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How to Clean your Dryer Vents

Clean Your Dryer Vents

Your Western New York spring cleaning should include cleaning your dryer vents.

Spring is officially here and that means that it is time for spring cleaning. Your Western New York spring cleaning should include cleaning your dryer vents.  While many people don’t realize it, dryer vents should be cleaned at least once a year, so adding them to your spring-cleaning schedule is a great way to ensure you don’t miss their annual clean-out. Let’s review how to clean your dryer vents.

Why you Should Clean Your Dryer Vents

Over time, dryer vents accumulate highly flammable lint, and failure to clean out lint is the leading cause of dryer fires. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, more than 15,000 dryer fires occurred in the U.S. in 2010.     

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires. More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.

While the winter and fall months are behind us, the reason more clothes dryer fires occur in those months is due to the clothes being thicker and with more lint. This makes cleaning your dryer vents a great practice in the spring after the extra work you have put on your dryer through the colder New York months.

Signs you Need to Clean Your Dryer Vents

There are several warning signs that lint has built up in your dryer ductwork and your dryer vents need a thorough cleaning:

– Clothes take longer to dry or don’t dry fully

– Garments are hotter than normal at the end of the drying cycle

– Outside of the dryer gets extremely hot

– External exhaust vent flapper does not open very much, indicating low exhaust velocity

– Laundry area becomes more humid than usual

– Burnt smell is apparent in the laundry area

How to Clean Your Dryer Vents

As you do laundry, you should always clean the lint trap in between loads. Removing lint that’s captured in the mesh screen of your lint trap is critical to preventing fires because a dust-free trap allows for better airflow. Cleaning your dryer vents is not as common as cleaning out the lint trap, so we have provided instructions for how you can clean your dryer vents.

– Visually Inspect Vent: First, you should visually inspect the outside vent and remove any objects that may be there (such as animal nests). Often there is a backup of lint that is attached to the outside vent as well. This should be removed.

– Remove Lint Buildup: Now it is time to remove lint buildup. Unplug your dryer and turn off the gas valve if you have a gas dryer. Remove the dryer duct and clean the ductwork. You can use a flexible brush to wipe out the lent, air compressor to blow the lint out, or vacuum cleaner to suck the lint out the vents. Be sure the lint is gone throughout the entire ductwork.

Clean Area Around Dryer: Next, you should clean the area around the dryer. Vacuum under and around your dryer area to prevent the intake of dust, lint, and other debris.

 – Reattach and Assemble Ductwork: Lastly, put your dryer vent back together. Make sure everything is attached properly. Ensure that there are no kinks in the ducts, that can work as a lint trap; if there are, you should replace the ductwork. Ensure your lint screen is back in place and run the dryer to make sure that it is venting correctly.

To Wrap it up

You should clean your Western New York dryer vents at least once a year. Spring is the perfect time to tackle this project; however, if you notice signs that your dryer vents need cleaned throughout the year, you should not hesitate to do so. Every home is different. To be safe, you can hire professionals to clean your dryer vents.

Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC is the go-to team for plumbing, heating, and air in Hamburg, NY. Generations of homeowners here in Western New York have relied on us for their most critical home service needs, and we’ve delivered. From our friendly technicians and plumbers to our effective, straight-to-the-point services, Duffett does it better.

Contact us today. We can help with all your home HVAC and plumbing needs.