When it comes to cleaning your clothes dryer, you may not think much about it beyond whether the exterior is wiped down and the lint trap is cleaned. Although these tasks keep the dryer looking cleaning and performing a bit better, they don't scratch the surface when it comes to thoroughly cleaning the appliance. The following guide can help you better understand where the real cleaning needs to take place so you can avoid some major issues.
Why clean the dryer vent?
The vent is a vital component of your dryer since it routes away the hot air and moisture produced during the heat drying process. The hot air being vented contains a lot of dust and fabric particles, which can collect along the walls of the dryer vent and duct system. Add in the moisture, and this debris tends to cake onto the vents. This can reduce the efficiency of the dryer, causing it to take longer to get your clothing fully dry. Further, dust and lint buildup in a heated environment can lead to combustion. Dryer vent fires can be a real hazard that impacts the safety of your home and family.
Can you clean it yourself?
Every dryer vent system is different. Some simply travel a few inches through the nearest wall, while others are hooked up to long vent tubes before the air is finally routed outside. The shorter tubes can be relatively simple to clean yourself since you won't need special tools to reach inside of the them. Simply remove the vent cap on the outside of the vent and vacuum out the short length of duct with the wand on your vacuum cleaner. You may need a brush to loosen the lint on the sides of the duct. For longer vents, a professional cleaning is a better choice since they can ensure that the entire duct is cleaned. The service will use a special vacuum that will reach all the way down the duct and into the dryer to dislodge and remove all dust and lint thoroughly.
Are there any other concerns?
When it comes to your vent, there is another concern — the quality of the vent duct. If you have a plastic ducts, have them replaced with metal. Metal can at least contain a fire if one were to break out in the vent. Also, make sure your vent cleaning service performs a leak test on the duct to make sure there is no damage or gaps. Repairing these increases the efficiency of the dryer and it also further helps prevent fires from spreading from the vent.
Contact a dryer vent cleaning service for more help.