How to Clean a Dryer Vent

Posted by AdminBoxLegend on

 

How to clean the dryer lint trap. Easy to do and takes less than 30 minutes. This will increase our dryer efficiency and get your clothes dry on the first cycle.

How often?

Dryer exhaust vents should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year depending on the size of the household and dryer usage.

Why? - Clothes Dryer Safety

Dryer vents accumulate highly flammable lint, and failure to clean out lint is the leading cause of dryer fires. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, more than 15,000 dryer fires occurred in the U.S. in 2010. Unsurprisingly, the leading cause of these fires, at 34%, is the failure to clean dryer vents.

When?

Signs of Lint Buildup

Is your laundry taking longer to dry? Do you have to run the same load twice? Is the top of your dryer hot to the touch after each use? Rather than a faulty dryer, clogged ductwork may be the culprit. The removable dryer lint filter catches most of the lint as it passes through a load of laundry. But, pieces of lint can sneak past the filter and get stuck in crevices along the dryer duct. When there’s a buildup of lint, airflow is restricted, which can lead to overheating. If the air inside the duct gets hot enough, it can ignite the lint and cause a dryer fire.

A telltale sign that the dryer vent needs cleaning is that clothes take longer and longer to dry.

When it takes 2-3 cycles to dry a load of towels, it’s time to check things out. Another indication of poor or obstructed venting is that the dryer’s external cabinet or its control area is hotter than usual. If that happens, disconnect the dryer and check the vent.

How to clean your dryer vents dust

Visually inspect the outside vent opening and remove any obstructions — usually these are animal nests. Vents at ground level are perfect for rodent nests (chipmunks, squirrels and rats). Upper level vents are more attractive to birds.

Next, tackle the lint. There are several options for removing lint buildup.

A flexible brush with an extendable wand will grab the lint for easy removal.

An air compressor will blow it out.

A combination vacuum cleaner and brush will suck it out.

Do: Clean the Dryer Lint Filter and Vent

For dryer maintenance, one of the best things to do is to make sure you clean the lint trap after every use. This will help prevent fire hazards and keep the dryer operating optimally. Luckily, it's a 10-second chore that can make all the difference.

A little more time-consuming (yet still important!) is to also clear out the dryer vent, or the duct that leads from the machine to the outside of your house, at least once per year.

Step 1: Locate your duct

The first thing you have to do is locate where the duct begins and ends. Most dryers will have a short 4-inch diameter exhaust in back that connects to the ductwork through an aluminum elbow. Hot air travels along these metal pipes to eventually emerge through an opening on an outside wall of your house.

Step 2: Safely disconnect the dryer

Now that you know the start and end points of your duct, it's time to disconnect the dryer. Safely disconnect your dryer by unplugging the power cord from the outlet or turning off the gas or propane valve. Safely disconnect your dryer by unplugging the power cord from the outlet or turning off the gas or propane valve. Remove any clamps or metal tape so that you can pull the dryer vent pipe free from the exhaust. If you own a dryer that runs on natural gas, be extremely careful you don’t disturb the dryer’s gas line when disconnecting the power. A gas leak is serious; call a professional if you’re unsure of the process.

Step 3: Clean, Clean, Clean

Pull the vent pipe awa from the wall duct. And then remove the duct cover from the exit point outside so that you have clear access to the entire ductwork. The dryer vent brush kit will come with a lint brush and flexible segments that you can connect together, depending on the length of your dryer ducts.

Next, you need to buy a specialized dryer vent cleaning kit. BoxLegend Dryer Vent Cleaning Brush consists of a lint brush and nine long flexible segments. You join these parts together to form a rod that spans a full 12 feet. The end of the nifty contraption also fits inside standard power drill chucks. So armed, you'll be able to spin the brush with a good amount of speed and power.  

While spinning the rod (counter clockwise to avoid unscrewing its segments), push the brush as far as you can down the duct. Hopefully you'll have enough length to reach the duct's other end. Keep in mind the process might take a few tries depending on how many twists and turns your ductwork may have.

Step 4: Tidy up, reconnect everything

No doubt about it. Giving your dryer duct a thorough cleaning is sweaty, messy work. In hindsight, I suggest using a simple broom and dustpan.

Safety Precautions to Consider

When you hook your dryer back up, avoid using a soft foil-style vent that connects to the wall duct, as these are a known fire hazard. These and other flexible plastic tubes are forbidden by most building codes. Go with an adjustable, rigid, 90-degree elbow at the exhaust end of the dryer instead.


Share this post



← Older Post Newer Post →


0 comments

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.