Your dryer vents to the outside so the heat and humidity don't blow into your laundry room. You probably know it's important to clean the lint trap in your dryer, but you may not know the dryer vent needs to be cleaned regularly too. Here's why a dryer vent needs to be cleaned, how to tell if yours is dirty, and how cleaning is done.
Why Dryer Vent Cleaning Is Necessary
Lint from your laundry builds up inside the vent just like it does in the lint trap. The more you use the dryer, the faster the vent gets dirty. When the vent is full of lint, it becomes a fire hazard. A spark could ignite the lint and begin burning inside the vent which is hidden behind your wall. Depending on where your dryer is located, the dryer vent could be several feet long and take a bend to get to the outside. If there's a lot of lint in the vent, the fire can spread behind the wall quickly and put your home and family in danger.
How To Tell If Your Dryer Vent Needs To Be Cleaned
If you've never had your dryer vent cleaned out or if it's been so long you can't remember when it was done, you should call a professional to come out and clean the vent for you. Dryer vents should usually be cleaned at least once a year or more often if you do a lot of laundry. Another way to tell if the vent is dirty and clogged is to feel the air coming out of the vent on the outside of your house when the dryer is running. There should be strong airflow. If not, the vent is probably clogged. Other signs of a clogged dryer vent include seeing lint fly out of the vent outside, longer than usual drying times, or a burning smell when you run the dryer.
How Dryer Vent Cleaning Is Done
A professional brings cleaning equipment to get the lint out of your dryer. This includes using a brush head on a long flexible rod that can be pushed into the vent and rotated to remove lint stuck to the sides and to punch through lint clogs. A vacuum is also hooked up to the vent so lint doesn't fly back into your laundry room. Dryer vent cleaning is a fairly quick job that doesn't disrupt your routine for long, and it's also a fairly low-cost service considering the fire prevention it provides.