Dryer Vents Cleaning FAQ

Dryer vent cleaning is an often overlooked maintenance service that can have a huge impact on your safety and comfort. A professional cleaning can help protect your home from fires (a leading risk associated with clogged dryer vents), carbon monoxide poisoning, and poor indoor air quality. Whether you are a new homeowner or an experienced one, dryer vent cleaning has many advantages.

If you're in the market for dryer vent cleaning, chances are you have a few questions. At Filterbuy, we know that understanding dryer vent cleaning information can help you identify when your dryer needs cleaning and how to find a reliable service provider. That’s why we put together a list of your most frequently asked questions about dryer vents cleaning.

Dryer Vents Cleaning: Your Most Common Questions Answered

Dryer vent cleaning is not a complicated process, but there are things to consider. The more you know about the dryer vents cleaning process, the better prepared you'll be. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about professional dryer vent cleaning and answers to each one.

How Often Should I Get a Dryer Vent Cleaning?

According to several safety experts, you should schedule a dryer vent cleaning regularly to prevent lint build-up. The National Fire Protection Agency recommends scheduling a cleaning "once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry…” to ensure you are following the proper clean dryer duct maintenance recommendations.

If you notice unusual dryer signs, such as burning smells, long drying times, and musty clothing, you should also schedule a cleaning. Similarly, if you haven't had a recent cleaning, your vent has never been cleaned, or your landlord does not have a record of cleaning, chances are your system needs a professional dryer vent cleaning. Lint build-up is something you should never take lightly, as the results can damage you and your home. If you suspect your vents need a thorough cleaning, it is always best to schedule an appointment with a professional.

What Can Dryer Vent Cleaning Do?

When lint blocks or clogs your dryer vent, there are several things you can expect from a professional dryer vent cleaning. Significantly shorter dryer times are a benefit many homeowners experience after a cleaning. You may even notice your clothing looking brighter, feeling dryer, and lasting longer. The heat from your dryer puts a lot of wear and tear on the material. By reducing your favorite garment's in-dryer time, you're extending the life of your closet and keeping it in better condition.

You can also expect your dryer to run more smoothly, as cleared vents mean less mechanical strain on the system. General symptoms of clogged dryer vents, burning smells, and higher laundry room temperatures, may also be totally resolved after a professional cleaning.

Through following proper maintenance routines, dryer vent cleanings can help your dryer dry faster, run smoother, and last longer.

A picture of a mother with her children watching something burning in the background.

Can Dryer Vent Cleaning Prevent Fires?

Lint is a real danger if the build-up reaches your dryer’s heating component. As a result, failure to clean lint-clogged dryer vents is a leading cause of dryer and home fires. According to national fire statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
  • Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.
  • More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.

In cases where dryer vents are clogged, getting a professional dryer cleaning could be all that stands between your home and a dryer fire.

If you notice a burning smell when running your dryer, stop usage and unplug your machine until you can schedule a professional inspection. That smokey odor could be a sign that the lint debris in your dryer has hit the heating component. A professional will be able to better identify what’s happening to your dryer and let you know when it is safe to use again.

Can Dryer Cleaning Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is associated with lint-clogged vents in gas dryers. The hot air produced from gas machines typically contains harmful gasses, which release to your home exterior through your clean dryer duct. A clogged dryer vent prevents this air from escaping, forcing it back through the dryer and into your home (bringing varying levels of carbon monoxide).

The onset of headaches, nausea, and lightheadedness may also indicate a leaky carbon monoxide system. If you feel funny every time you run the dryer, immediately stop running your machine and contact a professional. You also may want to consider an at-home carbon monoxide test to see if your indoor air quality is compromised. With your health and home on the line, you should never wait to schedule a professional dryer cleaning if you own a gas dryer and believe your dryer vent is clogged.

Do I Need to Hire a Professional Dryer Vent Cleaner?

In cases where your dryer vent needs cleaning, always start by hiring a trustworthy dryer vent service professional. While there is information online about cleaning a machine yourself, amateur equipment and techniques have a much higher chance of damaging your dryer vent system. Further, if dryer vents are not cleaned properly, lint and debris can collect, contributing to future dryer problems.

It might take a bit more time to hire a trained technician, but professional cleaning is almost always safer and more effective. You’ll feel better knowing that your dryer is up to professional maintenance standards.

Can I Use a Household Vacuum to Clean My Dryer Vents?

