Even the main purpose of the driers, as its name suggests is to dry your clothes. Yet, sometimes, there are times when you find your clothes being damp even after the full cycle of drying. Additionally, you might notice that outside your dryer becomes very hot while it is set to operate. Hence, all of these things suggest that it is high time for your dryer vent ducts to be cleaned or even replaced. Cleaning the vent duct is as important as cleaning any other part of your home due to sanitary reasons but because of your safety as well. Namely, during the long period of operation, your dryer accumulates lint and dust that can get ignited by the hot air of the dryer causing a fire hazard. In this line, fires caused by neglected dryer ducts cause more than $35 million in damage, some serious injuries, or even fatal outcomes. Also, if you ever feel a smell of burning near your dryer, then this is yet another indicator that you need to get your dryer vent duct cleaned sooner rather than later. And here are four practical ways to do this.
What Are the First Steps of Cleaning Dryer Vent Duct
Before you set it into action, the first step is to figure out if your dryer is powered by gas or electric power. If your dryer is electric, then it is grounded to a 240-volt electrical outlet which at the same time has a plug that is usually bigger than normal ones and contains three or four prongs. On the other hand, if your dryer is gas-powered then it is grounded to a 110-volt three-prong outlet and is connected to the gas valve as well. Hence, if your dryer is gas-powered, then the first thing you should do before undergoing the cleaning process is to turn off the gas supply and be extremely careful not to damage extremely sensitive gas lines while handling the unit.
Secondly, for cleaning your dryer vent duct, you will most probably need a dryer vent cleaning kit and you can find the detailed guide on how to use it in this article where you can find all the necessary information explained in a simple manner. Other things that you will need are the power drill, vacuum cleaner, broom, or a dustpan, that will assist you in cleaning.
Find the Vent
For you to clean it, you firstly need to know where it is positioned. Most commonly, these vents are connected to a short to the four-inch diameter exhaust pipe that directly connects the dryer to the duct inside the wall. Hence, hot air from your duct is allowed to escape through the pipe, and further through the vent inside your home wall. Once you have found the position of the vent, take a peek inside and see if there are any debris, dirt, dead bugs, and lint, clear it out and wash thoroughly any screens and eliminate all the noticeable obstructions that may put your house into danger.
Disconnect the Dryer
Once you have found the outer vent and cleaned it carefully, it is time to disconnect the dryer. You can do it as follows. Firstly, you need to remove any metal tape, clamps that keep your dryer attached to the pipe leading to the exhaust. This is the part where you should carefully apply gentle pressure when pulling the vent pipe from the wall duct so that the pipe does not get broken.
Vacuum the Debris and Thoroughly Clean It with a Brush
Once you have removed the dryer, you will be allowed a closer look at the wall duct. Use the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner for better access to such up any piled debris around the hole. Secondly, use a dryer brush from the duct cleaning kit and scrub the duct all along using the hose attachment alongside so that all the falling debris is instantly picked up. On the other hand, if the brush is not long enough, then try to brush it from the outside vent as well for better results. When you finish this up, it is time for you to clean up in detail and put all the pieces back.
Cleaning your dryer vent duct can be a complete nightmare but is highly needed if you want to expand the lifespan of your dryer and avoid any fire hazards. If you are not sure about your skills, then it is a good idea to hire a professional.