The chances of a home fire hazards occurring has a pretty strong connection with dirty dryer vent. Maybe the damage won’t be visible right away. But it’s sure going to waste a huge amount of your time, money and energy in the long run.
The fact that a dirty duct dryer does not only sounds dangerous but also works super slowly makes it even more critical. And so, you must now or at some point think about learning how to clean dryer vent from inside for maintaining this gear in the best way possible.
Complete Guide on How to Clean Dryer Vent from Inside.
There are many signals that you are going to notice about a dryer ductwork system piled up with lint and dirt. Some of the major and more common ones are:
- The drying process of clothes takes more time than normal.
- Sometimes the clothes never get fully dry.
- After each drying cycle, you find the clothes too hot than usual.
- The exterior section of dryer is very hot.
- The flapper for exhaust vent outside will rarely open. This is a clear signal of low exhaust velocity.
- The room where your laundry is too humid.
- You can smell something burning inside the laundry room.
One or more indicators mentioned above being present with your dryer means you need to think about cleaning it. A dryer that isn’t efficient will charge you an additional utility bill by end of the day. So, you must go for professional help or do it yourself.
Below I’ll be providing a safe to follow guide that you can easily try and clean the dryer duct vent using some common tools. Let’s get into it!
Tools & Materials
- Metal Foil Duct Tape That is UL Listed.
- Long hose attachment vacuum.
Getting Safety Right to Start.
Once upon a time, there were no problems with using flexible plastic or metal foil duct tape. But recently some local building codes are against the commonly used material. Make sure you are not going with any forbidden thing beforehand.
The vent tubes are super popular since installation barely needs any hassle. These are super simple to route inside hard spaces. However, the interior surface can be ripped. Providing access to fire and lint as well due to overheating in rare cases.
In case you are working with a flexible duct installation version, better get it swapped with the smooth-walled metal ductwork ones. That way things will be safe.
Get the Lint Trap Filter Out.
Start with getting the power cord of dryer unplugged. You need to also turn the dryer’s gas valve off. The duct joint that is close to dryer needs disconnection as well. Just gently give the dryer a pull and it should come away from wall. The exposed remaining part of dryer duct needs to disconnect as well. Get the tape out as well if there’s any used.
Vacuuming the Housing.
Using a vacuum to get lint trap housing clean is possibly the best way. The process of how to clean dryer vent with shop vac is nothing different. Just make sure the hose attachment is a long one that is also pretty skinny.
Go with an initial vacuuming and second pass. The brush kit’s long flexible brush will work best here. The brush should extend to cavity’s bottom. After that, simply pull out the brush from dryer housing.
Use the vacuum to clean those brush bristle next. You can keep on going until there are no more lint noticeable in the cavity. Also, there are some brush kits that allow you to attach with a drill. And then spinning the drill into the duct with slow speed will give you an effective result. You just want to be careful while advancing the brush through duct. It needs to be as gradual as possible.
Now you want to go head with a round duct brush head. Use rotating motion with the brush inserted into each duct section. The sweeping motion will help in cleaning by moving back and forth. You need to pull the brush out and clean head next.
Use the same method for cleaning remainder duct run. Just make sure you are reaching all the ends of rigid duct. Also, have a look at the vent cap that is located outside. It should also be clean enough. The flapper needs to work without any problem after cleaning it as well.
Ductwork Reattachment or Replacement.
Now you need to reattach the duct sections. You can also go for replacing it if there’s a need. Keep some points in mind while focusing on this phase.
The dryer’s exhaust end will work best with an adjustable, strong, and 90-degree elbow. Try to use it. When you push the dryer back into place, flexible ducts will kink. And this could invite a lot of major troubles to exhaust flow.
Between the rigid duct and dryer elbow, there’s a section of metal transition duct. This needs permission of your local building code and also, it’s best to have a UL-listed one. Just don’t be careless with using unlisted options. In the same manner, vinyl ducts are also concern causing.
Use a 4-inch worm-drive steel made duct band clamp if you need to attach the ductwork section with rigid metal. Especially when the ductworks section is a semi-rigid tape. Make sure to use an appropriate screwdriver for tightening clamp well.
Round and rigid metal ducts are the best option for any concealed ductwork. No matter if it is hidden inside floors or walls. The flexible ones that are not exposed need a replacement with mentioned type.
Don’t use any sort of regular plastic duct tape here. These are worse with failing over time and drying too quickly. Instead, use the UL-listed metal foil duct tape. For a permanent duct section sealing, these work fantastic.
As soon as you are done with the ductwork reattachment or replacement, turn gas valve on. Plug the dryer in after that. Next, you want to push the dryer into its original spot. Do a test run to make sure everything is working just fine.
And we are now hitting the end section of how to clean dryer vent from inside. From time to time giving your dryer a thorough cleaning is something you should never sidestep. Whenever there’s any indication of a dirty dryer vent, clean it without delay.
Just make sure you are following right precautions, not doing anything outside legal boundaries, and also focus enough while on the actual process. That way, you will be able to avoid the misery of dryer failure resulting in a surprise expense for getting a new unit.