When people think about cleaning their dryer, they often only think about cleaning the lint filter. However, the dryer vent is another vital part of the dryer you should not overlook. If you find yourself questioning whether it’s worth cleaning your dryer vent, it is! Find out why here.
Why Is It Important to Clean Your Dryer Vent?
Cleaning your dryer vent is important for a plethora of reasons. By not cleaning your vent, some major problems can occur that can do damage to you, your house or your wallet.
A dryer needs its vent cleaned regularly to run efficiently. If it doesn’t get cleaned, this leads to excessive wear and tear on the dryer, causing it to run inefficiently. This can cause higher utility bills since the dryer will have to run more often to get its job done.
When you don’t clean your dryer vent, lint builds up. A clogged dryer vent cannot ventilate warm air properly, leading to the built-up lint potentially causing a fire. Additionally, an unclean, debris-filled dryer vent can cause carbon monoxide (CO) gases to build up, leading to potential carbon monoxide poisoning.
Dryer Vent Cleaning Tools
When cleaning your dryer, several tools and materials are important to ensure the process goes smoothly. The tools you may need include:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Work gloves
- Auger snake
- Microfiber cloth
- Vent hose clamps/brackets
- Leaf blower
- Vent cleaning brush
Once you have these tools, you’re ready to start cleaning your dryer vent.
How to Clean Your Dryer Vent in 6 Steps
To safely and properly clean your vent, you’ll need to take several steps:
Step 1: Cut Power to the Dryer
The most crucial step is to cut your dryer’s power. When you do this, you ensure you can safely work on the vent. Cutting the power can be as simple as unplugging the unit, though sometimes you may have to move your dryer from its current position. If your dryer is too heavy for you to move on your own, get help from a friend or family member to ensure you don’t hurt yourself.
Step 2: Find the Dryer Vent
The next step is to locate your dryer vent. You can identify it by looking for a silver or white hose in the back of the dryer. The hose is usually around 4 inches wide and is made of flexible white vinyl, thin aluminum foil, semi-rigid aluminum or rigid aluminum piping.
Step 3: Disconnect Your Vent Hose From the Wall
After you’ve successfully identified your dryer vent hose, disconnect it from your wall. To do this, pull the dryer out as far as your vent hose will allow, then loosen the clamps with a screwdriver. The clamps should be able to move along the dryer hose once you’ve loosened them. Slackening the clamps helps you avoid damaging the vent. The last thing to do before removing the vent from the wall is to get a garbage bag ready to catch any debris that may come out.
Step 4: Detach and Vacuum the Hose
After removing the hose, there are various ways to get rid of most of your vent’s debris. One of the easiest ways is to use a hose attachment for your vacuum to remove clumps of lint and hair. When using a vacuum cleaner, make sure you work from both sides of the hose and continue vacuuming until you remove the debris.
You can also use a leaf blower to blow the debris out of the hose. If you’re using a leaf blower, ensure you have a garbage bag ready to catch the debris to avoid making a mess. However, keep in mind using a leaf blower may not be as efficient as a vacuum cleaner for some homes.
If you have tough clogs that are hard to remove with a vacuum or leaf blower, use an auger snake to break up the clog. Auger snakes can efficiently disintegrate clogs, allowing you to use your leaf blower or vacuum to remove the leftover debris easily.
After you clean the dryer hose, go outside and remove the exterior vent. Using a vacuum, clean the dryer vent from the outside by using a vacuum.
Step 5: Clean Out Any Residual Debris With a Brush
After removing most of the lint and dirt with your vacuum or leaf blower, there may still be some residual dust, hair or lint left. Dryer vent cleaning brushes are the perfect item to remove this remaining debris. Their design includes a multi-sided brush and an extendable handle, allowing them to move through the brush hose effectively. After you clean it with the brush, your vent will be free of excess debris and completely renewed.
Step 6: Clean the Vent Cover and Reconnect the Dryer
Before reconnecting your dryer, wash your vent cover to ensure any leftover debris doesn’t clog up the dryer. Washing the cover is as easy as vacuuming up excess lint, placing the vent cover in hot, soapy water and using a microfiber cloth to clean it. After the vent cover dries, you can reattach it and start reassembling your dryer.
To reconnect your dryer, start by reinserting the vent hose and reattaching the ductwork. Ensure the ducts are undamaged and meet the proper safety standards. When your vent is clean and reattached to the dryer, you can plug your dryer back in and move it into place. Run your empty machine on the air-dry setting for 15 to 20 minutes to ensure everything works correctly.
Common Dryer Vent Cleaning Questions
Most people aren’t well informed on dryer vents and the importance of cleaning them. Fortunately, we have some helpful answers for those looking to clean their dryer vents.
How Often Do I Need to Clean My Dryer Vent?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and most dryer manufacturers recommend you clean your dryer vent once a year to help prevent dryer fires.
How Can You Tell If Your Dryer Vent Needs to Be Cleaned?
There are a few major indicators that you need to clean your vent. If it takes much longer for your clothes to dry, your clothes have a burning odor or your laundry room is unnaturally hot when you operate the dryer, you may want to clean your vent.
Can I Clean My Dryer Vent Myself?
Yes! You can clean your dryer vent yourself. To properly clean your vent, ensure you have a few free hours so that you can carefully follow the guide on how to clean it. If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning it yourself, you can always hire a professional company to clean it for you.
Hire Cyclone Professional Cleaners Today for Dryer Vent Cleaning
If you need your dryer vent cleaned, choose Cyclone Professional Cleaners. We have almost 20 years of experience servicing Plano, Frisco, Dallas, Mckinney, Allen and everywhere in between. We care for your home by using healthier products, methods and equipment. On top of that, we also offer a 30-day workmanship guarantee. Schedule your dryer vent cleaning today by requesting a quote from us.