propane valve. Remove any clamps or metal tape so you can pull the dryer vent pipe in the exhaust. Be careful when disconnecting the power, the gas line of the dryer don’t disturb, if you own a dryer that runs on natural gas. A gas leak is severe; if you’re unsure of the procedure call a professional.
Pull the vent pipe away from the wall duct. And remove from the exit point out so that you have clear access to the ductwork. The dryer vent brush kit will have segments that are flexible and a lint brush that you can connect together, based on the length of your dryer ducts. In order to effectively clean a dryer vent duct, you do need special brushes.
Insert the vent brush into the ductwork and twist it counter-clockwise while pushing the brush as far as possible down the dryer ducts. Add another section, if you need more length to reach the end of the duct. The brush should loosen.
Pro tip: enter from the outside of the house if it is located higher than the dryer. Gravity can help debris that is lodged that is clear and it is more easy to clean lint in your laundry room floor than having it clutter any areas. Don’t forget to clean out the interior of the dryer outlet also while you have the vacuum out.
Clean all of the lint that comes out of the duct work with a vacuum. (Heads up: It may be a lot!) Use the hose attachment to clean out the openings on both ends, and the lint trap housing. Until there is no more present lint that should be removed, repeat as needed.
Place all of the dryer components back together and plug it in. Then give it a trial run before sliding it back into place, recommends owner of Woodstock Hardware, Vince Christofora, a full scale, family-owned shop in Woodstock, NY. “Check to be certain all of the ventilation stays connected and there are no gas leaks, if your dryer runs on natural gas,” he says. “Bad connections can lead to problems in the future.”
While you’re at it, Christofora recommends checking to make certain your outside dryer vent is in great working order, too. “Be sure it’s well fastened or caulked into the building,” he says. “A poor installation can lead to extra heat or air conditioning costs and allow pests to enter your home.”
Safety Precautions to Consider
When you hook your dryer back up, avoid using a soft foil-style port that connects to the wall duct, as these are a known fire hazard. Other flexible plastic tubes and these are forbidden by most building codes. Go with an adjustable 90-degree elbow at the exhaust end of the dryer instead.