How often do you need to clean a dryer vent depends on how often you use your dryer. As a general rule of thumb, after every load, look at the lint filter and inspect for any clogs. You should also vacuum or use a dryer brush from time to time from outside your house near the vent.
The best way to clean your dryer exhaust
The best way to clean your dryer exhaust is to use a long brush or dryer cleaning kit to clean from the inside and do the same from the exterior vent. For safety reasons, make sure you disconnect your dryer from power before working on it.
Cleaning? Make sure to download our House Cleaning Checklist
What is a dryer duct?
A dryer duct is an insulated tube that carries the hot and moist air from your dryer to the outside. Lint buildup can reduce the airflow and cause a fire hazard, increase drying time, and damage the machine overall.
(If you do not have a dryer vent, the moisture from your damp clothes and the heat of the dryer will stay in the house, and your house will end up having higher humidity.)
How often should you clean my dryer vent?
You can clean out your dryer vent every few months to maximize safety and reduce energy consumption. At a bare minimum, you should clean out the filter after every use and the dryer vent at least once a year.
How do I know if my dryer vent needs cleaning?
Here are several ways you will know if your vent needs cleaning:
- If your dryer’s heat is not strong, it means that your dryer vent is clogged. You will need to clean it out before you can use your dryer again.
- If your clothes are taking a long time to dry or they come out damp, this could be a sign of a clogged vent system.
- If you experience problems with your dryer, it could be a sign that the vent needs to be cleaned.
Is it necessary to clean the dryer vent?
Yes, by cleaning your dryer vent on a regular basis, you will prevent lint buildup in the duct, which reduces the risk of fire. Cleaning it will also help you use less energy.
Why do you need to clean your dryer vent duct?
The reason for dryer vent cleaning is to provide optimal airflow for your dryer. Over time, the dryer vent opening will have lint, pet hair, and other household items pass through the vent pipe. This can cause the vent duct to clog.
If the vent has clogs, it reduces the airflow. This causes longer drying times (especially with high heat) and can damage your clothes if you run it too long.
Clogged ducts are also a fire hazard and so cleaning it can help keep you safe as well as help you save money by reducing your energy bills.
How do clothes dryers start a house fire?
One leading cause of house fires is from the dryer. With the heat and lint, they make for a powerful tinder to start a fire.
House fires can occur in the dryer exhaust duct when the lint passes through the dryer lint trap vent and into the duct itself. A clogged dryer vent can block airflow and cause overheating, resulting in a fire. The heating element can also burn out if you don’t have the dryer vent cleaned.
New clothes are often a culprit of clogged dryer ducts because new clothes produce more lint. This is why there is usually more lint in your lint screen when you wash new clothes for the first time.
Dryer sheets can also line the dryer vent filter making it harder for hot air to pass through and properly vent to the outside. We stopped using dryer sheets years ago and opted for these dryer balls instead.
For this reason alone, we recommend dryer vent cleaning every season or at least every year depending on how often you do laundry.
What you need to clean your dryer vents
To clean your laundry dryer vent, you will need a vacuum cleaner hose attachment, brush, or dryer cleaning tool. You can also buy a dryer vent cleaning kit.
Buy them at your local hardware store. You may be able to buy an attachable hose that goes directly into the venting system that is attached to the end of your vacuum hose.
Make sure the dryer is off and unplugged when you go to clean the dryer vent. You may want to shut off the gas or electricity supplying your system to avoid an accidental shock of some sort.
If all of this sounds like too much you can always use the link below to find a specialist to clean your dryer vents.
How often should larger households clean their dryer vents?
If you live in a large house with several people, you have probably wondered how often to clean your dryer vents. If so, don’t fret!
More loads of laundry means more frequent cleaning. Lint accumulation in the lint trap is just one indicator that this cleaning may be needed, but there are other signs as well. For this reason, remove lint from the filter after every use.
It’s best to clean it out every season so that you can reduce the risk of lint build up and the chance of dryer fires.
How often do I need to replace my dryer?
In order to have a proper functioning dryer, you should replace it at least every 10 years. Replacing it is a good way to save money on your utilities especially if you currently have an older dryer with an inefficient motor and belt.
Solutions to clean dryer vent
You can use a brush with long bristles or a dryer duct cleaning tool (available online on sites like Amazon) to carefully insert it into the venting system to clear out the lint manually. Properly cleaning your dryer vents ensures maximum airflow for your clothes dryer, which reduces the chance of fire hazards.
Cleaning your dryer vent is an important chore to do on a regular basis, but it should be done only when the machine is cool and unplugged. If you have a flexible plastic accordion-style duct, brush from outside the house with a long-handled paintbrush or similar tool. If your dryer vent has rigid metal ducts, consult a professional cleaner about what tools would be best to use.
How often do I need to clean my dryer vent?
It depends on how often you use your dryer. As a general rule of thumb, after every load, take a look at the lint filter and inspect for any clogs. You should also vacuum or brush from time to time from outside your house near the vent.
Final thoughts about how often to clean a dryer vent
Your laundry room cleaning can often get ignored, so make a habit to clean the lint from the filter after every use. Also, consider hiring a professional dryer cleaning company to come and have your dryer vents cleaned every year.
It will improve the dryer’s efficiency, reduce the cost of energy, and extend the life of your appliance.