How to Clean Your Dryer Vents: 5 Steps to Follow
A clean dryer vent isn’t just about performance. It’s about keeping your family safe.
Your washer and dryer are productivity royalty. As a busy homeowner, you probably use these appliances at least once a week—and likely even more! But how much do you focus on their maintenance?
If you’re like most people, you probably don't really pay attention to them until something goes wrong.
At Frontdoor®, we want every homeowner to have the tools, knowledge, and resources to tackle small issues around the house before they transform into costly or even deadly) problems.
That passion even extends into the laundry room.
When it comes to your dryer, consistent maintenance isn’t just about making sure your clothes come out dry on every cycle. It’s also about ensuring your dryer doesn’t catch into flames! By regularly cleaning your dryer vents, you can prevent serious property damage while simultaneously protecting your family and yourself.
To ensure you’re properly addressing your dryer and its vents, let’s review some important information.
Why Should You Clean Your Dryer Vents?
Your dryer vent is a round tube that carries hot, moist air from your dryer to the exterior of your house. This vent is usually made from aluminum, metal, or vinyl, and it can gradually become clogged with lint or debris.
You’ll find numerous reasons for cleaning your dryer vents:
1. Clean dryer vents help dryers perform more efficiently.
2. Clean dryer vents lead to less energy use, which reduces electric bills.
3. Clean dryer vents lead to lower drying times.
4. Clean dryer vents may even extend the lifespan of your dryer.
5. Clean dryer vents reduce the risk of fire.
That last one is also the most important. Every year, the U.S. Fire Administration records nearly 3,000 house fires (and around $35 million in property damage) as the direct result of clothes dryers.
The biggest cause of dryer-related house fires? Clogged dryer vents.
How to Clean Your Dryer Vents
For safety reasons, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends the following cleaning schedule:
- Clean your dryer’s lint trap after each cycle.
- Clean the dryer dent and ductwork every three months.
Here’s how to clean your dryer vents:
1. Unplug your dryer.
2. Locate and remove the vent on the back of the dryer. Use a screwdriver if necessary.
3. Vacuum away any visible lint or debris with a vacuum hose attachment or a shop vac. Note: There may be a lot of dust, so avoid breathing in particles or getting any in your eyes.
4. Go outside and find the exhaust vent.
5. Remove the cover and vacuum the duct.
If your dryer vent needs extra attention, head to your local home improvement store. Most of these shops sell dryer vent cleaning kits with special brushes and flexible rods that attach to drills.
Note: The above DIY tips are for informational purposes only!
Find Expert Assistance For Help Cleaning Your Dryer Vent
If you still need help with your dryer vent, download the Frontdoor App to talk to an expert in real-time! Our team members can help you figure out the best process for your home.
To dig into more topics, explore the rest of our How-to Tips for time-saving home repair and maintenance checklists.
Frontdoor assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.
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Your dryer is a critical home appliance that dramatically simplifies laundry day. But leaving your dryer vent unattended for too long could lead to a deadly house fire. Follow our guide on dryer vent maintenance to protect your family and improve your dryer’s performance!