Dryer vent cleaning is a crucial part of clothes dryer maintenance. Neglecting to do so invites myriad causes for concern. The process is in most cases straightforward and relatively inexpensive, especially when considered against not doing so.
(Have any questions about the process itself? Visit our dryer vent cleaning service page.)
1. To Prevent Fires.
This is of course the number one reason to have your dryer vent cleaned annually. Dryer lint is one of the most flammable materials in your home. When present in large quantities, as in a clogged dryer vent, it can easily ignite, causing a fire that can spread to the rest of your home.According to the US Fire Administration (USFA), 2900 dryer fires are reported yearly. They cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.* A dryer vent cleaning for most homes costs between $100 and $200—a huge return on investment when set against the potential consequences!
2. To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
When connected to gas dryers, the dryer venting provides escape to the outdoors not only for lint and moisture but also for dangerous carbon monoxide. A clog anywhere in the system can result in dangerous gases building up and leaking back into your home. Keep in mind that blockages can result not only from lint buildup but also from birds, who often build nests in the vent if a cover is absent, sometimes even between the flaps of the outside vent. Installation of a dryer vent cover can prevent this, once the dryer vent has been thoroughly cleaned.
3. To Improve Energy Efficiency.
When your dryer vent is clogged, the machine has to work much harder over a longer period of time to fully dry a load of laundry. This results not only in wasted energy (and thus wasted money) but also increases the wear on the machine and can eventually contribute to the burning out of the heating element. A properly cleaned dryer vent allows for the easy exit of moisture and gases, improves the efficiency of your dryer’s operation, and extends the life of the machine itself.
4. To Save Time.
A dryer with a clogged vent can take several cycles to completely dry your laundry. When this happens, many people make the mistake of assuming that the machine is in disrepair. It is not unheard of for customers to completely replace their dryer only to find they have the same problem, which of course was not in the dryer at all. A clean and clear dryer venting system will help to ensure your clothes are drying in the appropriate amount of time, and reduce wear on your clothing from the excessive heat that results from a clogged dryer vent.
5. To Check for Disconnects.
During the process of cleaning the dryer vent, any disconnect in the venting would be detected by an attentive technician, when he checks for proper air flow. The lack of proper air flow after a cleaning would signal that there is a disconnect somewhere in the ducting system. Another frequent observation from technicians during a dryer vent cleaning is the use of common duct tape on the dryer ducts, for which it is not intended, as when common duct tape heats it deteriorates and shreds. When the technician observes this he will typically recommend replacement with heat-resistant foil tape.
Wanna dig deeper? Download our free tipsheet: 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dryer Vent Cleaning Company.