How Often Should Dryer Vents be Cleaned?

dryer vent cleaned

Washer and dryers serve a very important purpose as they are quick means to clean and dry clothes. Despite how much people rely on these expensive appliances there is a norm that they get neglected.

Like anything, a little maintenance and cleaning go a long way. Your washing machines work hard. Once and awhile they need a little cleaning.

Ventilation has an important purpose. When dryer accessories like your vent are not functioning correctly then they eventually lead to problems and deterioration.

Consequently, you need to make sure you keep your dryer vent clean. In this article, we will explain how often you need to clean a dryer vent and how to do it properly.

Importance of Dryer Vents

The way your clothes get dried in a gas or electric dryer is through the air. When the dryer is in operation it begins by pulling air into the machine and then heating it with electric elements.

The air is then sent through the clothes and pulled out by a fan and into the ventilation system. This is where the dryer vent begins to serve its purpose. The dryer vent releases the hot air and takes it outside through a series of tubing, usually made of aluminum.

It may seem like a non-essential feature yet if you don’t have a vent on your dryer then all the hot air and moisture is forced into your house instead. The excess of hot air and moisture leads to mold and rot, which grows in these types of conditions.

It’s also a problem with your energy costs. If you have more hot air released inside the home as opposed to outside, your air conditioner is going to work harder to keep up with the controlled temperature. Clogs inside the dryer vent will also contribute to higher energy bills as well as forcing the machine to work harder, potentially reducing its lifespan.

In order to avoid these dilemmas, you need an efficient ventilation system to keep the hot air inside the dryer from leaking out into the interior of your home.

How the Dryer Vent Operates

The dryer vent is connected to the vent hood, which is situated at the back of the dryer unit. As previously mentioned, the tubing of the vent is usually aluminum.

Some old dryers have vinyl or plastic tubing, however, it’s not advised as these types of dryers are now considered a fire hazard.

The purpose of the dryer vent is to have hot air from inside the unit where the clothes spin release through the vent hood and tubing, instead of leaking indoors. If the tubing lacks a cover over the end or has cracks the hot air will travel right up to the roof of the room and over time cause structural damage there or on the walls.

As a result, you should regularly inspect your dryer to ensure all the ventilation is properly attached and in full working order. You should inspect the vent hood, vent cover, and tubing itself. Even one missing component – like the vent cover – will incorrectly disperse the heat and moisture, and lead to mold and rot in the room over time.

Signs of a Dirty Vent

Here are a few warning signs that it’s time to clean the dryer vent:

  • Clothes do not dry. After running the dryer for a full cycle you notice the material is still damp or wet. This is the result of buildup interfering with the ability of the dryer to vent air and operate normally.
  • Room is wickedly hot or humid. When a dryer does not vent properly to outside the room all that hot air ends up in the interior. So if you walk into the laundry room and can barely stand the room temperature – it is time to inspect the dryer vent.
  • The dryer is hot to touch. Try touching the dryer while it runs. It is normal to feel a little operating temperature, but if it’s excessively warm then something is wrong.
  • Musty odors in the room. You’ve probably been in a laundry room that smelled musty. The reason? More than likely a bad or clogged vent. Lack of proper air circulation leads to musty odors.

Cleaning the Dryer Vent

How often should you be cleaning the dryer vent?

Though experts may give you varying opinions the simple answer is the more the better. As previously noted washer and dryers are heavily used, yet very few homeowners rarely (if ever) maintain them.

It not only reduces the lifespan of the machines but also can deliberately cause mold and rot. As a result, we recommend cleaning the dryer vent at least once a year, if not more frequently like twice a year or every quarter.

One of the common red flags is lint. Washer and dryers, especially dryers, produce lint. When lint builds up in the trap it can slowly start to clog the vent. Once lint builds up enough it produces a wall that prevents hot air and moisture from escaping the house.

The issue leads to a number of problems:

  • Forces the dryer to work harder, reducing the lifespan of the machine.
  • Requires more time to properly dry your clothes.
  • Contributes to higher electric bills as hot air isn’t ventilated outside.

How to Clean a Dryer Vent

dryer vent

It is difficult and complicated to clean a dryer vent. The biggest hassle for most people is pulling the dryer back from the wall in order to access the back ventilation.

If possible, have two or more people slide the unit forward. Depending on the last time you cleaned back there, you’ll probably experience a good amount of dust bunnies.

Steps to clean a dryer vent:

  • Make sure the dryer is not in operation and pull away from the wall.
  • Remove the ventilation system from the dryer.
  • Clean the vent off with a rag.
  • Reattach the vent back to the dryer unit. Make sure the dryer cover is also placed back on properly.

It is worth mentioning that this process isn’t as easy for some homeowners. If the tubing runs through your walls you have a more complicated cleaning process.

If you know you have a straight tube from the attic, then you can attach a brush to a rope and let it down into the tube. The brush will pick up lint, but this system isn’t adequate if you need to unclog the tubing.

Dealing with a clog or not sure how the tubing runs through the walls? We recommend hiring a professional. They have the skills and expertise to do the job properly and can help make sure the dryer performs optimally.

Get Your Dryer Vents Cleaned Regularly

The professionals recommend that dryer vents get cleaned at least once a year. Some homeowners prefer to clean it more frequently based on personal taste or if they use the machine heavily.

Commercial washers and dryers usually require more regular maintenance to avoid the unit from breaking down or causing rot and mold in the room. Regardless, it’s important to clean it and keep the dryer in full working order.

At Early Times, we clean dryer vents thoughtfully. Lint is an extremely flammable substance that’s normally found inside dryer vents. It’s better to take care of dryer vent cleaning with Early Times. We have served Chicago and suburbs since 1985, and dryer vent cleaning is one of our specialties. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

Copyright © 2019 Early Times Home Solutions. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Promotional Details

Getting a free quote from Early Times is fast and easy!

Get Started I'm not ready yet.