Preventing Home Fires: Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

dryer vent begin cleaned to avoid fire damage

Have you checked your dryer vent recently? It’s important to clean not only the lint trap but also the vent and ductwork behind your dryer. Over time, dust and lint can accumulate, especially if the lint trap is not cleaned after each use or is faulty.

Dirty dryer vents can be a serious fire hazard, causing thousands of structure fires in the United States every year. The combination of high heat and flammable materials is dangerous. In addition, a dirty dryer vent can reduce your dryer’s efficiency and increase your utility bills. With poor airflow, your dryer may not work at its full potential, causing you to run multiple loads.

Cleaning your dryer vent is a simple DIY task that can save you time, money, and stress. At Elite Restoration, we specialize in fire and smoke damage restoration, but we believe that prevention is key. Here are four easy steps to clean your dryer vent at home:

Tools Needed

  • Safety gloves
  • A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment
  • Dryer vent cleaning kit (optional, but recommended

Disconnect Your Dryer

Unplug your dryer and turn off the gas supply valve if you have a gas dryer. Pull your dryer about a foot away from the wall to give you enough space to work. Disconnect the dryer duct from the back of the dryer and the wall if possible, exposing the buildup.

Vacuum Your Dryer Vent

Wear safety gloves and remove any loose lint from the exhaust port on the back of your dryer. Use your vacuum’s hose attachment to clean the exhaust port and ductwork. Avoid poking, prodding, or scraping too hard to prevent damage. Vacuum the exterior dryer exhaust as well.

Clear Your Dryer Vent and Ductwork

If there is stubborn lint in your vent or ducts, use a dryer vent cleaning kit with vent-safe flexible brushes to clean more thoroughly. Feed the brush into the ductwork and rotate it, extending the brush to reach deep into the ducts. Vacuum the vent and ducts one final time to remove any loose debris.

Reconnect Your Dryer

Inspect your work and reconnect your dryer by reconnecting your ductwork to your dryer and the wall. Push your dryer back in place, making sure not to bend or fold the duct work. Plug your dryer back in and run it empty for 15-20 minutes to ensure good connections and remove any remaining debris.

Cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year can prevent fires, save money, and keep your dryer working efficiently. Stay safe and happy cleaning! If you do need fire and smoke damage restoration call Elite Restoration today.