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What is the best way to clean your dryer vent?

Clogged and dirty dryer vents and ductwork doesn’t just affect your dryer’s performance, a clogged dryer vent can also be a fire hazard. The combination of heat and accumulated dryer lint can lead to a fire hazard. In fact, clogged dryer vents cause thousands of house fires every year across the United States. Whether you clean the dryer vent yourself or hire a professional, it is important to clean a dryer vent at least once a year to keep your home safe and ensure you are not causing your dryer to overwork.

Most newer drying machines will show an air flow code when the dryer vent is clogged or reduces the amount of air flow. There are many signs of a clogged dryer vent. When deciding on maintaining your dryer vent yourself or hiring a professional, it is important to understand the different ways to clean the dryer vent properly. Most professional dryer vent cleaning companies utilize specialized equipment such as air pressure and special agitation tool to best clean the dryer vent. There are dryer vent cleaning kits you can purchase at your local home store. We are going to cover how a common homeowner would typically clean their dryer vent.

The method of using a brush and drill seems to be the common tools most homeowners use to clean their own dryer vent. We strongly recommend avoiding the thought of cleaning your dryer vent with a leaf blower, this causes more harm than good. Below outlines an effective way to clean a dryer vent as a homeowner.

How to clean a dryer vent

  • First you want to find the dryer vent which is conveniently found at the back of the dryer.
  • If you have an electric dryer, unplug the dryer. If you have a gas dryer, turn the supply valve off.
  • Pull the dryer away from the dryer vent location so you have room to work behind the dryer.
  • Disconnect the dryer duct adapter from the back of the dryer.
  • Use the vacuum to clean in and around the hole in the back of the dryer.
  • Go outside the house and clean the exterior vent.

Once the steps above are done it is time to brush the vent clean using a dryer vent cleaning kit. These kits have flexible brushes with extensions that can be used with a drill to thoroughly clean the vents interior walls.

  • Insert the brush into the duct and move it back and forth while rotating the brush clockwise.
  • Add the extensions onto the brush as needed until the vent is free of lint and dust.

Now that the dryer vent has been properly cleaned it is time to reconnect the dryer vent adapter to both the dryer vent and the dryer. If the dryer vent adapter is worn or aged, it may be a good idea to replace it. Having everything fastened firmly move the dryer back into place while ensuring not to kink the dryer vent adapter.

  • Push the dryer back into place and plug it in or turn the gas valve back on.
  • Now it is time to test the dryer. Turn the dryer on for 15 to 20 minutes.

You can test to see if the dryer vent has good air flow by checking the exhaust vent at the end of the dryer vent while the dryer is running. Now that the dryer vent is cleaned you will notice it takes much less time for your clothes to dry. The dryer will appreciate your efforts as well since it doesn’t have to work so hard now. Now that your dryer vent is clean you can go have some real fun doing laundry, YAY! Remember, cleaning your dryer vent annually can be an easily forgotten task, so be sure to add this chore to your yearly scheduled maintenance.

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