How often do you clean out your dryer vent? Have you ever cleaned it? How do you when it needs to be cleaned?

These are all very good questions. Some people clean their dryer vent regularly, while others may never have done it before. The reality is that cleaning out your dryer vent is important for a variety of reasons. This guide will help to know how often a dryer vent should be cleaned and the best ways to accomplish the task.

Clean Your Dryer Vent Once a Year 

According to experts, at the very minimum, you should clean your dryer vent out once a year. Not to say that it wouldn’t be beneficial to clean it out more often, but once a year is usually enough. Lint buildup in your dryer vent can not only negatively affect your dryer’s performance, but it is also a serious fire risk.

To be clear, let’s not confuse the dryer vent with the lint trap in your dryer. The lint trap is located in different places depending on your dryer model, but it is likely just inside the door or somewhere on the top. The easy-to-access lint trap should be cleaned out between every load. The dryer vent is the place where the silver tube that extends from the back of your dryer connects to the wall that leads to the outside. Lint can build up inside of the silver tube and in the space between the wall and the outside vent.

Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs to Be Cleaned

The telltale sign is usually when your clothes fail to get fully dry after a regular cycle. If the same setting used to dry a load of clothes and gradually doesn’t anymore, it could be that there is a buildup of lint blocking your dryer vent.

Another sign is if your dryer is overheating and shutting off. Dryers have a safety feature that automatically shuts the dryer off or turns off the heating element if the temperature gets too high. A blockage in the dryer vent could cause this to happen as it can prevent the heat from being vented properly.

How often should your dryer vent be cleaned? Anytime you notice these or any other problems.

How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

There are a few different methods that can be used to clean out your dryer vent. First detach the silver tube from the back of your dryer and the wall. Then your options include:

  • Vacuum cleaner. One of the easiest ways to clean it is to use your vacuum cleaner to suck the lint out of the tube and vent. Use a long attachment on the vacuum hose if you have one. Also be sure to suck the lint out of the back of your dryer where the silver tube was attached and from the floor and wall behind the dryer.
  • Air compressor. An air compressor can be used to blow the lint out of the tube and the vent. The pressure of an air compressor is usually quite effective at blowing out the lint.
  • Electric Leaf blower. If you don’t have an air compressor, try using an electric leaf blower to blow the lint out of the vent. Just be sure never to use a gas-powered blower indoors where there is not enough ventilation for the fumes.
  • Extendable duster or brush. If you have a duster or brush with a long or extendable handle, that can be used to clean the lint out of the dryer vent as well as the silver tube.
  • Hire a professional. There are dryer vent cleaning services available for this purpose. If you want an extremely thorough cleaning of your vent, hire a professional.
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