How often should you clean your dryer vent? Find out.

This article focuses on dryer vent cleaning frequency. Here, we’re more interested in knowing how often one needs to have his dryer vent cleaned.

Technological innovations have generally improved the quality of life for humans.

How Often Should Dryer Vents Be Cleaned?

When looking at a domestic chore like laundry, the washing machine, as well as the dryer, helps with faster and easier completion of the laundry process.

With use, these machines will need to be maintained.

Here, we’ll be looking at one of the vital components of a dryer; the dryer vent. This measures about 4 inches in diameter and consists of metal.

The dryer vent serves as an exhaust that lets out moisture.

Types of Dryer Vents

Dyer vents come in different forms.

The forms have a lot to do with the type of material used in their design. Basically, there are slim aluminum ducts, aluminum foil ducts, plastic ducts, rigid vents, as well as semi-rigid ducts.

Let’s have a brief look at each type before proceeding.

  • Slim Aluminum Ducts

This type of vent is designed to easily fit into tight spaces.

This is seen in its flattened design. It’s rigid vent ductwork that’s ideal for dryers fit into confined spaces.

While these can be convenient for installation purposes, they’re difficult to clean.

  • Aluminum Foil Ducts

Aluminum foil ducts are among the most popular dryer vents found in most dryers.

With these, you get versatility, flexibility and affordability. There’s a serious disadvantage when it comes to the use of these dryer vent types.

They easily cause fires when not cleaned regularly due to the volume of lint trapped within the ducts.

  • Plastic Ducts

Plastic ducts are characterized by ribbed systems which impede the easy movement of lint being expelled from the dryer. This could easily lead to clogging in addition to problems.

If you have this type of vent in your dryer, it will require more frequent cleaning than usual.

  • Rigid Vents

As the name suggests, these dryer vents are rigid. This type of vent tends to be among the best to maintain. That is because the interior surface is generally smoothened.

This helps prevent the easy accumulation of lint. Notice the word “easy accumulation.”

Although the smooth surfaces of rigid vents make for less lint accumulation, it still needs to be cleaned as there’s a slower buildup of dirt.

  • Semi-Rigid Ducts

This is another type of dryer vent that’s slow to accumulate dryer lint.

Despite its slow accumulation of lint, a cleaning schedule will have to be maintained.

Type of Dirt Accumulation in A Dryer Vent

If you’ve cleaned a dryer vent in the past, or frequently do, you’ll notice that the dirt mostly removed consists of dryer lint, dust and other forms of debris.

When these aren’t frequently removed, they create all sorts of problems including clogs.

Dryer vent clogging will be the least of your worries as the lint accumulated within the vent can be ignited by excessive heat.

This can lead to large fires that could end up destroying your home, hence the need to maintaining a cleaning schedule.

Ideal Cleaning Frequency For Dryer Vents

So how often should a dryer vent be cleaned?

With steady use of the dryer vent, there’s a resulting accumulation of lint and other forms of debris. To ensure that this is kept to a minimum, you need to have the vent cleaned regularly, but how regular.

A good rule of thumb requires dryer vents to be maintained or cleaned at least once every year.

If you have a large family, there’ll be more frequent use of the dryer vent due to higher laundry volume. Here, the dryer can be cleaned once every 6 months.

This cleaning frequency or schedule should also be applicable for dry cleaning businesses.

Knowing When To Clean the Dryer Vent

Despite the fact that a dryer exhaust requires annual maintenance of cleaning, there are times when certain signs help alert to you to the need for cleaning.

Examples of these include strange smells coming from the dryer, as well as drying taking longer to complete.

Also, your dryer may become unnecessarily hot to the touch during a drying cycle.

What more? Clothes removed from the dryer may be hotter than usual. Any of these signs call for urgent checks on the dryer vent for possible cleaning.

Let’s have a look at each of these points.

  • Strange Smells Coming from Dryer

One of the early signs that point to the need for dryer vent cleaning is a strange smell coming from the dryer. Such smell could be perceived as musty.

Here, the best thing to do is put off the dryer until it’s checked and the vent cleaned by a professional.

  • Longer Time for Drying Cycles to Complete

When your dyer takes a longer time for drying to complete, it’s possible that the dyer exhaust is clogged. This leaves little room for the escape of vapor.

You’ll need to find out what the problem is by checking the vent yourself or having a professional perform basic inspection procedures.

  • The Dryer is Unusually Hot to the Touch

Is your dryer getting feeling hot to the touch? It could be an early sign of a problem developing. Urgent steps need to be taking to have the dyer checked.

It’s possible that the vent needs cleaning.

  • Clothing Feel Hotter when Removed from Dryer

When a dryer is due for cleaning but still not cleaned, it could result in clothes feeling hotter than usual when removed from the dryer.

This is a clear reminder that the dryer exhaust needs to be cleaned.

Who to Call for Dryer Vent Cleaning

A lot of time, DIY enthusiasts will want to get their hands dirty by carrying out dryer vent cleaning. While this is possible for technically-inclined DIY’ers, such job isn’t for everyone.

You might not have the dryer vent cleaning tools necessary as well as the experience to get the job done properly.

Under such circumstances, it’s best to have a professional carry out all dryer vent related cleaning.

This is the best approach to adopt as it saves a lot of time while also ensuring that a thorough job is done. During cleaning, other issues may be detected.

The technician or professional is in a better position to have such fixed.

All the basic information on dryer vent cleaning frequency has been discussed.

Overall, you must maintain a frequent cleaning schedule which is normally every year.

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