How to Clean your Dryer Vent

Home Inspector Chicago IL; Home Inspector Fox Valley ILHow to Clean your Dryer Vent

 Unlike your washing machine, your dryer will need some ongoing regular maintenance to keep it working properly and safely. Let’s talk about how a dryer works first. You put wet clothes in and it spins them around with hot air and the exhaust vent sends the damp air outside. The hot moist air should end up outside, not in the crawl space or garage.

When your clothes are being tumbled around they tend to lose bits of fabric or tiny fibers, this is usually caught in the lint trap. Always keep the dryer lint trap clean, it will be located inside the dryer door or on top of the dryer for ease of access. The best way I have discovered is as simple as using the dryer sheet to clean the filter trap. The dryer sheet picks up all the lint, keeps your hands clean and lint free and then you just toss them out.

If you allow lint to build up inside the exhaust pipe it can overheat creating a potential fire hazard especially if you have a gas dryer, and your new energy star dryer can lose its energy efficiency.

Here are some tips to clean out the exhaust pipe.

  • First unplug the dryer (we don’t want anyone to get electrocuted).
  • Pull the dryer out away from the wall so you can get behind it to work.
  • Take a screw driver to loosen the screw on clamp (this is what holds the pipe on the dryer)
  • Reach into the hole where you took the pipe loose from and pull out any lint or debris (a vacuum works well)
  • Now reach into the pipe as far as you can and pull out any lint (again the vacuum works well for this). Most build up will be within the first twelve to sixteen inches
  • After all the lint has been removed put the pipe back on the dryer and replace the clamp. Tighten the screw back down snug. We don’t want it to blow off when the dryer is put back in use.
  • Now go to the outside and remove the vent cover and clean this end out.
  • Look inside to see if you missed anything.
  • Plug the dryer up and run on fluff for ten minutes. This will blow out any loose particles left in the pipe so don’t stand in front of it.
  • Check the outside for good clean air flow; you are ready to put the vent cover back on.

Good luck and remember to be safe.

About the author: Mr. Home Inspector, Inc. of the Fox Valley IL. area has been providing home inspection services since 2003. With over 4,000 satisfied clients and growing every day we continue to help bring quality information to our site.







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