An uncleaned dryer duct or vent affects more than just how long it takes to dry that load of towels. Excess lint and debris increases the opportunity for a fire hazard. 2900 homes every year experience a fire related to a clothes dryer, and a blocked dryer vent is the leading cause in at least 34% of those fires.
Dryer Vent vs Lint Trap
The lint trap is the screen on your dryer that collects the lint in order to be removed before each dryer load. The dryer vent, or dryer duct, is what connects your dryer to allow the hot air from your dryer to escape outside. This is why you might smell fresh laundry when your neighbor is running a load.
To prevent having to clean out the dryer vent very often, keep the area around your dryer clean. Regular household dust and dirt will only expedite a clogged vent.
- Dust and sweep your dryer and surrounding area regularly
- Remove and clean the lint trap before EVERY cycle
- Remove lint trap to vacuum and clean the lint trap at least monthly
- Clean the dryer vent duct every 6 months, you shouldn’t go more than 6 months in between cleaning, especially if you have a gas powered dryer since lint is highly flammable.
Your dryer taking longer than usual to dry clothes can be an indicator of a blocked dryer duct. Not only is this dangerous, but it also affects your energy bill becuase you’ll have to run the dryer longer to fully dry your clothes. Whether you suspect a blockage or just want to perform regualy scheduled duct cleaning, it’s pretty easy to do yourself. According to Review Home Warranties here’s how:
- Remove any clothes in the dryer
- Unplug the dryer
- Remove any lint in the trap filter
- Pull the dryer out from the wall so you have room to remove the duct
- Remove the hose by carefully loosening the connector
- Vacuum any visible debris in your laundry room, and behind and under your washing machine and dryer
- Remove lint from the vent duct
- Use the duct cleaning brush to push the lint out of the vent pipe.
- Use the vacuum attachments to clean out the lint trap and remove the lint that has fallen past the filter into the duct
- Check the outside vent to remove any clogs there – If the exterior vent is clogged, you will need to use your vacuum, lint brush, and air blower to remove as much of the lint as possible
- Replace the hose attachment on the back of your dryer and wall, and the lint screen
- Plug your dryer back in
Now that your vent is clean and clear, you can enjoy the more energy effiecient machine! If you’d like an expert to clean any hard-to-reach vents, or vents with major clogs, contact Lifetime Heating & Cooling to schedule us to come to your home.