Dryer vent cleaning is an important maintenance task for anyone who has a dryer in their home. However, many people don't have this maintenance done as often as they should. Some people don't even do it at all! As such, you may have a few questions about residential dryer vent cleaning. With any luck, you'll find the answers below.
Why do you need to clean your dryer vents in the first place?
When you dry your clothing, some lint comes off of them. Some of this lint gets caught in your dryer's lint trap, but the rest of it ends up in the vent. If you don't have this lint cleaned out of the vent from time to time, a few things can happen:
- Your dryer might stop drying since the exhaust air has nowhere to go.
- You may have a house fire; the lint can get hot, and lint is quite flammable.
- Your dryer will work less efficiently, which is a waste of electricity or natural gas.
Can you clean the dryer vent yourself?
Some people do clean their own dryer vents. If your vent is easy to access and you have the right tools, you can do this. Remove the vent cover, and use a shop vac to suck up any debris. The thing is, many dryer vents are not easy to access, and the vent pathway tends to be too long for the average vacuum hose to reach. For this reason, most people are best off hiring a professional dryer vent cleaning service. The job only takes an hour or two. There are companies that only offer dryer cleaning, but many duct cleaning and HVAC companies offer this service, too.
How often should you have your dryer vent cleaned?
This depends on how often you use your dryer, how effective your lint trap is, and how large your vent is. But in general, having the vent cleaned once a year is a good idea. If your vent cleaning company thinks you can wait a little longer between your appointments, they will let you know. If you're not doing laundry for a whole family, you may be able to go two years between appointments.
Dryer vent cleaning is not a task to skip. If you've been putting it off, make the call to the cleaning service soon! Leaving a dryer vent dirty and packed with dust can be pretty risky.