Not doing proper maintenance of your dryer vent can lead to several issues. It will start with longer drying times, which shrink your clothes and heat-damage the fabrics. It will increase your utility bills, as the dryer will require more energy to dry your clothes.
Another sign of faulty dryer is that the drying cycle of your dryer becomes less accurate leading to your clothes becoming dumped or dried to a crisp when coming out of the dryer. Also, a clogged up dryer pose a significant danger of fire hazard in your house.
You can follow these below steps to clean your clogged dryer vent on your own.
Step 1: Safety precaution
The most important measure to take is unplugging the dryer. You don't want your dryer to give a nasty shock when you are cleaning it.
Step 2: Clean the dryer's lint trap, screen
Depending on the type of your dryer, the lint screen will either be placed just below the door or on top of the dryer.
How to clean your dryer’s lint trap, screen?
- Locate the lint trap of your dryer.
- Just hold the screen and pull it gently, it should come out fully from the dryer.
- Clean the lint off the screen layer by layer. Once you have cleared a little bit of lint from the screen, use it to clear the rest. Once done, put the lint into the garbage bag.
- Now, take the vacuum with a small attached brush to it and run it over the screen. This will remove any remaining lint on the screen.
- Use the vacuum to remove as much lint as possible from the lint trap. Insert the brush attachment to unclog the opening of the vent.
- When the lint trap, screen is cleaned, replace the screen (now cleaned) back into its place and keep it again in the cleaned lint trap.
Step 3: Cleaning the dryer vent
Even if you clean the lint screen regularly, small fibers of your clothes will get through the screen and gets stuck inside the vent. If not kept in check the lint can snowball to the point where it is dangerously close to getting inflamed by a single spark. That is why it is very critical that you clean the vents at least once a month.
The vent is most likely to be located at the back of the dryer or the top. Most likely it is a flexible aluminum tubing or aluminum piping.
How to clean the dryer vent?
- With the help of a screwdriver loosen the clamps attached to the tubing.
- Using both hands, gently pull the tube down. It should come out easily from the wall.
- Take your vent brush and work it as far into either side of the wall’s piping as possible. Gently push the brush inside while rotating it clockwise direction.
- Take your vacuum and using the long attachment to clear out rest of the lint stuck inside the piping.
- Now that both the vent and the piping are cleaned slide the piping inside the clamps and attach it to the wall by screwing the clamps tight.
- Some dryer vent exhausts are not reachable. But if they are, take your vent brush and follow the above steps to remove the stuck lint from the outside.
Once you have cleaned the lint screen, the vent and replaced them as you had found, or better, run the dryer once for 5 to 10 minutes. This will blow out all the remaining loose lints that you have just removed from the inside of the dryer vent.
The modern, sophisticated dryers have moisture sensors that shut off the machine when it detects the laundry's dampness. Lint buildup here can lead to accidents. Therefore, clean the sensors by rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball every few months.
If you have followed all the above steps and done all the hard work, you can be assured that your dryer would now be running more efficiently. Depending on how much you use your dryer, it is recommended that you perform these steps every six months.
If it's not possible for you to clean the dryer vent on your own, we recommend hiring local dryer vent companies near you. They are more efficient and will be able to complete the job in half the time.