The majority of people clean the lint trap in their dryer after every load of clothes. The duct work in your house also build-up lint. Lint inside dryer vents is a fire hazard and can reduce a dryer’s efficiency. Annual cleaning and/or inspection of these vents by professional dryer vent cleaner is recommended. Removing the hose from the dryer is necessary to clean and inspect vents. Further, the duct work in homes is often longer than homeowners are able to clean themselves.
It is recommended that dryer vents are cleaned and inspected annually however there are some signs they need to be cleaned.
Warning signs include:
- Your clothes take more time than normal to dry
- Clothes feel hotter than normal at the end of a drying cycle
- The flapper on the vent on the outside of your house stays closed when the dryer is on
Cleaning the vents from your dryer is important for many reasons. Lint is very flammable. If ducts are restricted by lint accumulation, excessive heat can build up. When airflow is restricted, your dryer has to work harder and may take more than one cycle to dry clothes which uses more energy. Your clothes will endure more wear and tear if it takes longer to dry them due to restricted vents clean dryer duct.
There are precautions you can take to reduce the chance that your dryer vents become restricted by lint.
- Rigid metal duct work is not as prone to lint accumulation so replace plastic or foil duct work with rigid or semi rigid metal duct work
- Clean or replace the flexible tube between the wall and your unit regularly
- Do not run a dryer that does not have a lint filter
- Clean the lint trap between every load of laundry.
- Wash lint traps every few weeks to remove residue left by fabric softeners
- Ensure the outdoor vent flap is able to open freely (it can become restricted by snow, bushes, etc.)
Dryer maintenance suggestions
- Keep dryers in good working order;.
- Dryers should be properly grounded
- Avoid overloading your dryer
- Do not store combustible chemicals near your unit
- Do not store flammable items such as boxes or clothing near your unit
- Do not run your dryer when you are not home
- The minimum diameter for dryer ducts is 4 inches.