Many homeowners often overlook an important home maintenance task during the fall: cleaning your dryer vent. This seems like a simple to-do, and it is. Yet it’s commonly forgotten, which can lead to serious issues such as fire and carbon monoxide poisoning when the ductwork cannot vent properly.
To prevent these hazardous situations, make it a habit to clean your dryer vent regularly. Clean the small lint trap after each load, and clean the entire vent system once a year.
Depending on your laundry habits, you may need to clean the vent more often. If your clothes require more than one cycle to dry, your clothing has an odd, burning smell, or your laundry room feels unusually warm while the dryer is running, these are warning signs that you need to clean your vent.
When it’s time for this cleaning, use the following simple procedure to get the job done quickly and effectively.
STEPS TO CLEAN YOUR DRYER VENT DUCTS:
1. DISCONNECT YOUR DRYER
Complete this process carefully. Start by unplugging your dryer from the power source. Then, remove any clamps from the vent pipe so you can detach it from the dryer. Next, pull the pipe away from the wall duct. If you have a gas dryer, take extra care during this process. You may need to contact a professional to avoid the risk of disturbing the gas line.
2. REMOVE THE LINT TRAP FILTER
You should always make sure to remove the lint after each load but in case it’s been a while, go ahead and remove the lint filter and clean it out.
TIP: If you grab some of the lint and rub it across the rest of the lint and in the corners of the filter, it will help clean it quickly and pick up all the little pieces.
3. VACUUM THE LINT TRAP
Vacuum the inside of the lint trap with a long skinny hose, reaching as far down as you can.
4. CLEAN WITH DRYER VENT CLEANING KIT
Use a vent cleaning kit to thoroughly clean your duct and vent. This kit will include a brush that extends the entire length of the duct to remove all debris. It might be easiest to work from the exterior of your home.
5. VACUUM THE LINT TRAP AGAIN
After using the dryer vent cleaning kit, run your vacuum hose down the lint trap again to grab any leftover pieces the brush may have agitated off the sides of the duct.
Reattach everything and enjoy a clean, efficient, safe dryer.
REPEAT THESE STEPS EVERY YEAR
Make sure to repeat these dryer vent cleaning steps every year to prevent fires and keep your dryer running efficiently! This simple task only takes about an hour and can prolong the life of your appliance and keep your family and home investment safe.