Exterior View of Adjacent Aluminum Air Ducts

Did you know that your home has different kinds of ventilation systems? It's true. There's your heating and cooling system, laundry dryer vent, and kitchen and bathroom ventilation systems, among other types of ventilation. Each one serves a specific purpose, and all are crucial to airflow within your home and the quality of the air you and your loved ones and visitors breathe daily.

For the moment, let’s talk about the differences between dryer vent cleaning and air duct cleaning and why they matter.

What to Know About Dryer Vents and Cleaning?

One thing you’ll quickly understand is most vent cleaning is related to systems that lead out of your home, expelling air, gases, and other particulates that affect the quality of the air you breathe. The dryer vent duct normally leads to the outdoors, though in some cases we've seen older homes where the air is expelled into an attached garage. This duct is designed to blow out mostly hot air that gets generated while the dryer’s working. It’s important for home safety because it disperses air which could potentially clog up ductwork and start a fire. A key benefit of dryer vent cleaning is it removes flammable lint and other debris located on interior surfaces. We recommend cleaning the dryer vent once or twice a year.

What About Air Duct Cleaning?

The biggest difference between dryer vent cleaning vs. air duct cleaning is the latter is a whole house process. When cleaning a dryer vent, you start at the source of the problem and work your way from beginning to end. Air duct cleaning is more involved. If it sounds complicated, it is – but that’s a good thing. A professional service has trained professionals who’ll clean every duct, vent, and component of your home’s entire ventilation system. The larger the home, the longer the process will take. But remember, this kind of cleaning is worth the effort and expense because it helps to remove debris and allergens that can inhibit air quality. We recommend a complete air duct cleaning every five to 10 years.

Why Is It So Important To Clean Dryer Vents And Air Ducts?

As professionals, we extoll the importance of dryer vent cleaning and air duct cleaning because you can’t – or shouldn’t – put a price on the quality of the air you breathe. While the average homeowner wouldn’t consciously make that choice, it’s not unusual to hear a customer say, “Well, we never really thought about cleaning either, until …” It’s the “either” you should worry about, which can lead to an unforeseen circumstance like a surge in allergies or, even worse, risk of fire.

  1. The importance of dryer vent cleaning. In most cases, lint from clothing will block a dryer vent, leading to the buildup of the hot moisture-laden air which remains trapped, unable to work its way outside. When this happens, your clothes never fully dry, remaining moist and possibly leading to mold. Even worse, lint blockage is a fire threat. That’s why vent cleaning is so important.
  2. The importance of air duct cleaning. Blockages in your home’s air ducts can seriously affect the effectiveness of your HVAC system. If you notice your system has problems reaching and maintaining a comfortable temperature, blocked air ducts are a likely culprit. Plus, your HVAC system will have to work harder as a result, leading to potential maintenance issues or even whole system replacement. While it's true we have a business to run, we'd rather not see a homeowner forced to replace their furnace and air conditioner if simple maintenance would take care of issues before they worsen. If your HVAC is on the fritz, you may notice higher utility bills.

How Do You Clean Dryer Vents And Air Ducts?

The more you know about dryer vent cleaning versus air duct cleaning, the more comfortable you’ll be when the time comes to call in a professional cleaner. Part of our responsibility is educating homeowners, so they make informed decisions. Here’s what goes into the cleaning process.
  • Dryer vent cleaning starts at the base where the duct connects to the dryer. To begin, you or a professional will unplug the dryer and disconnect the gas line, if applicable, before starting the cleaning process. The vent within the dryer is cleaned first, followed by ductwork, then the vent where it exits your house. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much lint and other debris needs to be removed.
  • Air duct cleaning is a bit more involved and time-consuming. Every air duct and ventilation plate within your home is cleaned, plus other components of the ventilation system. In most cases, Steve's Carpet Care will provide a special truck-mounted steam cleaning machine as required. This may take a few hours or more, depending on the square footage of the home and the complexity of the ductwork.

How Often Should Vents and Duct Work Be Cleaned?

This is an important question, but you must understand that each home is different.

For dryer vent cleaning, we recommend to every homeowner the vent be cleaned from beginning to end at least once a year, if not every six months.

You’re probably safe to have air duct cleaning scheduled once every five years. But again, this recommendation is based on your needs and any signs you notice of reduced air quality within your home, or HVAC performance issues.

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