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How To Clean Your Dryer Vent

How To Clean Your Dryer ventDirty or clogged dryer vents and ductwork can be a fire hazard. Built up lint in your dryer can catch fire from the dryer heat, and the lint throughout the duct provides fuel for the fire to grow. For safety’s sake, you should make sure your dryer vents are clean by regularly removing built-up lint. One sign your vents may be clogged is your clothes are taking longer to dry. As for how often you should clean your dryer vent, mark it on your calendar to do it once a year. Unless you have excessive amounts of laundry due to a larger household, consider cleaning it 2-3 times a year. Now, let’s get to it.

The first thing you’ll need to do is disconnect the dryer. Disconnect the power by unplugging the dryer. If it is a gas dryer, make sure you turn off the supply valve. Pull the dryer away from the wall about a foot to give yourself room to clean the vent. Disconnect the dryer duct from the back of the dryer as well, this may require a screwdriver, depending on how your duct is attached.

Now, onto the cleaning. Make sure you are wearing a thick set of safety gloves to avoid getting cut or scratched from the duct work. Remove any lint from the hole on the back of the dryer using your hands. Use your home’s vacuum or heavy-duty vacuum with a hose attachment to clean in and around the hole on the back of your dryer. Then you can repeat removing the lint by hand and vacuuming the duct work that was attached to your dryer. If you can, remove the duct from the wall for easier cleaning inside the duct work. The next step is to locate the dryer vent outside your home and remove the exterior vent cover. Then clean the dryer vent with a vacuum using a hose attachment.

You can consider buying a dryer vent kit if you happen to have a longer dryer vent, and are having difficulty efficiently removing the lint with a vacuum hose attachment. Kits contain flexible hard-bristled brushes with extensions that can thoroughly clean the vent’s interior walls unreachable with a vacuum hose. Just feed the brush into the duct, then slightly rotate it, as you move it back and forth to free the vent of lint and dust. Then vacuum as far as you can reach with the hose to get all the loose debris.

And finally, it’s time to reconnect your dryer. Before connecting, inspect the ducts to make sure that they are not damaged, and replace them if needed. Some types of flexible dryer hose made of plastic, vinyl or foil are more likely to become clogged and cause fires, so replace them with ductwork that meets your local building codes. Reattach the vent work and covers, then, if necessary, seal them with metal foil duct tape. Push the dryer back in place and plug the dryer in. Don’t forget to turn your gas valve back on if you have a gas dryer. Open the dryer and remove the lint screen to vacuum in and around the lint filter housing with the hose attachment. You can wash the lint screen with soap and water if it has built-up residue from dryer sheets.
Run the dryer for about 10-15 minutes on the fluff/air dry setting to make sure all the connections are sealed and to blow out remaining debris.

Now that you’ve got a clean dryer vent, bask in knowing your home will be safer and your dryer will be running at peak efficiency.

If all this sounds like too much for you to do, then consider hiring a professional to do the dirty work for you. Call Priority Heating with your questions today!

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