Okay, I really want to title this post How to Clean Your Dryer Vent and Not Die but that makes cleaning the vent scary and it’s not, I promise. Unless you’re afraid of lint, but you should do it anyways. It’s important to clean out your dryer vent every six months or so to keep your dryer running efficiently AND so you don’t die from a dryer fire. That would be sad. “How did you die?” “The dryer.” “Well that’s glamorous.” “How did you die?” “I died fighting a bear in an Old Spice commercial for my one true love.” End scene. Sorry, I’m feeling particularly hilarious today, back on topic.
Lint in your dryer and connecting vents build up over time and will clog/stop airflow. Airflow is important because the air in you dryer is ridiculously hot and lint is flammable. Stop that airflow of hot air and that flammable lint will catch fire, burn down your home and make you sad. Don’t be sad and be glad that you read this post on How to Clean Your Dryer Vent in Three Steps.
Step One: Unplug your dryer and clean the lint trap.
Step Two: Remove lint trap cover thinger by removing the screws holding it in place. Vacuum the crevice the best you can. A brush like this would be super handy.
Step Three: Pull dryer out and detach silver hose. Vacuum the hose, dryer and duct.
Now put everything back where you found it if you haven’t already. At this point I would recommend if you have a flexible foil duct to swap it for a flexible aluminum duct (like this one) or a rigid duct. The coil ducts like the one shown in the picture above are flammable and burn quickly if they become clogged and get too hot. I saw this video from Pretty Handy Girl’s tutorial on swapping the ducts out and it convinced me to change mine. The good news is that the aluminum ducts are about $10 at your local home improvement store.
One more thing you should consider getting your ducts professionally cleaned if the wall vent does not go directly outside i.e. duct runs up through the wall to the attic then outside. A professional will be able to clean the entire duct making sure that it is completely lint free. If your duct is on an outer wall, you can vacuum out the whole foot of ductwork and do not need to call a professional. Be safe and clean your dryer vent and ducts 1-2 times a year depending on how much you use it.
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