Dryer Vent Cleaning: When is It Necessary?

Dryer Vent Cleaning: When is It Necessary?Dryer Vent Cleaning: When is It Necessary?

Dryer vents become clogged with regular use, and that turns them into fire hazards. In addition to putting your home at risk, they also make it harder for your dryer to operate. Energy bills rise as it takes clothes longer to dry, and it can lead to premature failure of your dryer. Here is what you need to know about cleaning the dryer vent to protect your home and your family.

The Risk of Fires

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there are more than 15,000 dryer fires every year, with up to 30 deaths and 310 injuries as a result. You can protect your family from this risk by keeping the vent clean and checking the hose for blockages once every six months.

Daily Cleaning

You don’t have to clean the dryer vent daily, but you should clean out the lint trap every time you use the dryer. This lint trap prevents many items from going into the dryer vent, and a clogged trap is also a fire hazard. Get in the habit of cleaning it out every time you run a new load of clothes. Keep a little trashcan on or near the dryer to make emptying the lint trap easier.

Shorten the Vent Line

Cleaning the vent line isn’t a difficult job, but it is more time-consuming if you have a long vent pipe. Experts recommend keeping the vent pipe shorter than ten feet for greater efficiency and easier cleaning. Minimize bends in the pipe to eliminate places where items will get hung up and lead to a clog. This might require moving the dryer slightly, but you’ll be rewarded with a safer, more energy efficient unit.

Use the Shop-Vac

This is one chore where a shop vacuum comes in handy. If you can access the dryer vent exhaust outside your home, then you should start there. Remove the cover using a screwdriver, extend the shop vacuum hose down the pipe, and then turn on the vacuum. You’ll be amazed at the items that come out of the pipe. In addition to lint, you may also find things that went through the wash in pockets, including change, hair clips and even pens.

Break out the Lint Brush

Inside the home, it’s important to clean the entrance of the duct by going through the dryer. Start by unplugging the unit or turning off the gas. Pull out the lint trap inside the dryer, and then clean the area with a long brush designed for cleaning under the refrigerator. Follow up by using a crevice attachment on the shop vacuum to clean out the loosened debris. Pull the dryer away from the wall and remove the duct. Use the lint brush and vacuum to clean this end of the vent pipe and remove all lint. The dryer vent is now clean and ready for use again.After the vent pipe is clean, your dryer will run more efficiently and be safer.

This entire project can take a little while, particularly if you have a lot of build-up in the line. However, you don’t have to deal with this semi-annual chore.

In addition to cleaning houses and polishing windows, 1st Class Cleaning also offers this valuable service. The next time we’re organizing your closets or helping you get ready for a party, let us clean the vent pipe and help keep your family safe.

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