How to Keep Your Dryer Vents Clean and Safe: A Professional's Guide

Learn how regular maintenance & professional cleaning services can help keep your dryers safe & efficient from fire & carbon monoxide hazards.

How to Keep Your Dryer Vents Clean and Safe: A Professional's Guide

Taking the necessary steps to prevent lint buildup is essential for the safety and efficiency of your dryer. Regularly sweeping and dusting the area around the dryer, removing the lint collection filter, and cleaning it before each cycle are all important parts of home cleaning and maintenance. Vacuuming in and around the lint filter housing with the vacuum hose connector is also a great way to keep your dryer vents clean. It's easy to think that the dryer's ventilation grille won't accumulate a lot of lint if you regularly clean the lint trap, but this isn't always the case.

Regardless of how often you empty the accumulated fiber in the front of the dryer, large amounts of lint and debris can still accumulate in its ventilation grille. Only a professional dryer rack cleaning service can clean your dryer completely and safely. If the air flow of the dryer vent is obstructed or blocked by debris, there are several ways in which cleaning the dryer vent can improve its efficiency and overall safety of your home. Clogged ducts make it difficult for the dryer to release warm, humid air from the clothes chamber.

This air can cause a lot of problems in the machine, such as increasing drying times, increasing the temperature of the laundry room, and putting greater overall pressure on the dryer. Cleaning the dryer vent removes this accumulated debris, allowing air to escape before it causes more problems for you and your machine. The main factor contributing to household fires related to clothes dryers is lack of cleaning, which accounted for one-third (33%) of dryer fires. Fire isn't the only concern when it comes to dirty ventilation grilles; carbon monoxide also presents its own serious risks. If you have a gas-powered dryer, hot air that exits through its vents to the outside of your home may also contain carbon monoxide. Dryer vents clogged with debris allow air from the gas dryer to be released into your house, leading to different levels of hazardous gas.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very real and deadly danger; symptoms usually include headache, upset stomach, lightheadedness, and confusion. If you have a gas dryer and experience any of these symptoms when you use it, stop using it immediately and schedule an inspection with a professional. You can also consider having an indoor air quality test to confirm the presence of carbon monoxide in your home. When you don't know what to look for, it can be difficult to determine when your dryer vents need to be cleaned. Fortunately, many signs can indicate that you have blocked the flow of air from your dryer vent: long drying times, burnt odors, hot laundry temperatures, and running your dryer several times to dry clothes are all common symptoms experienced by dryer owners when a vent is blocked. In this case, requesting cleaning should help protect clothes from heat damage and increase the speed at which your machine dries.

If you're interested in learning more about symptoms of clogged dryer vents, we've put together a list here with more detailed information. Apart from these occasions, The United States Fire Administration recommends that dryer vents be cleaned by a professional at least once a year. If you can't remember when you last cleaned a dryer vent or it's been more than a year since then, it's time to schedule one with a trusted local professional. Likewise, for tenants, be sure to contact your landlord or landlord's representative and request a record of recent cleaning as well as request a cleaning of your dryer vent when necessary. One scheduled cleaning per year could be what protects your home and family from disaster. Safety risk: Poorly planned or defective cleaning by an amateur can have disastrous effects if done improperly; this can cause even more harm than good to your dryer.

Without professional knowledge of how to properly access, clean, and replace your dryer vent, there is a risk that your machine will be damaged or injured. Damage to your drying system: Since cleaning your dryer's ventilation grilles requires specific experience and equipment, there is always a chance that you will cause damage by trying to clean its ventilation yourself. The cost of a professional cleaning service is significantly cheaper than replacing part of its system (or buying a completely new dryer). Compounding future risk: Professionals have the resources and training to know when a dryer vent is completely clean; if you don't, you'll most likely leave some lint or residue behind during cleaning. These small fragments that remain can accumulate over time; this means that future risk of having problems with your dryer is greater than if a professional had done it. Wrong tools: Effective cleanings require specific tools such as dryer ventilation brushes and high-quality (often expensive) equipment to complete them; professional service technicians own this equipment and carry it with them during cleaning. To achieve similar results yourself would require bearing the cost of cleaning tools as well as learning how to use them correctly; this would cost you more time, energy, and money than opting for a legitimate service.

Unprofessional results: No matter how confident you are in cleaning ventilation grilles at home; amateur techniques will never measure up to professional results. The only way to ensure high-quality cleaning that meets recommended safety standards is to hire a reliable cleaning service. Unlike doing it yourself, hiring a reputable company ensures that trained professionals get the job done. Many parts of the ventilation grille cleaning process require specific technical knowledge; repairers have received years of extensive training and on-the-job experience. They know small details that may go unnoticed by amateur vent cleaners or untrained eyes. For your safety as well as that of your ventilation grilles and home in general; hiring a professional company is an ideal option. For example, many people don't realize that excessive lint buildup can lead not only to fire hazards but also carbon monoxide poisoning. For these reasons alone it's important to hire an experienced technician who knows how to properly access all areas of your ventilation grille system for thorough cleaning.

To ensure maximum safety for yourself and your family; make sure you hire only certified professionals who are knowledgeable about proper ventilation grille maintenance.