There are 2,900 clothes dryer fires every single year. This can lead to injury, death, and property damage. One way that you can prevent this fire is through routine home maintenance and by cleaning your dryer vents.
Do you want to learn more about dryer vent maintenance and how you can begin preventing lint buildup? Keep reading these 7 tips on cleaning dryer vents to prevent these dryer vent hazards.
1. Check for Signs of Lint Buildup
One of the first tips you should follow for dryer vent maintenance is to always check your dryer for signs of lint buildup. Recognizing these signs will help you know when you should clean your dryer.
One common sign of lint buildup is that your dryer takes longer than usual to dry your clothes. With a buildup of lint in your dryer hose or lint trap, your dryer does not have access to free-flowing air.
Because there is less air coming into your dryer, it may take a few cycles to completely dry your clothing.
Another common sign that you need to clean your dryer vent is that your dryer becomes hot to the touch while it is running. When the vent is clogged and the airflow is restricted, the heat from your dryer is not able to escape through the exhaust vent.
This will make your dryer heat up, which may even cause a fire. Finally, the last common sign of lint buildup is if you notice a burning smell coming from your dryer. This shows that the lint that is built up is beginning to burn and needs to be cleaned out immediately.
2. Always Unplug the Dryer Before Cleaning
Another helpful tip to follow when you are cleaning your dryer vent is to always unplug your dryer first. You can either unplug an electric dryer or you can turn off the supply valve of a gas dryer. Then, you can pull the dryer away from the wall to have easy access to your dryer vent and duct.
You can also access your dryer vent through the exhaust vent outside of your house.
3. Check the Dryer Hose
One of the first things you should check when you are cleaning your dryer vent is the hose. These are in the back of your dryer and are typically where the most lint will gather.
By checking the hose first, you can get rid of the most lint buildup effectively.
4. Use the Right Dryer Vent Cleaning Tools
Something else that can make cleaning your dryer vent much easier is having the right dryer vent cleaning tools. One helpful tool you can use is a vacuum. Because the inside of your dryer hose can be difficult to reach with your hands, using a vacuum hose will make it easier to clean.
First, detach the duct from the wall. Then, you can get as much of the lint buildup as you can by hand. After you have removed as much lint as you can, you can simply use the vacuum hose to get out the rest.
You can also use your vacuum hose to clean the exterior dryer vent.
Another helpful tool you can use to clean your dryer vent is a flexible brush with soft bristles. As you feed the brush into your dryer duct and move it around, it will get any remaining lint out of your dryer vent.
5. Replace Flexible Dryer Hoses
Something that can help prevent buildup and make your dryer vent easier to clean is replacing flexible dryer hoses. Many dryers have hoses that are made out of plastic or foil.
This kind of dryer hose is more likely to get clogged and lead to dryer fires. By replacing these with sturdier ductwork, you can keep your dryer vent clean for longer.
6. Prevent Lint Buildup
Not only is it important to recognize the signs of lint buildup in your dryer, but it is also important to do what you can to prevent lint from building up.
First, make sure you clean out the lint trap at the front of your dryer before each load of laundry. This is a quick and easy way to keep your lint from building up or clogging your dryer.
If your lint screen gets clogged from dryer sheets or other residues, it is also important to clean your lint screen. You can do this with soap and water. Just make sure it is dry before you put your lint trap back.
7. Use a Professional Company to Clean Your Dryer Vent
Finally, it can be helpful to utilize a professional maintenance company to clean your dryer vent. By getting your dryer vents cleaned professionally once every year, you will prevent this lint from building up in the first place and causing any problems.
Professional companies will have all the right dryer vent cleaning tools and will be able to clean your vent more effectively.
Get Help Cleaning Dryer Vents With Routine Home Maintenance Services
When you have a buildup of lint in your dryer, it can lead to many dryer vent hazards and may even cause a fire. However, it is easy to prevent this with regular dryer vent maintenance.
By following each of these 7 tips as you clean your dryer vent, you can keep your dryer in great shape for longer.
Are you looking for a professional home maintenance company to take care of your dryer vent for you? Ambassador Home Maintenance can help! Contact our team today to learn more about our services or to request a free home evaluation.