Cleaning your dryer vent frequently is an important part of owning it. Clean vents improve the efficiency of your dryer and lower energy costs, but most importantly, they reduce the fire hazard in your home. Every year in the United States alone, dryer vents causes an average of 15, 000 home fires with over $90 million in damages. That is why it is so important for every homeowner to be aware of how to properly maintain their dryer.
Here are several tips you can follow to clean your dryer vents:
- Make sure you check the lint screen before you start the machine and clean it before you start a load. If there is a lot of build up, unplug the dryer and disconnect the vent from the dryer. Use your hand or a vacuum cleaner hose to clear and loosen the lint and debris in your vent. Then, securely attach the ends back to the wall and dryer and run your dryer on air for a few minutes to blow it out.
- If you find a huge build up of lint in the middle of the vent, use a plumbing snake to pull it out. A coat hanger or dowel can be used if the path is fairly straight, but you must be careful because it can puncture the material and even cause leaks.
- When the dryer is in operation, visually inspect the exterior hood of the vent. If you observe the flaps moving and you can feel the airflow, then the vents are working fine. If not, then you should get it inspected.
- You can call a professional when doing intensive dryer vent cleaning if you encounter situations such as lose or disconnected vents or vents with too many angles and bends. A dryer vent cleaning professional will have cleaning equipment that is appropriate for the situation.
Dryer vent cleaning is not difficult and can save you money in energy costs as well as protect you against fires. Take a few minutes to clean it each time you do the laundry, and you will avoid problems and keep your machine functioning well for many years to come.
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