Did you know that clogged dryer vents cause roughly 80% of dryer-related fires? In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration reports nearly 3,000 home fires are due to dryers. Home electrical mishaps can happen at any time. However, during the summer, as we wash and dry loads of laundry, remember to clean your dryer vent!
Of the 15,000 dryer related fires🔥 in 2017, clogged dryer vents were the #1 leading cause at 80%! Clean your dryer vent regularly to prevent lint buildup/blockage causing fires! #firesafety #homecare #homemaintenance pic.twitter.com/QsdnnqHCWg
— GreenWorks Inspects (@GreenWorksDFW) August 7, 2018
As a result, regularly cleaning your dryer vent helps prevent link buildup that creates a blockage causing a fire.
Why does this matter?
Every piece of clothing in every load of laundry contains lint. Fortunately, the lint trap catches a lot of these small fibers. However, the lint filter does not catch everything. Lint escapes the filter and enters the vent hose or duct. Look at the external vent duct and you’ll see plenty of lint!
Clogged Dryer Vent Warning Flags
If you are concerned about lint buildup, then there are plenty of warning signs.
- Laundry rooms feels humid (or more than normal).
- Laundry room smells like something is burnt.
- Dryer takes longer for clothes to dry (or they don’t completely dry).
- Clothes feel hotter than normal upon completion of drying cycle.
- Dryer feels extremely hot.
- Exhaust vent flapper doesn’t open (which indicates low exhaust velocity).
If any of these warning signs occur, then thoroughly clean your dryer vent. For example, if it takes multiple times to dry a load of towels, then consider cleaning your dryer vent!
How To Clean Dryer Vent
Fortunately, cleaning your dryer vent remains a DIY option. However, like all home maintenance projects, if you do not feel comfortable, contact a professional for assistance. For the DIYer, the following steps should help clean your dryer vent in conjunction with a vent cleaning kit.
- Remove & Clean Lint Filter
As noted, everyone should clean the lint filter prior to every load of laundry. Kick start the process and remove any lint so it does not enter the venting system.
- Vacuum Lint Trap
Pull out your vacuum and attach the long/skinny hose. Vacuum the trap housing, along with using the flexible brush from the kit. By extending the brush to the bottom, you’ll pull out any extra clumps of lint.
- Disconnect the Duct
Simply unplug the dryer (and turn off the gas valve if your home contains a gas dryer). Disconnect the duct joint and gently move the dryer away from the wall.
- Vacuum the Duct
The vent cleaning kit contains a duct brush head, which should be attached to the flexible fiberglass shart. Rotate the brush into each duct and sweep it clean. Complete the cleaning by following the same process, as needed. Plus, add additional shafts to reach more sections of the duct.
- Connect the Dryer and Ductwork
Complete the process by reattaching the dryer to the ductwork. Remember to plug the dryer in and push the dryer back into its normal spot in your laundry room. Run a dryer cycle, which confirms the vent works properly.
For any questions or issues, then contact a professional technician.
Additionally, dryer vents should be cleaned annually. But, for larger families or homes that do a lot of laundry, clean the dryer vent more frequently. Finally, a clean dryer vent helps improve the efficiency of the machine. Therefore, routine maintenance helps prevent the washer from breaking down as well!