As we all prepare for the Fourth of July, it’s important to make sure you’re getting ready for the right kind of fireworks, not the ones started by your dryer vent. Yes, all dryer vents need cleaning. Good news is, it’s easy, inexpensive, and will actually save you money.
Why do I have to Clean my Dryer Vents?
We get it. Why make more work if you don’t have to? Well, in extreme cases, the buildup of lint and particulate–combined with heat and static electricity–can spark a fire. That’s not particularly common, but it’s easy to avoid. And, just as importantly, cleaning those vents can save you money.
Lint which gets past the lint trap in your dryer builds up in the pipes and vents behind your dryer over time. The more lint builds up, the harder it becomes for your dryer to successfully exchange air. That makes it take longer for your clothes to dry, uses more energy, and puts more strain on your dryer. Conversely, a quick clean of your dryer vents every six months to a year can save you money on energy, save you time, and keep your dryer running longer.
So. How do I Clean my Dryer Vents?
Fortunately, cleaning dryer vents is quick, easy, and doesn’t require specialized tools or training. 🙌
Step One: Unplug that dryer! If you have a gas dryer, make sure you turn off the gas as well!
Step Two: Carefully pull your dryer away from the wall so you can access the vent outlet attached to the back of the dryer.
Step Three: Disattach the dryer vent tube from the back of the dryer and the back of the outlet vent. (This may require a screwdriver!)
Step Four: Using the extension tube on a vacuum cleaner, remove as much lint as possible from the vent tube, behind the dryer, and both connection points.
Step Five: Locate the cover of the dryer vent on the outside of the house, then remove the cover and vacuum out as much lint as possible.
Step Six: Reattach all pieces and move your dryer back to its original position.
Step Seven: Remove the lint trap from the dryer and clean it, using the extension on your vacuum to get as much lint out of the lint trap and off the dryer as possible.
Step Eight: Re-install your lint trap and you’re done!
You absolutely can do this and you really, really should–at least occasionally–make sure your dryer vent is clean. It saves you money and increases the safety of your home.