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Dryer Vent Tips

Dryer vent being disconnected for maintenance

Understanding the ins and outs of dryer vent cleaning is essential for every homeowner. Not only does a clean dryer vent help your clothing dry more quickly, but it also prevents fires and keeps your family safe. 

Here’s a startling statistic: There are 2,900 clothes dryer fires every year. These hazardous fires can lead to injury, death, and property damage. But clean dryer vents can undoubtedly help reduce the fire risk.

To prevent dangerous situations and conserve time and energy, routine dryer maintenance is necessary. Here are some important tips to follow as you clean your dryer.


Be Aware of Lint Buildup

One of the first (and most crucial) tips for dryer vent maintenance is checking your dryer for signs of lint buildup. It’s important to recognize the signs of lint buildup. Here are the most common indications of lint buildup:

  • Your dryer takes longer than usual to dry your clothes. With a buildup of lint in your dryer hose or lint trap, your dryer does not have access to free-flowing air. Due to less air flowing through your dryer, it may take several cycles to dry your clothing completely.
  • Your dryer becomes hot to the touch while it is running. When the vent is clogged and the airflow is restricted, the heat from your dryer cannot escape through the exhaust vent. This issue can be serious, as it can cause your dryer to overheat and potentially cause a fire.
  • You notice a burning smell coming from your dryer. Smell something unusual? This can indicate the lint is built up and is beginning to burn. If you notice this burning smell, the vent needs to be cleaned immediately.


Replace Dryer Hose

A solution to preventing buildup and allowing your dryer vent to be easier to clean is replacing flexible dryer hoses. Most dryers have plastic or foil hoses, and are more likely to get clogged and lead to dryer fires. By replacing these with sturdier ductwork, you can keep your dryer vent clean for longer.


Unplug Dryer Before Cleaning

A helpful tip for dryer cleaning is simple but important: Remember to unplug your dryer first! You can either unplug an electric dryer or turn off the supply valve to a gas dryer. This allows you to pull the dryer away from the wall, giving you easier access to your dryer vent and duct. Keep in mind, you can also access your dryer vent through the exhaust vent, which is typically located on the exterior of your house.


Use Proper Cleaning Tools

Proper cleaning tools allow for a seamless vent cleaning experience. The most helpful tool to clean your vent is one you likely already have at home: a vacuum. Using your vacuum hose will make the hard-to-reach areas easier to clean.

Start by detaching the duct from the wall and collect as much buildup as possible by hand. After manually gathering the lint, you can use the vacuum hose to remove the rest. Vacuums are also effective for exterior dryer vents!

Another helpful tool to clean your dryer vent is a small, flexible brush with soft bristles. As you feed the brush into your dryer duct and move it around, it will accumulate any remaining lint out of your dryer vent.


Call a Duct Cleaning Professional

By utilizing a duct cleaning professional to clean your dryer vent, you can prevent lint buildup and eliminate the worry of a dryer fire.

Our talented experts bring comfort to your home or business with over 400 years of combined team experience in the HVAC industry. Our annual maintenance programs are the best way to ensure comfort, but in the case of an emergency, we can always fix it in a timely and honest manner the first time. We offer a wide variety of residential services. Contact us today to book an appointment with Cates!

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