Many homeowners focus on fall clean-up and winterizing this time of year, but don’t forget an often-overlooked task: dryer vent cleaning. This seems like a simple to-do, and it is. Yet it’s commonly forgotten, which can lead to serious issues such as fire and carbon monoxide poisoning when the duct work cannot vent properly.
To prevent these hazardous situations, make it a habit to clean your dryer vent regularly. Clean the small lint trap after each load, and clean the entire vent system once a year. Depending on your laundry habits, you may need to clean the vent more often. If your clothes require more than one cycle to dry, your clothing has an odd, burning smell, or your laundry room feels unusually warm while the dryer is running, these are warning signs that you need to clean your vent.
When it’s time for this cleaning, use the following simple procedure to get the job done quickly and effectively.
1. Disconnect: Complete this process carefully. Start by unplugging your dryer from the power source. Then, remove any clamps from the vent pipe so you can detach it from the dryer. Next, pull the pipe away from the wall duct. If you have a gas dryer, take extra care during this process. You may need to contact a professional to avoid the risk of disturbing the gas line.
2. Clean: Use a vent cleaning kit to thoroughly clean your duct and vent. This kit will include a brush that extends the entire length of the duct to remove all debris. It might be easiest to work from the exterior of your home.
3. Reassemble: Reattach everything and enjoy.
This one simple task can truly save your home. Dryer vents are a common cause of household fires. It is one check box you’ll surely want to cross off your to-do list!