The Dos And Don'ts Of Cleaning Out Your Dryer Duct

Posted on: 14 January 2015

Even if you clean out your dryer's lint trap regularly, it's still important to clean out the dryer's ducts and vents every year or so. Whether you have a gas or electric dryer, there's a duct that runs from the back of your dryer to a vent on the outside of your home. This vent carries exhaust and steam from your dryer to your home's exterior to speed up your drying times and prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Over time, however, flammable materials (such as lint) can build up in your dryer duct, which can pose a fire hazard.

If you plan on cleaning out your own dryer duct to save money, here are a few important do's and don'ts to keep in mind.

DO Inspect Your Dryer Duct Before Cleaning

Cleaning out your own dryer ducts can be as easy as removing the clamps holding the duct hose to the back of your dryer and to the exterior exhaust hood, then using a vacuum with a hose to remove the lint from either end. However, when you remove the duct hose, you should also take the time to carefully inspect it for holes and other damage. Even a small hole or corrosion in the hose could lead to a dangerous carbon monoxide leak. If you notice any damage to the duct hose, play it safe and replace the hose altogether.

DO Clean Out the Dryer Vent Hood

In addition to cleaning out the duct hose, you'll want to remove built-up lint from your exterior vent hood as well. You may need to use a crowbar or a screwdriver to pry the hood cover off so you can access it, but this is an important step to follow. Otherwise, lint can eventually build up to the point that the vent hood won't open all the way when your dryer is in use. This can not only prolong your clothes drying times, but may also be a carbon monoxide or fire hazard.

DON'T Forget to Re-Connect the Hose

Finally, if you choose to clean out your own dryer ducts and vents, don't forget to re-connect the hoses with a tight clamp before using your dryer again. This may seem obvious, but it's something homeowners forget about more often than you'd think. If you forget to re-connect the hose, your dryer exhaust will have nowhere to go but directly into the air you breathe, which can be downright dangerous.

If you don't have time to do it yourself, or don't feel comfortable, contact a company like Wildman Dryer Vent Pro.

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