5 Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning
Did you know that the dryer vent is one of the most important parts of your home? It’s also one of the most overlooked parts of your home—and it can actually cause serious problems in your house.
So what is a dryer vent, anyway?
Dryer vents are large pipes that carry the heated air from your dryer to the outside of your home and can be found in many areas of your home – attic, basement, and the main level – we are seeing more vents coming out the second level of homes now.
The vent itself can be made of either rigid plastic or flexible metal, but it’s usually covered by a thin layer of insulation that helps protect it from cracks. You should check for them when you are looking at the layout of your laundry room and before you begin any remodeling projects.
Your dryer vent is designed to handle hot air coming from any clothes being dried in the machine by absorbing some of the heat before it escapes from your house. This means that if there is any build-up in your dryer vent, then you’re likely not getting enough hot air flowing through it.
The main purpose of a dryer vent is to carry air at high velocity through the house (the vent) without allowing it to recirculate back into rooms where clothes are drying. This prevents the formation of lint and other debris that could cause fires when ignited by direct contact with a flame source.
Ducting for dryer vents comes in different types and materials which you can use to suit your need, budget, space, and efficiency. It is important for the homeowner to know which type of duct to use so that they can prepare for the maintenance and cleaning ahead of time, which in turn can save money and prevent fire hazards from happening in the future.
Here are the five common dryer vent tubing materials that are available in the market:
- Rigid Metal Ducts
These dryer vent tubings are suitable for concealed dryer vent ducts. These are installed in the walls and floors where ducts are hidden. It is much easier to clean because the interior linings are very smooth. Though this duct type may be a bit pricey, it is worth the price because rigid metal ducts have a longer life span.
- Semi-Rigid Metal Ducts
Semi-rigid ducts are very flexible and durable as well. They may also serve as a transition from the exhaust to the main dryer duct which is either in the floor or wall. Semi-rigid ducts are affordable and easy to install.
- Aluminum Foil Ducts
It is the most common dryer vent tubing material used in the United States. They are also flexible and can also serve as a transition from the exhaust to the main dryer duct. Aluminum foil ducts are affordable but they may require frequent cleaning because lint can easily be trapped in this type of tubing.
- Plastic Ducts
Plastic ducts are usually made from vinyl and these are the cheapest among all of the dryer vent tubing types. Although plastic or vinyl ducts are flexible and durable, some latest building codes do not allow the use of these because they can easily trap lint. You will definitely need to clean your dryer vent on a regular basis to avoid any untoward incidents like fire.
- Slim Ducts
These ducts are perfect for those who have just small spaces. Slim ducts are narrower than rigid ducts. They are somehow expensive and can be challenging to install. Cleaning and maintenance are just similar to rigid metal ducts.
Why Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent?
It is very important to clean out your dryer vent regularly. Here are some reasons why:
- It is a fire hazard! 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Read more HERE.
- You’ll save money on heating costs. Your dryer uses up a lot of energy—and if there aren’t enough places for all that heat to go, then you’ll end up spending more on energy bills than necessary. By cleaning out your dryer vent regularly, you’ll be able to reduce this cost over time.
- If there are any blockages in the vent system, they could cause serious damage to other parts of your home too! That means that even if you don’t have any problems right now, over time these blockages could lead to major structural damage or even structural collapse in other parts of your house (it’s not unheard of).
- Your clothes will dry faster which in turn will save time.
- You’ll be able to run fewer loads of laundry at once.
- Cleaning out lint and debris regularly helps prevent fires in your home.
- Cleaning improves airflow through the house by removing obstructions that affect airflow through ducts.
- Cleaning improves indoor air quality (IAQ).
How often should I get my dryer vent cleaned?
When should I get my dryer vent cleaned?
The answer is… it depends! We do suggest hiring a professional company to do this important task.
Generally speaking, having it professionally cleaned regularly once a year is a good starting point. If you are frequently using the dryer it is much better to have your vents cleaned at least twice a year.
Having a routine dryer vent cleaning, you can be a positive on many fronts, both from a cost saving and time standpoint.
You can tell if it is time to undergo a professional cleaning by inspecting and observing your dryer.
Here are the 5 signs your dryer vent needs cleaning:
- If clothes need more than just one cycle to dry.
- Clothes are taking longer to get dry than the usual drying time.
- Slow airflow in the vents.
- Clothes come out extremely hot and/or damp.
- Burning smell. This burning smell might be due to lint that is clogged which is highly flammable.
If you want your dryer and vent to function properly, you need to be proactive and regularly clean your dryer vent.
Are you thinking about getting your dryer vent cleaned?
Call us for an appointment! We will be glad to assist you.
At Kura Home, we visit our clients quarterly offering over 32+ home services, including dryer vent cleaning. It takes the hassle and procrastination out of the equation – leave it to the experts at Kura Home!
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Watch this video for more dryer vent tips!