How Often to Clean Dryer Vent

Keeping your dryer vents clean will maintain the efficiency of each dryer cycle and prevent energy loss, house fires, and other complications. Homeowners should always be concerned with how often their dryer vents should be cleaned, so we thought it’d be a good idea to cover all the ins and outs of this task.

The good news is that dryer vents typically only need to be inspected and cleaned once per year, but there are a couple of caveats. First, if you notice an inefficiency in drying clothes, a burning smell, or any other problem, you should call a professional right away. Second, if you have a large family and are doing laundry nearly every day, then it’s a good idea to have vents cleaned more often. There’s no exact guideline, but every six months wouldn’t hurt.

What Happens When Dryer Vents Aren’t Cleaned?

The first thing you’ll notice when dryer vents haven’t been cleaned in a while is that the clothes aren’t getting dry as easily. You may be forced to run a second cycle, which wastes energy and increases your water and electric bills. In more extreme situations, the lint buildup can cause a house fire. This devastating consequence occurs in homes every year.

How Lint Builds Up in a Dryer Vent

Many homeowners don’t seem to realize that lint buildup can occur in the ducts and exhaust vents connected to a clothes dryer. They assume that the lint trap will catch everything. Although they’re extremely effective, a small amount of lint may escape with each drying cycle. You can see evidence of this by looking at the outside vent, where you’ll find lint and other debris around the edges and on the ground. Over time, lint that doesn’t get trapped or expelled outside will build up in the tubing itself.

How a Clothes Dryer Fire Can Start

Every year, thousands of dryers and washing machines cause home structure fires. Clothes dryer fires occur when the dryer vent line has become overwhelmed by a build up of highly flammable lint and debris. When this buildup occurs close to a heating element, all it takes is a single spark and a small amount of oxygen for a fire to erupt. After that, it doesn’t take long before your clothes basically become kindling, and the fire moves out into the rest of your home.

Warning Signs of a Clogged Dryer Vent

As briefly discussed above, you may become aware of a clogged dryer vent because a lack of airflow results in clothes that are somewhat damp at the end of a drying cycle. Another common warning sign is a moist lint trap.

If you experience a burning smell, unplug the unit right away. Any of these signs will indicate that a  dryer vent cleaning is required immediately. However, it’s always better to schedule regular cleanings because you don’t want the lint buildup to get this bad if you can avoid it.

Professional Cleaning Vs. Do-It-Yourself

Many homeowners will attempt to clean the dryer vent themselves because, on its face, it doesn’t seem like a difficult or involved job. The reality, however, is much different. It’s very easy to miss some of the spots where lint has collected.

Plus, even if you pick up a do-it-yourself dryer vent cleaning kit, these kits don’t come equipped with a tool that’s long enough to reach through most dryer vents. Professionals are not only trained in thoroughly cleaning the vents, but they also have the right equipment to get the job done right.

Contact Carr AC for a Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning

Carr Air Conditioning & Heating employs highly trained, certified experts in HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair. If you have any questions about dryer vent cleaning in Palm Harbor or any other HVAC needs, give us a call at (727) 447-7212 today

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