It is easy to take your reliable appliances for granted. For example, as long as your dryer is working, you might forget about the regular maintenance needed to keep it that way. But taking a few simple steps to keep it clean will make your dryer last longer and prevent costly and potentially dangerous malfunctions.
You can (and should) inspect your lint trap and drum before and after each load to keep it clear of excess lint and other debris. But, how often should you have your dryer vent cleaned? Your dryer’s exhaust system should be cleaned at least once per year by a professional cleaning service like First Coast Home Pros.
Is It Necessary to Clean My Dryer Vent?
Some homeowners may not be aware of the importance of a clean dryer vent. This often long, flexible tube that routes warm, moist air outdoors can accumulate layers of lint and eventually become clogged.
A clog can also develop on the outdoor end of your dryer’s ventilation tube. Wind can blow dirt, leaves, and debris into the vent while birds or squirrels build nests in the opening. These obstructions can eventually cause severe problems, including:
- Decreased dryer efficiency: When moisture fails to escape through the vent, it remains in the dryer. That means your dryer may take two or three cycles to dry your clothes, costing you time and increasing your utility bills.
- Shortened dryer lifespan: The more your dryer is forced to run, the faster its components wear down or break. Using your dryer with a clogged vent will result in more frequent breakdowns and repairs, and you’ll probably need to replace it sooner than later.
- The possibility of dryer fires: Lint is composed of tiny fibers shed from clothing and other washable fabrics. It’s also highly flammable, so when a vent is jammed with lint and hot air can’t be released, it can ignite and cause a dryer vent fire.
- Carbon monoxide buildup: A gas dryer produces small amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) generally expelled through the vent. A blocked duct can divert this odorless, dangerous gas into your living spaces instead, causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, and asphyxiation.
How Do I Know if My Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning?
There are often red flags that will alert you to a clogged or dirty dryer ventilation system. You might notice things like:
- Clothes that are still wet when your dryer stops
- A dryer that runs longer than usual
- Extreme heat either inside or on the outside surface of the dryer
- A musty or burning smell during the drying cycle
- Lint, bird nests, or other debris accumulating in the opening of the vent
Signs of a malfunctioning dryer vent are not always obvious; therefore, don’t depend on these warning signals to tell you something is wrong. Instead, if it has been more than a year since your last dryer vent maintenance, you should call First Coast Home Pros to schedule an appointment right away.
DIY Dryer Cleaning Tips
At First Coast Home Pros, we have the tools and expertise to clean your dryer vent’s long ventilation tubes quickly and safely. This annual cleaning is best left to the professionals, but you can take care of other day-to-day maintenance tasks to keep your dryer running its best in the meantime.
Clear Your Lint Trap After Every Load
Your dryer has a filter or lint trap that collects lint from the exhaust before it is funneled outside. This protects your ventilation tube by limiting the debris that passes through and gets stuck to the side.
Fabric softener sheets and other items left in your pockets can also hinder your filter, so they should be cleared out after each load to keep your dryer working at peak performance. You can find your lint trap on the top or just inside the door of your dryer.
Keep Your Dryer Drum Clear and Lint-Free
The drum is the interior cylinder where you place your wet laundry. Over time, your drum’s surface could collect residue and excess lint, which can then be redeposited onto your otherwise clean clothes or blown out the dryer vent.
Visually inspect your dryer’s drum after each load and wipe it down with a damp cloth whenever necessary to keep it squeaky clean.
Schedule Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Today!
First Coast Home Pros will thoroughly clean your ventilation system twice from the inside and again from the outside. Plus, before we leave, our service technicians will test your system to ensure adequate air movement for safe and efficient operation.
With our cleaning crew on the job, you know it will be done right the first time — your satisfaction is guaranteed! So contact us today to schedule your annual dryer vent cleaning service from the best in the business.