Dryer vents should be cleaned occasionally, especially if some of the signs that the vent is clogged up begin to occur. If it begins to take longer to dry clothes, or if they are still hot and damp when the dryer is finished, these are signs that the vent needs to be cleaned. Another telltale sign is when there is very little lint on the lint screen after several loads. It is possible to have a dryer vent professionally cleaned, or it can be done by the owner. Routine maintenance can avoid future problems that cost a lot to repair. The dryer may need to be replaced if it is not maintained properly by removing the lint from the lint screen after each load of laundry is dried. Sometimes lint falls out of the lint filter, and this should be removed as well if it is possible to reach it by hand or by vacuuming it.
Other maintenance steps that should be routinely completed are to disconnect the dryer one time every year to vacuum the back of the dryer and the area around the ductwork in the wall that leads to the outside. The flexible duct hose should also be vacuumed and emptied out. It is helpful to do this with a powerful vacuum cleaner. Other tools are required as well for a thorough cleaning. These include a dryer brush or auger and some flexible rod attachments that can reach through the flexible duct hose. There are DIY dryer vent cleaning kits for sale online, or they can be purchased at a local hardware store.
If the flexible duct hose is long, rods or poles may be required as well. These are included in some DIY dryer vent cleaning kits. These duct hoses may be up to 25 feet long in some homes since this is the longest recommended length for a flexible hose. Extra-long lengths like these need to have a pole that is long enough to reach through the hose to clean it thoroughly. DIY kits sometimes have five or more poles that are around five feet in length that can be joined together to make a very long pole. Other kits have a hook that can be attached to reach inside where there is a clog in the duct. A brush is attached to the end of the pole, while the other end is attached to a drill. When the drill is turned on, the power pushes the clogged lint through to the other side. The drill must be powerful to drive the pole through to the other side.
Cleaning a dryer vent with the DIY method is a fairly simple job to do unless the flexible hose is very long. If the vent leads up to the attic and goes out of the roof, this can be more difficult to do since it requires maneuvering into the crawl space of the attic. Another challenging situation is when the duct work is three or four feet into the wall. In this case, a special dryer vent brush is required. After cleaning the back of the dryer, the wall where the hose is attached, and the hose, all parts need to be reattached to the dryer and wall.
It is not difficult to find directions on how to clean dryer vents using the DIY method. If you purchase a dryer vent cleaning kit online or at a hardware store, the kit will usually have directions included with it. If not, there are many helpful articles that can be found online that explain how to clean dryer vents step by step. There are also articles that address problems that the DIY homeowner may encounter, such as cleaning long duct hoses or reaching areas that are difficult to get to. With this information, it is possible to clean dryer vents with no problem at all.