Dryer Vent Cleaning Tips

A clothes dryer is a hard-working appliance in your home. Having a clean, well installed dryer vent is critical to maintaining the longevity and safety of your dryer.

You don’t think about it, but it dries load after load of laundry, day after day. Ideally, you should have your clothes dryer inspected and serviced by a certified professional once a year. But if you choose to clean your dryer vent on your own, here is what you need to know!

Clothes washers and dryers used to be installed in the basement of a home. The dryer vent only had a short distance to be run outside through the basement wall. Nowadays, however, laundry rooms are usually located on the main floor of a home. In addition, the laundry rooms are often located in the middle of the home. This means that the dryer vent needs to be run a longer distance. Because of the twists and turns that the venting pipe needs to take in these instances, lint can build up and cause your dryer to work harder, as well as pose a fire hazard!

To clean a dryer vent out yourself, you can buy a brush that’s specially made for the job. The brush is a long, flexible wire with a handle on one end, and a round bristled head on the other end. To use the brush on a short dryer vent, all you have to do is remove the flapper from the dryer vent on the outside of your house. Then, unhook the vent line from your dryer. Push the brush completely through the line a few times to remove built-up lint. To finish the maintenance job, reconnect the vent to the dryer and replace the flapper on the outside of your house.

If your dryer vent is longer than three feet, you can still use the same brush. You’ll just need to attach it to an electrical fish tape. An electrical fish tape allows electricians to feed wires through conduit where they otherwise couldn’t reach. It can work the same for you by feeding the dryer vent brush through the pipe.

How often you perform maintenance on your dryer vent should depend on how often you use your clothes dryer. But, inspecting it, and cleaning it out with a brush, if necessary, on a monthly basis, is a better idea. This way, lint won’t be able to build-up in the vent pipe. And, you can check to make sure there are no other obstructions in the pipe, such as birds building a nest in the end, for example.

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