When To Have Dryer Vent Cleaning & The Best Way to Do It
With over 80% of homes having a clothes dryer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is one of the most common household appliances in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County region. They’re so commonplace that we often take them for granted. But these time-saving appliances that operate on electricity or gas also create one of the most common safety hazards.
Nearly 3,000 houses yearly, typically in the winter, are damaged in a fire. Responding fire departments often cite a failure to clean the dryer vent as the primary cause. An exhaust vent and duct clogged with lint and other materials also increase wear & tear on the appliance, requiring more frequent repairs and early replacement. This article will discuss how often you should clean the dryer vent and the proper way to do it.
So, how often should you clean the dryer vent? Most experts agree that households should clean the dryer vent every six months to mitigate fire risk.
How Do I Know If My Dryer Vent Is Clogged
Here are some of the signs that your clothes dryer is telling you its time to clean the exhaust vent:
- Your laundry is taking longer than usual to dry.
- You can see lint on the exhaust hose and floor behind the machine.
- There are leaves, twigs, and other debris clogging the external vent.
- You smell a burning odor when doing a load of laundry.
- The dryer is damaging your clothes.
How To Clean Out the Dryer Vent
Dryer vent cleaning is a task that should be left to a professional to avoid injury to yourself, your house, and damage to the appliance. But if you're handy around the house and want to try it, here are the steps to do it properly. Always consult the user’s manual for your appliance before performing maintenance like dryer vent cleaning.
Unplug & Disconnect the Clothes Dryer:
Ensure the dryer is off and completely cool to prevent electric shock. Then, unplug the dryer from the 240-volt electric outlet. If you have a gas dryer, turn the gas valve to OFF. Next, disconnect the exhaust hose on the back of the unit. You may need to push the machine forward to have clear and obstructed access to the rear of the dryer.
Vacuum the Lint Around the Vent:
Using a screwdriver, remove the exhaust vent on the back of the dryer. Vacuum the exhaust duct, inside the hose, connector hole, and the machine's rear vent to remove all lint and dust particles. Wear a mask and goggles as there may be allergens like dust mites or mold.
Remove and Clean the Lint Tray: Remove and clean the lint tray by vacuuming the particles. Then soak it in soapy water to clean it thoroughly. Replace it if there are any signs of damage, like rust or scorch marks—vacuum inside the lint vent to suction out any remaining lint and dust. Put the lint track back in the dryer when dry.
Remove and Clean the Lint Tray:
Remove and clean the lint tray by vacuuming the particles. Then soak it in soapy water to clean it thoroughly. Replace it if there are any signs of damage, like rust or scorch marks—vacuum inside the lint vent to suction out any remaining lint and dust. Put the lint track back in the dryer when dry.
Inspect the External Exhaust Vent:
The dryer has an external exhaust vent. It is either on the exterior wall of the appliance or on the roof. Call us to schedule our professional dryer vent cleaning service if your dryer vent is on the roof. It is dangerous, and the connector hoses and ductwork between your dryer and exhaust vent will also need a thorough cleaning. If the external vent is near ground level, use your vacuum to remove lint, dust, leaves, and any small animals that may be stuck inside.
Reconnect the Clothes Dryer:
You’re probably exhausted after all that cleaning. So, grab yourself an ice-cold drink and rest for a few minutes. Then, reattach the rear exhaust vent, reconnect the hose, and move the dryer back into position. Finally, plug the dryer back into the electrical outlet. Remember to turn the valve on if you have a gas dryer.
Dryer Vent Cleaning Service in Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, NC
We're in your neighborhood. Call Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney of Charlotte at 704-741-2021 to schedule dryer vent cleaning today! You can also contact us online today. Our certified professionals proudly serve Uptown Charlotte, NC; Mount Holly, NC; Lake Wylie, SC; Newport, SC; and neighboring communities throughout the Metrolina region.