Most homeowners regard their clothes washer and dryer as machines that just work – until they don't. In our experience, consumers rarely perform simple, annual maintenance on their clothes dryers, especially, resulting in the need to replace expensive appliances in 10 years or less.
Most dryers which stop working fail for one simple reason – people stop cleaning the vents. If you haven’t been overly concerned with the need for dryer vent cleaning, you should be.
What Is A Dryer Vent?
If you’ve cleaned out the lint filter in the dryer body or door and thought “Cool, that's that,” think again. Many of our customers forget about what’s happening with the tubing at the rear of the dryer. That's what leads to the dryer vent and, ideally, outside.
Is Dryer Heat Dangerous?
If you’ve ever opened the dryer door once the drying cycle is finished, you know how warm the clothes feel. Imagine what happens if debris and lint collect in vents. The clothes remain damp, meaning your dryer has to work longer and with more heat to dry clothes. The longer the dyer works, the more heat it generates – but it wasn't made for that kind of constant temperature. If debris blocks the vent, the dryer overheats. Many house fires could be avoided by consistently booking dryer vent cleaning or air duct cleaning services.
Where Does All That Junk In The Vent Come From?
If you’ve ever cleaned your dryer vents, it’s only natural to wonder where all the junk blocking them comes from. Homeowners get creative with laundry room placement, meaning ventilation snakes through walls, navigates corners, and makes it hard to keep vents debris-free. And it’s not unusual for small animals and birds to make winter nests in exterior vent screens as they find a toasty winter home. Vent cleaning doesn’t sound like a bad idea, after all, does it?
What Will Actually Happen If I Don't Clean My Dryer Vent
- Your clothes could take longer to dry. As a result, you may run the dryer more often and longer to completely dry your clothes. This costs time and money.
- Your clothes may not dry at all. Vent blockage may lead to damp clothing and mold to accumulate in the fabric – ruining the new pair of blue jeans you just bought.
- Your dryer will overheat continuously and result in a fire hazard.
- If the vent is blocked, mold and dust will accumulate and have nowhere else to go – except inside your house. This can result in serious health problems, maybe even respiratory difficulties.
- If you have a gas-powered dryer and the vent gets blocked, it can disperse carbon monoxide throughout your house. Carbon monoxide is poisonous and can be deadly.
Here’s How to Accomplish Dryer Vent Cleaning
Whether you choose to clean your dryer vent on your own, or hire experienced professionals to do the work, the tools and steps to complete the job are essentially the same. On the tool side, you’ll use a nut driver or screwdriver, dryer vent brushes, and a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment.
- Unplug your dryer from any electrical outlet, then pull it a few feet away from the wall to access the vent. If it's a gas dryer, shut off the gas at the source, then disconnect the gas line from the dryer.
- Disconnect the vent and clean the surface around it. You’ll notice the vent is attached to the dryer by a clam, which you can loosen and disconnect using the screwdriver or nut driver. Now, you can remove the vent from the back of the dryer, then gently reach into the opening and remove the lint. At this point, a vacuum hose with a crevice tool attached may come in handy.
- Clean the vent from inside your home. In most cases, the dirtiest parts of the vent are the one to two feet each end. This is where a dryer vent brush to clean inside the vent comes into play. You want to clean as far into the vent as possible, so a brush with a long, flexible handle is your best option. Insert the brush as far as you can go; it will latch onto the lint and drag it free.
- After that, use the vacuum hose with attachment to suck out any remaining lint and dust. Now, reattach the vent to the dryer, and attach and tighten the clamp. Then, re-attach the gas line, plug it in, and make sure to turn the gas back on.
- Cleaning the vent from outside involves unscrewing the vent cover, taking it off and, if needed, removing caulk with a utility blade. Now, reach into the vent with the brush as before, and then vacuum out any remaining lint or other debris. You might as well clean the vent cover.
- The final step is to reconnect the dryer before replacing the vent cover, then letting the unit run for several minutes to help blow out any loose lint. Then, replace the cover on the outside vent, screw it down, and caulk the edges to prevent cold air from seeping into your house.
At this point, you also might want to consider air duct cleaning while you’re at it.
Choose the Best Dryer Vent Cleaning In Greater Denver
Steve’s Carpet Care & Restoration has served customers for more than 40 years throughout Boulder, Denver, Westminster, and other communities. We’re experts in vent cleaning, air duct cleaning, and many other services. Drop us a note call us at 303.530.4900 to schedule a home visit.