Knowing how to clean a dryer vent will help keep your home safe from potential house fires. A lack of cleaning the dryer vent is the leading cause of dryer fires in the United States. Many overlook the dryer vent cleaning process, which may cause a serious safety risk in the home.

As you use the dryer, the vent leading to the outside of the home releases hot moisture from the clothing. As it pulls air out, the vent collects dirt, dander, and lint. Dryer lint will accumulate in the duct and eventually clog the vent. The more you use the dryer, the less effective it becomes because of the clog. Your clothes will remain wet, the dryer will run hotter, and you may smell smoke.

Lint is often used to start campfires because it is easily combustible. You can expect the same quality but within your dryer vent. For that reason, it is imperative to have an annual dryer vent cleaning. You can have this done professionally, or you can do it yourself. Here at Fresh Air Home Services, we recommend you receive professional services. However, we know some like to do it on their own. Here are the five steps on how to clean a dryer vent.

1. Locate the Vent

how to clean a dryer vent - dryer vent outside

You need to locate your dryer duct before you can clean it. Locating where it starts and ends is essential for performing a comprehensive cleaning. Some homeowners may find their dryer vent on the side of their home or even their roof. It will look similar to exhaust with some protection from the outside elements. This will be the exit point for hot air and as you clean the vent. The starting point of the vent will be located behind the dryer.

2. Disconnect the Dryer

installing dryer

Disconnect the dryer from the vent and move it away from the wall. The more space you have to work, the better. For an electric dryer, unplug it from its power source and remove the tape or fasteners to the exhaust vent. Those with gas dryers will need to be careful moving their dryer once the gas valve has been shut off. Breaking the dryer’s gas line is a serious issue and should be addressed as soon as possible. Contact Fresh Air Duct Cleaning if you have issues with the process.

3. Begin Cleaning

using dryer vent cleaning kit

The next step is to start cleaning. Knowing the right methods on how to clean a dryer vent is important because it will help you be as effective as possible in removing lint. Many homeowners purchase dryer vent cleaning kits at their local hardware store. These kits are inexpensive but can get the job done.

Typically a cleaning kit includes an expandable rod with a brush, which you’ll insert into the vent. As you push the vent inward, you need to turn it counterclockwise to avoid unscrewing the brush. Continue to push and spin until it reaches the end. We recommend repeating this step three or four times.

4. Reconnect the Dryer

reconnecting dryer vent

Before reconnecting everything, take this time to take advantage of your dryer being moved. Clean up the area of any lint, dirt, or socks that have collected behind the dryer. Then, reconnect the dryer to the vent and plug it back in. You can also use this time to replace the duct connecting your dryer to the vent. If you have a rigid, flexible duct, then you should replace it. These ducts are flammable and reduce the efficiency of your dryer. Consider using a smooth surface connection to increase your dryer’s efficiency and decrease the chance of a fire.

5. Test the Dryer

man puts clothes in dryer

Test your dryer after moving it back and reconnecting it. Ensure it works properly, and the clothes dry in a normal 45-minute cycle. If your dryer has any of the symptoms of needing a dryer vent cleaning, contact Fresh Air Duct Cleaning. Our team can perform a professional cleaning with more advanced technologies than a rod and brush.

Fresh Air Duct Cleaning understands the importance of a yearly dryer vent cleaning. That is why we offer promotions to make professional services affordable for all homeowners. Plus, you won’t have to know how to clean a dryer vent; you can have the professionals get the job done for you. Contact our team today to schedule a professional cleaning. We’ll perform the job more efficiently and effectively than any dryer vent cleaning kit.