When is the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? Lint and debris can build up in your dryer’s vent work over time, blocking airflow and creating conditions that could lead to a fire. It is recommended that you clean out your clothes dryer vent at least twice a year. This can easily be done by using a vacuum with a hose attachment, a wet/dry vacuum, a dryer vent brush or a dryer vent cleaning kit.
Dryer vent cleaning kits come with a variety of brush attachments; some even connect to a standard drill bit making cleaning a breeze. The spinning action of the drill along with the brush attachment makes it easy to reach inside the vent and insures a thorough cleaning.
Dryer vent cleaning kits range in price and in the accessories they include. If you think purchasing a dryer vent cleaning kit might be too specialized, keep in mind you can use the brushes for cleaning around other appliances. The flexible hoses and skinny brush attachments can reach under and behind your appliances, helping to keep coils clean and your appliances working properly and efficiently; saving you money.
Whatever tool you choose to clean out your clothes dryer vent, be sure to unplug your appliance first. Start with the inside of your machine and clean the lint trap of your dryer, remove the trap and use your brush or vacuum hose wand to remove any lint inside the trap compartment.
Now move to the outside of your clothes dryer. You dryer vent brush can be used to sweep under the machine to remove any dust. Be sure to get the back of your machine as well. This might require moving it out from against a wall or surface to properly clean those areas.
Now start with the vent work. If you have the plastic or the foil accordion type ventwork, check to make sure there are no holes, dents or kinks. If there are, it might be better to just replace these types of vents as any impairment will reduce air flow and increase the drying time of items.
Remove the flexible exhaust vent from the rear of the clothes dryer. Insert your vacuum wand or dryer brush as far as possible and remove any lint accumulation. Be sure to clean out the port from the rear of the dryer as well. Switch to the other end of the vent that leads to the exhaust vent, clean, and reattach both ends of the vent properly. Plug your dryer back in and start it back up.
Check the exhaust on the outside of your home for any obstructions. Be sure to plug the dryer back in and turn to make sure that air is flowing properly. If there is an obstructions near the vent area, remove them, but be sure that your clothes dryer is off and unplugged before you do so.
- How to Clean the Dryer, from DoItYourself.com
- Cleaning Out Dryer Vents, from ThisOldHouse.com
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