Are dryer vent and air duct cleaning the same thing?

Most homeowners are probably aware that dryer vent and air duct cleaning are important, but they’re not sure what’s involved. Today, we’re going to give you a crash course on dryer vent and air duct cleaning, why they need to be cleaned, and what you can expect from an appointment with an HVAC expert.

The Functionality of Dryer Vents and Air Ducts 

Dryer vents and air ducts are both essential components of the way your home operates. Here’s a quick look at how each of these items function:

  • Dryer Vents — Your clothes dryer works by passing hot air over your wet clothes as they tumble around. The hot air picks up moisture from the clothes and then expels it through the dryer vent to the outside of your home. This process will often expel small bits of dust and debris along with the air.
  • Air Ducts — In most households, heating and cooling systems operate with the help of ductwork. The HVAC system moves heated or cooled air through these air ducts so that it can be distributed all throughout your home. Although a ductless system does exist, these aren’t nearly as common.

Why Dryer Vents and Air Ducts Must Be Cleaned

Homeowners may be aware that dryer vent and air duct cleaning are essential, but they might not understand why.

  • Dryer Vents — Your dryer vents can be clogged by remnants of lint and debris building up over time. When this happens, it’s likely that your clothes won’t dry properly. This forces you to run the dryer for a longer period, thereby hurting its energy efficiency. If the problem is severe, the blockage may also turn into a fire hazard.
  • Air Ducts — Just like dryer vents, your HVAC system’s air ducts can get clogged up with debris after a while. This can force your HVAC system to stay on longer to keep your home cooled or heated, which increases the amount of energy that’s being used. Plus, this will also cause your system to wear out more quickly and won’t do your indoor air quality any favors.

How Dryer Vents and Air Ducts Are Cleaned

Although dryer vent and air duct cleaning have some similarities, there are important differences. Here’s a brief breakdown of each process:

  • Dryer Vent Cleaning — The process of cleaning a dryer vent starts at the base where the duct connects to the clothes dryer. From there, the duct is thoroughly cleaned to remove any trapped debris, lint, etc. This process isn’t nearly as involved as air duct cleaning and usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour.
  • Air Duct Cleaning — Cleaning your home’s air ducts is a much more involved process because the ductwork exists throughout the home and connects to either most or all of the rooms. The cleaning includes every duct, vent, and other ventilation component using a powerful, truck-mounted vacuum cleaner. This process typically takes at least two hours but may take longer depending on the size of your house.

How Often Should Dryer Vents and Air Ducts be Cleaned?

Dryer vent and air duct cleaning are both essential, but how often each needs to be done greatly differs. This is what the experts say: 

  • Dryer Vent Cleaning Frequency — At the very least, you must clean your dryer vents once per year to prevent any problems. However, experts recommend that a cleaning is done every six months to be entirely safe, especially if you run the dryer a lot.
  • Air Duct Cleaning Frequency — As a general rule, you’ll typically only need to worry about cleaning your ducts every 5 -10 years. If you live in an area with a lot of dust in the air or anyone in your household is susceptible to allergens, you may want to have it cleaned every few years.

The Importance of Hiring Professionals for the Job

As with most things involving your HVAC system and appliances, you should always hire a professional for dryer vent and air duct cleaning. Not only will professionals have all of the cleaning equipment that’s required, but they also have years of experience providing these services to homeowners. This way, you can rest assured that the cleaning is done properly and to your satisfaction.

Contact Carr Air Conditioning for Dryer Vent and Air Duct Cleaning Services

Carr Air Conditioning & Heating can assist you with any HVAC system repairs, maintenance, installation, dryer vent, and air duct cleaning. If you have any questions about our services, contact us at (727) 447-7212 today to schedule a free consultation.