Dryer Vent Cleaning – How to Get Lint Out of Your Dryer Vents
Unlike the dishwasher or clothes washing machine, the dryer needs a little ongoing maintenance to keep it in safe, proper working condition. How does a clothes dryer work? The way your dryer works is pretty simple – it spins clothes around in hot air while an exhaust vent sends damp air outside. A round, flexible exhaust tube connects to the back of your dryer and then to a duct in the wall that leads somewhere outside — so all the hot, moist air coming out of the dryer ends up outside. As your heated clothes tumble in the hot air, lint (tiny bits of the cotton or other fibers that make up your clothing) comes off the fabric and most of it gets caught in the lint trap as the exhaust air passes through it. The lint trap is usually accessed either inside the dryer door or on top of the dryer — it usually looks like a plastic or wire screen. Whatever gets past the lint trap goes out the exhaust vent and duct and either clings to the sides of the tube (it is wet with condensation and can be sticky) or blows out the exhaust vent outside.
Dryer Vent Problems – How do you know when to clean your dryer vents and ducts?
Since your dryer has to blow exhaust air out through the ducts, the shorter the ductwork the better. The total recommended length is normally less than 25 feet from the back of your dryer to the outside vent cover — that’s with a straight running exhaust duct. If you have bends and turns, it should be an even shorted distance. The more turns and the further the distance, the harder your dryer must work to move exhaust air and loose lint — and the harder your dryer works and the longer it runs, the sooner it will wear out and have to be replaced or repaired. If your dryer has clogged vents and ducts, there are usually a few signs you’ll see: