Dryer vent cleaning is an essential part of your regular home maintenance, especially if you use your dryer regularly. A professional dryer cleaning will free your duct of built-up lint and debris, decreasing your chances of dryer fires and increasing your overall home safety. When done by a dryer vent cleaning professional, you can expect this service to vastly improve your dryer’s efficiency and lengthen its lifespan.
At Filterbuy, we want to ensure that you have the information you need when scheduling a dryer vents cleaning. We put together information on what a vent cleaning service can do for you, including the many benefits you might notice after having yours done.
Why Clean Dryer Vents?
It is a common misconception that the dryer's lint trap and vent are the same thing. In reality, these are two different parts of the dryer that serve different purposes. The lint trap is the mesh grid, usually accessed from the front of the dryer. When emptied regularly, the lint trap catches a good portion of lint from each laundry load.
The dryer vent, on the other hand, is located on the back of the dryer. It is responsible for releasing the hot air from the dryer to the outside of your home. Any lint that is not caught in the lint trap is often pulled into the vent, clogging up your dryer vent and preventing it from working correctly. Even if you routinely empty your lint trap, lint and debris particles will continue to build up within the vent.
When too much debris builds up within the dryer vent system, it may reach the dryer’s heating element. Lint is highly flammable and can catch on fire within minutes if this occurs. Blocked dryer vents are thus a leading cause of dryer and house fires. As a report front the U.S. Fire Administration explains:
…Lint is a highly combustible material that can accumulate both in the dryer and in the dryer vent. Accumulated lint leads to reduced airflow and can pose a potential fire hazard…A compromised vent will not exhaust properly to the outside. As a result, overheating may occur and a fire may ensue.
Professional dryer vent cleaning not only ensures your dryer's external airflow, but also helps prevent lint-based dryer fires from starting.
When To Clean Your Dryer Vent
If you use your dryer regularly, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends that you clean your vents at least once a year. If you've never had a cleaning, or if it has been over a year, it's time to schedule a professional cleaning service. Additionally, if you rent, you should ask the landlords or homeowner if they have a record of yearly cleaning. Outside of yearly maintenance, the frequency of cleaning can increase depending on how often you use the dryer, as well as if you are experiencing any signs of significant lint build-up.
Large build-ups of lint can cause several problems with your dryer outside of increased fire risk, including longer dryer times, musty-smelling clothing, burning smells, and more. Unpleasant as they might be, these symptoms serve as signs, telling you when to clean your dryer vent outside of your yearly schedule. We have compiled a list of the top 7 Warning Signs You Need A Dryer Vent Cleaning, if you would like to learn more.
Dryer Vent Cleaning Benefits
If you decide to get your dryer vents professionally cleaned, there may be many visible changes in your dryer’s performance. After getting serviced from a trusted professional, you might receive one or more of the following dryer vent cleaning benefits:
1. Faster Dryer Times
If you’re used to sending your clothes through multiple cycles to fully dry them, cleaning the dryer vent might help. If a vent is blocked, the humid air inside your machine has trouble escaping during a normal cycle. The lack of dryer vent airflow can make it harder for your wet clothing’s moisture to evaporate, making you run it several times to get your favorite garments completely dry.
A clear vent free of debris will allow your dryer to operate more efficiently, making drying cycles more effective. As a result, your dryer will not have to work as hard to dry your clothing. Your machine will be able to easily push hot air from the clothing chamber to the outside of your home, allowing your clothes to dry in less time or one complete cycle.
2. Less Damage to Clothing
Along with shorter drying times, cleaning the dryer vent can also prevent damage to your clothing. The clearer your dryer vent is of lint, the faster and more effectively it will dry your clothes. If you don't need to dry your garments for as long, they will also be exposed to less heat and therefore less damage. You can feel better about investing in your closet when you know it will not be ruined by extra-long drying times.
According to a study by the American Chemical Society, cotton fabrics suffer significant damage under high temperatures. If you cut the number of cycles required to dry your clothes in half, the damage done to your clothing should also decrease. In this way, clean dryer vents can help your clothes stay in good condition and extend the wear life of your wardrobe.
