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cleaning a dryer vent

How To Clean Your Dryer Vent

dryer vent

You may have noticed that if your dryer’s lint trap is full, your dryer fails to perform well. The same is true of your dryer’s vent and ductwork; if either is dirty or clogged, then your dryer’s performance takes a dramatic nosedive. Perhaps more ominously, an unmaintained dryer vent can be a safety hazard when accumulated lint leads to a fire. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notes that 34 percent of the 2,900 clothes dryer fires each year stem from failing to maintain the lint trap, vent, or ductwork. Fortunately, prevention is simple: keep your dryer’s vents clean.

While you should clear the dryer’s lint trap after every load, cleaning the dryer vent should be at least an annual occurrence. This helps to keep your dryer operating at its peak performance level and helps to stave off dryer fires in your Maryville, IL, home.

A Simple Process

To clean your dryer’s vent:

dryer vent hose

  • Locate the vent on the dryer’s reverse, and unplug the dryer (or turn off the gas supply valve for a gas model). Pull the dryer out from the wall around 12 inches, and disconnect the duct.
  • Using a vacuum with a hose attachment, clean out the lint from the hole where the vent connects to the dryer, vacuum inside the duct and inside the dryer vent. You can also use a special brush or vent cleaning kit to ensure proper clearance of debris and lint. Take a moment to inspect the ductwork and vent to make sure there is no damage to either.
  • Reattach the vent and ductwork. You may need to use foil duct tape (UL-listed) to seal sections of the ductwork, depending on your setup. Push the dryer back into its normal position.
  • Next, head outdoors. Then, locate the outside vent cover, remove it, and vacuum out the vent and duct from the exterior of the home.
  • Finally, test your handiwork. Turn the dryer on for 15 minutes or so to ensure all connections are made.  Also to dislodge any lint or other debris that may remain.

Remember, an annual cleaning is just a recommendation. If you notice a decline in performance, with clothing taking longer than normal to dry, if the dryer feels hot to the touch, or if you smell something burning in the vicinity of the dryer, your vents and ductwork may need more frequent cleaning.

More questions? Contact us at B&W Heating and Cooling Today!

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