Despite the promise embedded in its name, a dryer vent doesn’t always perfectly dry your clothes each and every time. That said, if you’re finding yourself with particularly damp clothes even after a full drying cycle, or you’ve noticed that the outside becomes very hot while doing its job, it may be time to clean out your ducts.
Cleaning these ducts isn’t just important for your clothes and time (and sanity). Over months and years. Lint can accumulate in these ducts and mix with hot air and ignite. Creating a fire hazard.
How to Clean a Dryer Vent
Cut power to the appliance.
The first and most important step is to cut power to the clothes dryer. To maintain safety, don’t do any work on the vent. While the appliance is drawing electricity. The simplest and safest way to cut power is to unplug the unit. Keep in mind that this may require pulling the dryer out from its current position. Don’t strain yourself
Locate the vent.
Dryer vents are easy to find because they typically stand out from the actual dryer. Look for a thick silver or white hose coming from the back of the dryer. It should be about 4 inches in diameter and can be made with flexible white vinyl, thin aluminum foil. Semi-rigid aluminum, or completely rigid aluminum piping.
Once you have located the vent hose at the back of the dryer, just follow it along to the place where it exits the home. It should be held in place by one or more circular brackets that fit over the top of the 4-inch vent hose and tighten around the transition vent pipe that leads outdoors.
Dryer Vent Cleaning Kits
You can pick up a dryer vent cleaning kit for about 20 bucks that includes the basic brushes and extension tools. Some kits even come complete with augers or “finger” attachments that can grab stubborn blockages deep within a long dryer vent hose. If your dryer vent hose is short, you probably won’t find any use for such add-ons. Once you’re done de-linting. Just piece your dryer vent back together and plug t back in. And while you have the dryer out from the wall, you may want to give the floor behind it a little scrub.