While appliance maintenance may not be first on your to-do list, a little prevention goes a long way to avoid more significant problems. This is particularly true in the case of dryer maintenance and dryer vent cleaning. Clogged dryer vents can cause longer drying times, higher energy bills, and even fires.
Dryer Vent Maintenance
Have you noticed that your dryer takes too long to dry clothes? Or maybe the dryer takes more than one cycle to get the job done? More often than not, a clogged dryer vent is to blame for a dryer not heating appropriately. Hot air can’t properly circulate to dry your clothes when the dryer vent is filled with lint and other debris. But damp clothes and a higher utility bill aren’t the only consequences of a clogged dryer vent.
Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Vent
When a buildup of lint is combined with heat from the dryer, you can be at risk for a dangerous dryer fire. It’s reported that nearly 3,000 house fires are caused by clothes dryers every year. To keep your clothes dry, your electricity bill low, and avoid fire risk, it’s essential to clean your dryer vent routinely.
How Often Should a Dryer Vent be Cleaned?
A dryer vent should be cleaned every six months to a year, depending on use. The average family should clean the dryer vents at least once a year, and a larger family should clean it more often. Even if it is not time to clean your dryer vent, it’s important to be attentive to how your dryer is performing.
Signs You Need to Clean Your Dryer Vent
- Your clothes take longer to dry.
- You notice a burning smell.
- Clothes are hot to the touch when the cycle ends.
- You notice lint or debris around the dryer hose.
- It’s been over a year.
- Dryer is hot to the touch.
- Vent hood flap doesn’t open properly.
Ideally, you should clean your dryer vent once or twice a year, however, if you notice any of the signs above, you may need to clean it earlier.
How to Clean the Dryer Vent
The largest amounts of lint can collect in the dryer vent, which is why it’s important to clean once or twice a year. We recommend these simple steps to clean your vent:
- Pull the dryer out from the wall
- Disconnect the dryer from its power source
- Separate the vent duct from the dryer and, using the appliance brush, brush out any lint from the vent and duct
- Use a narrow attachment of your vacuum to remove any remaining lint carefully
- Vacuum up any dust and lint on the floor of your work area
- Brush out the vent exhaust on the outside of your house, reaching up with the brush into the duct that connects to the exhaust
- Reattach the vent duct to your dryer
- Reconnect the dryer’s power source and position it back in place
How to Clean the Dryer Lint Trap
If you typically use dryer sheets or fabric softener, they can leave a waxy film on the lint trap that may clog its mesh. In this case, we also recommend rinsing the lint trap under running water and brushing it with a soft, soapy brush. After rinsing, let the lint trap completely dry before replacing it.
The lint trap is the first line of defense in preventing lint buildup in the dryer vent. We recommend cleaning it after every drying cycle by simply peeling off the lint with your hands or a paper towel.
How to Clean the Lent Trap Vent
It’s a good idea to clean your lint trap vent while your lint trap is drying. We also recommend using the appliance brush in this dryer vent cleaning kit to make this job easier. Bend the appliance brush throughout the lint trap vent to gather any lint.
After using the appliance brush, you can reach a more stubborn buildup with the narrow hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner.
How to Prevent Buildup of Lint
- Clean lint screen after each load.
- Clean the lint trap vent as necessary.
- Vacuum around and underneath your dryer.
- Routinely check vent system & exterior exhaust.
- Pay attention to any changes in performance.
- Wipe down the inside of your dryer.
- Don’t overload your dryer.
These quick and easy steps for cleaning your dryer vent should go a long way in preserving the life and function of your dryer. Not to mention preventing dangerous dryer fires. If regular maintenance still leaves your dryer performance suffering, give Caesar’s Appliance Service a call for a fast and expert dryer repair.