3. Lower Risk of Dryer Vent Fires
Clogged dryer vents are a major cause of home fires and dryers, as mentioned previously. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (the leading information and knowledge resource on fire, electrical, and related hazards), failure to clean lint, fiber, or dust from dryers accounted for one-third of all 2020 U.S. dryer fires.
An annual dryer vent cleaning can greatly reduce your overall fire risk in addition to preserving the health of your dryer. A trusted, trained professional can reduce the lint accumulation in your dryer and, in turn, prevent that lint from catching on fire. By sticking to a dryer cleaning schedule, as well as paying attention to your dryer's signs, you can keep your home and valuable belongings safer.
4. Lower Electricity Usage
As dryer vent cleanings can reduce your average dryer runtime, they can also help you lower your electricity usage. This is particularly true if you run many cycles to dry your clothing before having the vents cleaned. Cleaning your dryer vents helps your dryer run smoothly and more efficiently, meaning possibly shorter drying times.
Your dryer's energy consumption (and therefore energy cost) depends on the type of machine you own. While there may not be a significant change to your power bill right away, over time, using the dryer more effectively and running it less often can add up. For example, cutting your cycle usage in half for a week may not make much of a visible difference. If you continue to use that amount for an entire year, the results and savings will be more noticeable.
5. Longer Dryer Life
Professional dryer vent cleanings can also help extend the life of your dryer. Blockages in the system prevent proper dryer vent airflow and heat release in your machine. This added strain can increase the amount your dryer has to work to dry your clothing. Each new load of laundry placed in a blocked dryer can add to the machine’s pressure and increase the amount of lint in the system.
Giving your dryer a professional cleaning and removing any built-up debris can ease the strain, allowing the machine to work at a higher capacity. With proper care, the less your dryer has to work to dry your clothing, the longer it should last in general.
6. Better Indoor Air Quality
Clogged dryer vents affect the way your dryer can release hot air to the outside of your home. If excessive lint prevents your dryer’s hot air from releasing into the outdoors, that air pushes back inside of your dryer. With nowhere else to go, that hot air may be released into your home, affecting your home temperature and overall indoor air quality.
That air entering your home may be carrying more than just heat - it might also be holding microplastics. On vented dryer air and microplastics, the American Chemical Society has this to say:
…Microfibers can come from natural fabrics, such as cotton, or synthetic ones, such as polyester -- which are also considered to be microplastics. Releasing microfibers into the environment is a concern because they can adsorb and transport pollutants long distances. And the fibers themselves can be irritants if they are ingested or inhaled…
Without a cleared vent to exit from, large amounts of microfibers can enter back into your home and into the air you breathe. A professional dryer vent cleaning will reopen your vent and allow the air to exit successfully into the outside, keeping your indoor air clearer and at a lower temperature.
7. Lower Carbon Monoxide Risk
If you own a gas dryer, a lint-clogged vent can allow carbon monoxide to enter your living space. With no way to vent the fumes your dryer is producing, the air from your duct system may be released into your home, negatively impacting your indoor air quality and causing other symptoms to occur. If you constantly smell a burning odor when running the dryer, stop use until you can get it looked at by a dryer vent cleaning professional. That scent could be a blocked vent with possible carbon monoxide leakage.
Keeping your dryer vent maintained and professionally cleaned will help lower your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from your dryer. By making sure your vent is consistently clear of lint and debris, you can feel relieved knowing that you are better protecting your family from harmful gas and toxins.
Scheduling A Professional Cleaning
Like we mentioned before, and as the U.S. Fire Administration recommends, you should have your air duct cleaned by a professional at least once a year (more often if necessary). If you ignore lint buildup in your system, it could be extremely costly to your home, health, and family.
If you’re searching for a dryer duct cleaning provider, you can rely on America’s most trusted name in air filtration – Filterbuy LOCAL is now providing dryer system services in your area.
Our mission is to help improve your indoor air quality and your quality of life. We have licensed professionals who will be happy to help you with your dryer duct cleaning and your other HVAC needs.