Your dryer vents and dryer ductwork are vital in removing hot air from your dryer and crucial in preventing a fire in your home. Even if you clean your lint trap between each load of laundry that you dry, lint continues to build up inside your dryer ductwork and vents. Therefore, keeping your dryer vents clean and free of obstructions is an important part of home maintenance.  In this quick tutorial, we’ll explain the best way to quickly and efficiently clean your dryer vents.

 Caution before Cleaning your Dryer Vents

It’s important to remember to unplug your dryer before performing any cleaning or maintenance. While not as common as electric dryers, some homeowners’ dryers run off natural gas. If your dryer runs on natural gas, you’ll have a flexible steel hose that supplies the gas to the appliance. This will also need to be shut off the gas and unattached before moving the dryer to gain access to the area where your dryer’s exhaust vent connects to your home exhaust portal.

Cleaning Your Dryer Vents

Finding your dryer vent is easy enough to find: it should be located directly behind your dryer. With the power disconnected, remove the duck work that connects the back of the dryer to the exhaust portal in the wall. You may need to remove tape or a circular metal clamp that is used to secure these to the openings.

Once you have everything separated, it’s time to clean your dryer vents. Cleaning out your dryer vents is straightforward: you need to remove all the dust, lint, and any other obstructions inside the vent. A helpful and inexpensive tool that can help make the process much easier is a “dryer vent cleaning kit” which is basically a circular lint brush attached to a flexible rod that can be adjusted to work in and out of the exhaust port. You can buy one of these kits at any home improvement store.

Reconnecting your Dryer

Once you’ve finished cleaning out the vents and ductwork, it’s time to move your dryer back into position and reconnect the duct and the gas line (if using natural gas). Make sure that both the gas line and the dryer duct work have minimal kinks and can safely carry hot air out of the dryer and natural gas into the machine. If you smell natural gas after reconnecting your dryer, don’t hesitate to contact a professional as this could be very dangerous.

How Often Should I Clean Dryer Vents?

You should clean your dryer vent at least once a year, but if you have a large family or do laundry often you may want to clean the vents once every three months. Cleaning your dryer vents will help ensure that your dryer works at optimum capacity, not to mention increase the longevity of your appliance. Additionally, you’ll be making certain that you’re not exposing your home to an unnecessary fire risk.

If you are unsure of how to disconnect your dryer to gain access to the vents for cleaning or would feel more comfortable having a trained professional do it for you, contact City Heating and Air Conditioning. Our trained HVAC Technicians can perform an inspection of all ductwork in your house, and help you perform a thorough cleaning of your dryer vents while also cleaning the ductwork for your entire HVAC system.  Contact us today by calling 865-938-1005 or online HERE.