The temperature in your home is affected by more than just the weather. Your dryer can make your house feel warmer and force your air conditioner to work harder to keep things cool. If your dryer vents are clogged with lint and dryer debris, the overall temperature of the area surrounding the dryer can increase and eventually warm up your entire house. This inadvertent heating can be avoided with regular dryer maintenance. Before you decide to try your hand at your own A/C DIY project to cool your home, try following this dryer vent cleaning guide from Air Tech of Conroe first.
Why bother cleaning the dryer vents?
Depending on how frequently you use your dryer, it is recommended that you clean the dryer vents and ductwork twice a year. More importantly than cleaning the dryer to avoid building up heat in your home, the debris that collects in the vents is a fire hazard. Lint is combustible and when it is exposed to the hot air coming from the dryer, it can rise to its ignition temperature and cause a house fire. Every year, around 3,000 house fires in America are caused by dryer fires. If your home’s air conditioning is working overtime, your laundry nook is feeling extra warm, your dryer gives off a suspicious burning smell, or you’ve never cleaned your dryer vents, now is the time.
How to clean your dryer vents
- Gather your cleaning supplies. You will need a duct cleaning brush, either a manual option or a brush that connects to a drill. This depends entirely on personal preference and how much you’re willing to invest.
- Disconnect power from the dryer. At this point, it is important to note if your dryer runs on electricity or if it is gas powered. Unplug your dryer from the outlet and turn off the gas valve if applicable. While moving the dryer, be careful of the gas line–you do not want to kink it.
- Find the vent. There is a vent behind your dryer and a vent outside of your house. Locate the outside vent and start your cleaning there. Remove as much lint and debris as you can, even take apart screens and open the vent up. Clear out as much as you can from this side of the house. This is where the hot air from your dryer escapes the ducts, so do not be alarmed if there is a large amount of buildup. Use your brush and try to collect as much debris as possible to properly dispose of in the garbage.
- Go back inside and disconnect your dryer from the exhaust vent. Remove any tape or clamps that hold the vent pipe to the wall. Be careful not to damage the vent pipe as you gently pull it away from the wall duct.
- Vacuum the lint that inevitably appears after you’ve finished the previous step. Use a hose attachment to clean up as best you can before grabbing your vent brush.
- Brush the duct. This is going to release a lot of built-up lint, so be ready with that vacuum. At this point, you’ve hopefully cleaned the length of the duct. If you can’t reach all the way through, go back outside and re–brush from the opposite end again.
- Finish cleaning up around the dryer and reconnect it to the exhaust vent. It is advised to hold the vent tubing with a metal clamp as opposed to metal tape because it is easier to remove for future cleanings. Plug your dryer back into the power outlet and carefully move it back into place.
Call Air Tech for future maintenance
Before every drying cycle, remember to remove the lint trap on the outside of your dryer and clean off all the lint. On a regular basis, vacuum the lint trap itself and sweep and dust your laundry area often. Make sure you’re cleaning your vents thoroughly at least twice a year to keep your house safe and your air conditioner not working overtime.
If your dryer vents are pristine yet your house is still too warm, it may be time for an air conditioning tune up. Air Tech of Conroe offers air conditioner maintenance services for Conroe residents. Contact us today!