When you're a new homeowner, it can feel like the responsibilities keep stacking up. Suddenly, you have a roof to care for, an HVAC system to maintain, and carpets that are always in need of shampooing. As annoying as it might be, there is one more task you really must add to your to-do list: having your dryer vents cleaned. While your dryer vent is mostly out of sight and out of mind, it can quickly become a hazard if not properly maintained. Keep reading to learn more.
Why do dryer vents need to be cleaned?
The lint trap in a dryer is good, but it does not catch absolutely everything. Some of the lint and dust from your laundry get blown out the dryer vent. A lot of it catches inside the vent, rather than going out with the vented air. If enough dust is allowed to collect in your dryer vent, it becomes a fire hazard. Every year, there are more than 2,900 reported house fires due to dryer vents in the U.S. The leading cause of these fires is not cleaning the dryer vents properly.
How do you clean a dryer vent?
If you're handy, this is a job you can likely tackle yourself. You'll need to unplug your dryer and disconnect the duct from the vent in the wall. With the duct disconnected, you should be able to see inside the vent. Use a shop vacuum to suck up all the dust and debris from inside the vent. Reach as far in as you can. This may mean you have to climb onto a step ladder or get an extended wand attachment for your vacuum. You can also venture outside and clean the rest of the vent that's accessible from the exterior of the home. When the entire vent is clean, you can hook the duct back up and restore power to your dryer.
Can you hire a professional to do this?
Yes. There are companies that solely clean dryer vents. Many HVAC and appliance companies also offer this service. If your dryer vent is awkwardly placed, is far up on the wall, or is hard to reach through, consider hiring a pro. They usually have more specialized equipment suited to these "complicated" vents.
To avoid house fires, make sure you keep your dryer vents clean. This little bit of maintenance can go a long way in terms of safety.
Contact dryer vent cleaning services to learn more.