A dryer vent is an essential part of HVAC maintenance, but most people often neglect it. The main reason for cleaning the dryer exhaust vent is to get rid of lint since it can cause a fire hazard if it rubs with dry surfaces. Additionally, there is the possibility of lint accumulation which can clog the ductwork. When this happens, it can impede the dryer from working efficiently. Your clothes will take longer to dry and your power bills increase. Likewise, moist air is pushed back into the laundry room, which can stain the walls or lead to mold formation.
If your clothes feel hot to touch instead of warm, it means your dry is struggling and overheating. It’s time to clean out your dryer exhaust system and benefit from an efficient dryer and lower bills. If the dryer vent goes over the roof, you may need to climb up there for a thorough cleanup. However, this requires the use of a ladder and safety gear such as a helmet. Thankfully, you don’t have to climb over the roof to clean the venting system. Here, I have a step-by-step procedure of how to clean the dryer vent without going on the roof. Let’s jump straight into the discussion.
What You Will Need
Before you clean your dryer vent, you’ll need the following tools and equipment.
- Dryer vent cleaning kit
- Lint brush
- Vacuum cleaner
- A dry microfiber cloth
- Disconnect the Dryer
Since you’re going to clean from the inside, start by disconnecting the dryer from the electrical connection. If it’s a gas dryer, make sure to turn off the valve before you start cleaning. Pull the dryer from the wall to create room for your task.
- Remove lint from the back of your dryer
Locate the vent from the back of your dryer. You can use a screwdriver for this task. Wear a pair of safety gloves and remove the lint accumulation at the back of your dryer. You’ll need a vacuum for this task. Direct the hose attachment and clean around the opening at the back of your dryer. I recommend Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum, which is large and packs a lot of power sufficient to suction lint from the ductwork.
- Remove lint from the ductwork
The next step is to clear off the lint from the ductwork. Detach the duct where it connects to the wall for easy clean-up. Remove the lint using your hands and direct the hose attachment to the inside of the duct. You can also use the lint brush to clear off the lint at the opening of the ductwork.
Then using the hose extensions, vacuum deep inside. If the vent is very long and goes up to the roof, you’ll need to use a dryer vent kit. You can check my recommendation of the Gardus Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit.
The reason why I chose this dryer vent cleaning kit from Gardus is that it comes in an all-inclusive package. Inside you’ll find four flexible rods, a lint brush, vacuum and dryer adapters, and a blockage removal tool. It’s a good value for money and has everything to get you started.
I also love the rotating brushes since they can maneuver deep inside the ductwork and clear off lint accumulation. You can also extend the length of the rods and for this, I recommend Gardus Extension Kit.
I love the extension kit because it increases the length of rods and can be combined to clean a more extended dryer vent. Also, I can use it to clean the dryer vent from inside or outside. Therefore, all you need is to attach the extensions to extend the length.
- Clean deep inside the ductwork
Fix the flexible brushes to the extension, so that they snake their way through the vent duct located inside the walls. Push the brush inside the dryer duct and rotate it in a gentle motion. Continue pushing it inside until all the vent has been cleared off.
- Reattach the vent
After you’re through with the cleanup, check whether the duct is in excellent condition. If there are cracks or bends, you may need to do a replacement. I recommend this duct from LAMBRO INDUSTRIES because it’s made of solid aluminum and can resist bends and twists. Also, it can resist rust; thus, it’s durable.
Next, reattach the vent and vent cover. Seal the sections using a metal duct foil to prevent leaving open spaces on the ductwork where lint can escape.
- Reconnect the dryer
Return the dryer into position and plug it back into the electric connection. For the gas dryer, turn on the valve. Test if the dryer is now functioning properly. Allow it to run for up to twenty minutes and set the air-dry setting to test if the connections are tight enough. It also helps in dislodging debris that may remain inside the ductwork.
It’s essential to have a dryer vent maintenance schedule at least two times a year. Always remove and clean the lint trap before tossing laundry into the dryer. Once a month, you can clean the lint screen and using a vacuum cleaner, direct a hose attachment to the lint housing to get rid of lint. If there’s an accumulation of lint on the screen, you can scrub with warm water and a mild detergent. Then wipe with a dry towel. Lastly, ensure the area around your dry is clean by sweeping and dusting regularly.