Handyman How To: Clean Your Dryer Vents - CMW Maintenance Corp
Handyman How To: Clean Your Dryer Vents
For our first installment of Handyman How-To, I’m going to take you step by step through the proper cleaning and routine maintenance of your dryer vents and filters. Did you know? Your dryer is the #1 cause of household fires! With the fires originating most frequently from dryer venting and lint traps. With the onset of Fall and Winter right around the corner and the increase in colder temperatures we all start to substitute our light, airy clothing for thicker, heavier fabrics. Fabrics that hold a lot more moisture, take longer to dry and more often than not produce greater amounts of lint.
Warning signs that dangerous levels of lint have built up in your dryer venting system:
Clothes take longer to dry
Clothes are hotter than normal at the end of the cycle
The dryer itself gets very hot
Your laundry area is humid during drying cycles
Lastly, a burnt smell is emanating from the laundry area
What you’ll need:
Possibly gloves (It can be a dirty job)
Bucket of soapy water and brush
Vacuum with nozzle attachment
Dryer cleaning kit. The kits cost between $15 to $40 (Optional)
Let’s Get Started!
1. Remove the Lint Trap Filter
Often found on the top of your dryer or inside the door.
Although this seems like an obvious first step it is non-the less an important one, it’s the first line of defense in protecting your home.
Remove the Lint screen and gently brush it off then wash with soap and water. Let the lint trap air dry outside of the unit.
2. Clean the Lint Trap Housing
Insert your brush as far as it will go into the lint trap housing, give it a spin and remove.
Use your vacuum to remove all lint that has clung to your brush.
Repeat this action until little to no lint returns on the brush’s head.
For good measure insert your vacuum nozzle down into the lint trap housing.
3. Disconnect Dryer Ducting
Unplug your dryer.
Disconnect the ducting from the back of your dryer.
With the power and ducting disconnected you can safely pull your dryer away from the wall.
Now disconnect the rest of the ducting, disassembling pieces along the way.
4. Clean out Ducting
If you have an extended duct brush now is the time to use it, also a hand towel secured around a broom will do a pretty good job.
Insert your duct cleaning brush (or broom with rag) and remove the lint by rotating the brush and pushing and pulling to help loosen the caked on lint.
This might take a minute or two, so don’t get discouraged!
5. Clean the Outside Vent
All dryer’s heat is forced outside your house, and if you don’t know where this vent is it can be a fun little game of hide and go seek.
Again grab your brush to remove the largest clumps of Lint.
If you have an extension cord run your vacuum to the outer vent and give it a quick vac.
6. Reassemble the Dryer
Now put it all back together and sleep soundly knowing that the Leading Cause of Fire in the Home is no longer a worry for you and your family.
This Handyman How To: Brought to you by the professionals at CMW Maintenance and Construction.