Cleaning A Dryer Vent From Inside And Outside In 8 Steps

This article will be discussing ways to clean your dryer vent.

Dryer vent cleaning is an important maintenance task that must be performed to prevent house fires. The process involves the removal or collection of lint which is flammable and easily accumulates.

So, what happens to the lint trap, doesn’t it help collect or trap such lint? The lint trap does help; however, the reality is it only traps about 25% of lint. The rest can escape through the dryer and vent.

GUIDE: Furnace Duct Cleaning Tips

For thorough cleaning to be possible, both the inside and outside of the dryer must be cleaned. We will provide you with all the details necessary for the proper maintenance of your dryer and how often to clean your unit.

Here is a list of cleaning tools you’ll need for such essential tasks.

Dryer Vent Cleaning Options

Is it necessary to have your dryer vents cleaned? It is necessary! Dryer vents need to be cleaned for several reasons. The most relevant of these include for safety reasons and also to save energy?

To better understand the need for dryer vent cleaning, it’s important to know the workings of a dryer.

A dryer is used for drying clothes. Now, it works by expelling moist hot air through a vent which in turn hastens the drying up process.

Reasons For Dryer Vent Cleaning

Now, when there’s a blockage of the dryer vent, it poses a problem. Moist hot air is unable to be dispelled, thus creating further problems.

What causes such blockage you might ask? The answer is simple; Lint.

Such lint results from clothing. This is the accumulation of clothing fibers that form a fluff or wad that blocks your dryer vent. This problem left unattended has resulted in house fires.

The best way to prevent this problem is by cleaning your dryer vent.

  • Signs of Lint Problem

With the continued blockage of the dryer vent, you’ll notice many things.

These include burning smell, prolonged or delayed drying times, difficulty in opening the vent hood as well as overheating which results in clothing feeling hot to the touch.

  • Burning Smell

It’s a very risky situation whenever you begin to perceive a burning smell coming out of your dryer. Lint buildup resulting in dryer vent blockage is largely responsible. Lint is known to be highly flammable and has been associated with causing a significant number of house fires.

Whenever you perceive such a burning smell, it’s best to immediately put off your dryer and cleaner your dryer vent.

  • Prolonged or Delayed Drying Times

A dryer is designed to expel moist hot air during the drying process.

However, this isn’t the case when a dryer vent is blocked. As a result, the hot moist air is unable to escape and remains inside the dryer.

This delays the drying process. It causes even more problems for the machine as well as your clothes.

  • Difficulty in Opening the Vent Hood

Whenever your vent hood gets stuck and refuses to open, you should have it checked including the dryer vent.

There’s a likelihood that lint fluff is responsible. Check to find out if it needs cleaning.  You can also call a professional if you lack the know-how.

  • Overheating

A dryer is designed to release moisture and heat through the vent. When this becomes the problem, a temperature rise is noticed. Clothes become unnecessarily hot after each drying cycle. The same applies to the dryer.

When such is noticed, it may be time to have your dryer vent checked for possible cleaning.

Cleaning Dryer Vent from Inside

When cleaning clean a dryer vent, the process must be thorough. This involves cleaning both the inside and out of the dryer vent. This section focuses on the cleaning tasks to perform on the inside.

The tasks outlined here aren’t difficult and can be completed within a short period.

They include turning off and unplugging the dryer, pulling out the dryer and removing the vent clamp, inspecting for possible clogs, vacuuming to remove debris, reattaching the vent to the dryer, and turning it back on.

  • Turning Off and Unplugging Dryer

Before you begin cleaning a dryer vent, it’s important to first abide by safety instructions. This helps prevent any form of accident.

For electric dryers, simply put off and unplug from a wall socket or power source. Gas-powered dryers will need to be approached differently.

Turn off the gas supply. However, if the process is more technical than you can handle, it’s best to call a qualified professional to help out with this.