You should never attempt to clean dryer vents with a household vacuum cleaner or other unprofessional tools. Household vacuums are not the correct power or length to remove all lint and debris from your vent. Leaving lint behind during an unprofessional cleaning can compound build-up and cause you more problems in the future. Amateur tools also increase the chances that your dryer vent (or entire system) may incur damage during cleaning.

Cleaning dryer vents should only be done with tested, high-quality equipment. Hence, it is better to hire a trained technician to perform your cleaning than to attempt to clean them with household products.

Image of a vacuum cleaner.

How Do I Know When My Dryer Vents Need Cleaning?

In general, fire safety professionals suggest that dryer vents need a thorough cleaning yearly. There are, however, signs to look out for when these cleanings need completing outside of scheduled maintenance. The most common symptom of blocked vents is longer drying times. Running the same load through multiple cycles to fully dry may indicate you have significant lint build-up in your machine. In this case, getting a professional cleaning should speed up drying times and allow your dryer to work more efficiently.

Other signs that you need a dryer vent cleaning include burning smells, high laundry room temperature, musty clothing, and excessive lint. You can learn more about dryer vent warning signs and other important dryer vent safety information here.

How Much Does Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost?

Dryer vent cleaning cost varies by company. The cost of a typical dryer vent cleaning may range between $100 - $200, depending on where you live and the scope of the cleaning. To provide honesty and transparency to their customers, some companies offer a guaranteed flat rate quote. In this case, you will know exactly what you will be paying before signing up for a service, preventing any surprises.

When looking for a dryer vent cleaning company, always ask about their pricing structure, what's included, and what you will need to pay for before agreeing to a service. This ensures that both parties understand what the service will cost, and you will not have extra fees added on without your knowledge.

What Tools Do Dryer Vent Cleaners Use?

While the exact equipment make and model depends on the company, you can generally expect a few pieces of professional dryer vent cleaning tools to be involved in your cleaning.

The first tool that most professional dryer vent cleaners use is a specially-designed dryer vent brush. These brushes have bristles soft enough to avoid damaging the ducts while also stiff enough to dislodge any lint or dust buildup. It might seem like any old brush would do the trick, but professionals design these brushes specifically for this purpose.

The second tool most professional dryer vent cleaners use is a powerful, high-pressure vacuum cleaner to clean dryer vents and remove the lint that collects inside the dryer vent. These powerful vacuum cleaners have a long hose and special attachments for cleaning dryer vents.

How Long Does It Take to Clean a Dryer Vent?

The length of a scheduled dryer vent cleaning depends on what is involved. Dryer vent infestations and animal nestings, for example, will typically take a bit longer than a standard everyday cleaning. With this in mind, you can expect your dryer vent cleaning to last anywhere from 30 minutes - to 1 ½ hour.

Professional dryer cleaning companies will notify you when they will arrive, as well as estimate how long the process will take. If you are under time constraints or need the cleaning done by a certain time of day, make sure to let your service provider know early in the process. Preliminary consultants are the perfect time to discuss any concerns and bring up any outstanding factors with your servicer.

Image of a woman's hand holding a wrist watch.

Will Dryer Vents Cleaning Leave a Mess in My Home?

As long as you are receiving a dryer vent cleaning from a trusted professional, there should be no significant mess left in your home after being serviced. Professional cleaning technicians understand the importance of clean living spaces and will respect the cleanliness of your home. The tools that service providers use during dryer vent cleaning also ensure that the lint and debris in your system are taken care of properly.

How Do I Find a Dryer Vent Cleaning Professional?

There are many ways to find trusted dryer vent cleaning professionals in your area. The fastest (and most efficient) way to search for dryer vent cleaning companies is through an internet search. Once you have identified a list of potential candidates, it is always important to thoroughly research the companies you are interested in before agreeing to a service. Making sure the company you choose has positive customer reviews, good online standing, and legitimate claims will ensure a better overall dryer vent cleaning experience.

Once you’ve found a trusted, reputable dryer vent cleaning company, schedule a consultation to discuss the cleaning process, pricing, and any other outstanding questions you may have. If a company refuses to answer your questions or talk with you before the service date, chances are you should look elsewhere for your cleaning services.

Finding a Trustworthy Dryer Vent Cleaning Professional

When looking to get your dryer vents cleaned, finding a capable, trusted professional is always a great first step.

If you are currently searching for a service provider, look no further than the most trusted name in filtration – Filterbuy LOCAL. We aim to improve the air quality you breathe and keep you, your family, and your home safe.

Our licensed professionals are happy to assist with your dryer vent cleaning and other duct cleaning needs.

Click here to learn more about Filterbuy LOCAL for dryer vent cleaning.