When it comes to clothes dryers, one may not think there is much to it other than having this valuable appliance that gets the laundry warm and dry in far less time than air-drying would. Cleaning the lint tray following each load is not enough. Here’s why:
What is a Dryer Exhaust Duct?
A dryer exhaust duct is the transition hose behind the dryer, where one end is connected to the back of the dryer and the other end to the exterior wall vent or roof vent termination. The dryer exhaust duct transports the hot, humid air created by the dryer to the exterior of the home. It also takes with it the lint that is not caught by the lint tray.
A Clogged Dryer Exhaust Duct Poses Danger
A clogged dryer exhaust duct is not to be taken lightly. The consequences of lint trapped in the dryer exhaust duct puts your home at the risk of a dryer fire. Each year, clogged dryer exhaust ducts cause thousands of home fires in the US. Knowing the signs of a clogged duct and acting upon it can protect your home against massive damage. Cleaning the dryer exhaust duct once per year is an essential preventive measure, twice per year if you have pets.
The type of exhaust duct that’s installed, and the way it is installed, greatly influences the flow of air and lint, as well as the amount of lint buildup inside the duct. DryerFlex is the code-compliant duct of choice that prevents lint buildup and resists crushing behind the dryer. For more features and benefits, learn more at DryerFlex.com.
Signs Your Dryer Exhaust System Needs a Cleaning
There are several signs that it’s time to clean your dryer exhaust system. Visible signs include lint collecting around the exterior wall vent. Other signs include your dryer or clothes feeling hot to the touch, which means that the exhaust duct is failing to transport the hot, humid air to the outside. Your clothes may also be taking longer than normal to dry, or there may be more lint in the lint tray than usual. Also, the dried clothes having a musty odor to them is a telling sign.
How to Clean the Dryer Exhaust Duct
The project is easy enough for you to handle on your own. The majority of the lint usually collects in the duct inlet and outlet areas. The duct is easy to remove and clean, following the below steps:
- Pull the dryer away from wall and fully disconnect the exhaust duct from the back of the dryer. Remove the clamp by loosening a screw, using a screwdriver. Pull out any lint that has collected in the exhaust duct opening as well as in the back of the dryer. Leave the exhaust duct disconnected from the back of the dryer.
- Go outside and unscrew and remove the cover from the wall vent outlet. Pull all the lint you can reach out of the ductwork.
- Vacuum the lint from the opening. Push the vacuum hose into the opening and as far into the exhaust duct as it will go and rotate while pushing. Once you have used the vacuum, blow any remaining lint out of the exhaust duct using a leaf blower. Go in the house and blow from that end of the exhaust duct in the direction of the outside vent. If lint builds up near the outlet, vacuum it out.
- Screw the dryer vent cap back onto the vent outlet and reconnect the exhaust duct to the back of the dryer once cleaned.
Things You Will Need:
- Vacuum cleaner with attachment
- Leaf blower