How To Clean a Dryer Vent

March 12, 2021

A clean dryer vent not only improves efficiency, but safety as well. In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 2,900 household fires reported each year in the United States are caused by improperly maintained dryer vents.

dryer vent being vacuumed

So what are the signs that you may need to check your vents? Any of the following can be signs that you need to clean your dryer vent:

  • Have you noticed it is taking longer than normal for your dryer to run a cycle?
  • Are your clothes still damp after the cycle is finished?
  • Is your clothes dryer feeling warm to the touch and smelling hot?

If any of these apply to you, your dryer is crying out for a vent cleaning. Here's how to do it.

Start by Disconnecting the Dryer

At the back of the dryer, identify the vent and exhaust. Next, unplug your dryer and turn off the gas supply valve, if applicable. Remove the dryer duct using a screwdriver on the clamp.

Vacuum and Remove Lint

Use a Shop–Vac or household vacuum to clean out any lint that didn't come out in the hose from the back of the dryer. Next, take the hose and suck any lint out of it. If you are unable to completely clear the vent with your vacuum, you may want to look into purchasing a dryer vent kit, if you do not already have one.

Reconnect

Time to put everything back together. Put the vent and clamp back on and seal any sections with duct tape as needed. Plug the dryer back in, and if needed, turn the gas back on.

Run the dryer for 15 minutes to confirm everything is working properly.

How to Prevent Lint Buildup in the Future?

As with all appliance maintenance, prevention is key. Ensure you are using your dryer properly and performing regular maintenance to minimize lint buildup in the future. You should be doing these things on a regular basis:

  • Keep the area around your dryer clean and free from debris.
  • Clean trap filter before or after every cycle.

A clean dryer filter not only reduces the fire hazard risk, but can also reduce energy usage.

Do You Need an Energy Efficient Dryer?

We can help. Step into one of our 12 locations to shop in person and work with a product specialist to find the appliance that fits your lifestyle, or you can shop online at Howards.com to see which appliances are available. Howard's offers free next–day delivery on purchases over $399 within qualified zip codes scheduled before 5 p.m. in the Southern California area.

Contact us today for more information or to have one of our experienced product specialists help you build your dream kitchen.

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