  • Pulling Out Dryer and Removing Vent Clamp

To have better access to the vent duct or opening, you’ll need to pull out your dryer to create enough space.

The vent duct may be secured by a clamp that connects it to the vent pipe. Loosen or detach the clamp or screws holding it in place.

You should also use this period to check the condition of your vent piping. In the event you notice signs of deterioration, these should be fixed immediately.

  • Inspecting for Possible Clogs

Having opened the vent, a visual inspection should be done for debris or clogs. Such clogs and debris can be removed with your hands. For a more comprehensive job, consider obtaining dryer vent cleaning equipment.

This does the job much more effectively.

Additional equipment for cleaning dryer vents includes dryer vent vacuum, flexible crevice tool, dryer lint brush, nylon brush rod, and plumber’s snake.

Others include a powerful air compressor, nest removal tool, power drill, drill attachment duct brushes, and other dryer vent cleaning accessories.

  • Vacuuming to Remove Debris

Now, you’ll need to reach in as far as you can to remove as much lint and debris as possible. A great tool for getting this task done is the vacuum cleaner.

SEE: Dryer Vent Cleaning With Leaf Blower

Using an appropriate extension, get as deep as you can into the vent to collect any lint and debris you can reach.

  • Reattaching Vent to Dryer

Still focusing on cleaning the dryer vent from inside, your next action should involve reattaching the vent to the dryer. You may be dealing with a clamp or screw system.

Whatever the case is, simply fix it back the way it was. Clear the area of any lint hanging around.

  • Turning it Back On

Now that you’ve successfully cleaned the dryer vent from the inside, connect your dryer to the power source and put it on. It should be performing much better than it was when the dryer vent was blocked by lint.

As you’ve read to this point, you can see that this process isn’t difficult at all. A question is likely to come to mind which might involve cleaning a dryer vent from outside. Let’s jump right into the details of the process involved.

Cleaning Dryer Vents From Outside

As the process for cleaning a dryer vent from the inside, carrying out this process from the outside isn’t difficult at all.

It involves simple actions like removing clogs from the exterior vent and checking for obstacles in the exterior vent.

  • Removing Clogs from Exterior Vent

Some dryer vents extend outside. You’ll need to step outside your home to have them checked and fixed.

Now, such vents may either be found on the house roof or walls closest to the dryer. Wherever this is, all you need to do is remove the flap.

This should be open enough for you to look or inspect inside. Now, with gloves on, you can reach into such vents to remove any debris you can find.

Also, using a vacuum at this opposite side of the vent will help remove as much lint as possible.

  • Checking for Obstacles in Exterior Vent

In addition to removing clogs from an exterior vent, you should also inspect the vent’s surroundings for any obstructions. There may be plant growths obstructing the free flow of air from your dryer.

Remove any if that’s the case.

Apart from growing plants, there could be other forms of obstacles. These may include rodents or bird nests. Such should be cleared out and a vent cover installed to prevent future blockage of the vent.

When To Clean Dryer Vents

Several situations result from lint buildup. These will require fixing.

They include the improper opening of the dryer flap, incomplete drying of clothing, debris is noticed within the exterior vent opening, and visible lint signs seen around the lint filter.

Also, if your dryer has gone a year without cleaning, it will be due for one. What more? When excessive heat is noticed within the dryer room, it is a sign pointing to the need to have your dryer cleaned.

Frequently Inspect Your Dryer Vent

One of the best ways to prevent dryer vent blockage from worsening is by preventing it from happening altogether.

Here, you should try as much as possible to frequently inspect your vent. Any of the above signs are reasons enough to have your vent checked and cleared out.

By doing this, you’d be extending the lifespan of your dryer. What more? You also enhance your safety by removing flammable lint which is responsible for a lot of house fires.

Our discussion to this point has been focused on providing you with tips on cleaning your dryer vent from inside and outside. This is a comprehensive approach that helps prevent an even greater problem from developing.

You May Also Like